After starting the season as the Phillies starter Cameron Rupp sits on the roster bubble with two young stars rising through the organization
Despite a weak 66-96 record, several core pieces appear to be in place moving forward. One of those emerged late in catcher Jorge Alfaro, who produced very well in 29 games. The question then becomes, what happens to Cameron Rupp and Andrew Knapp? I take a look back at Rupp’s season and predict what to expect fro Rupp heading into next season.
After taking over during the 2016 season as the starter behind the plate, Rupp was solid. He hit .252 with 26 doubles, 16 home runs, and .750 OPS in 105 games. Defensively, he was adequate, committing only five errors, but threw out a relatively weak 27.4 percent of stolen base attempts.
This season, Rupp started off slowly and was a precursor for what was to come the entire season. In April, he hit only .222 with one home run and 20 strikeouts in 54 at-bats. Although power production increased in May with three home runs in 61 at-bats, Rupp continued to produce an alarming strikeout rate, fanning 23 times.
June was even worse for Rupp, batting a slim .182 with a home run, one RBI and 18 strikeouts in 44 at-bats. At this time, Andrew Knapp was starting to see considerably and outproducing Rupp by a considerable margin.
Perhaps getting a wake-up call riding the bench more often than not in June, Cameron Rupp came to life in July. He hit .333 with five home runs, nine RBI and a 1.140 OPS in 42 at-bats. The power continued in August as Rupp added four more home runs, but his average for the month plummeted below the “Mendoza Line” at .197.
With the arrival of Alfaro from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Rupp saw very limited action, batting only .152 in ten appearances over the final 29 games.
Overall, it was quite a mediocre at best season for Rupp offensively, batting just .217 with 14 home runs and 114 strikeouts in only 295 at-bats. Defensively, Rupp committed eight errors in only 88 games and threw out 28.6 percent of stolen base attempts.
The only numbers that were decent were Rupp’s power numbers, in an otherwise miserable season. He is an active veteran presence who has a chance to stick around over Knapp with Alfaro next season.
Rupp’s leadership alone keeps his grade for the season above a D. I give him a generous C- for his 2017 season.