Phillies 2017 season grades: Backup catcher Andrew Knapp

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 03: Andrew Knapp #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies spits while talking with Juan Samuel #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies on third base against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park on June 3, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 5-3. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 03: Andrew Knapp #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies spits while talking with Juan Samuel #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies on third base against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park on June 3, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 5-3. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

With the 2017 season in the books, the Phillies have work to do moving forward. Reviewing the past season, I grade the performance of catcher Andrew Knapp

The Phillies have several pieces in place moving forward, although many questions must be addressed during the off season. One is what to do behind the plate. Cameron Rupp, Andrew Knapp and rookie Jorge Alfaro all contributed in their own way this season. With only two likely to make the 2018 roster, decisions must be made.

The 25-year old Knapp began his first major-league season as the backup to Rupp. Knapp had a very good month of April, hitting .304 in 23 at-bats with three doubles, a home run and a .973 OPS.

More from Phillies News

Knapp had another good month at the plate in May, belting two home runs with an .814 OPS. While Knapp was hitting well, Rupp was struggling, leading to increased playing time for Knapp in June.

Unfortunately for Knapp, the increased playing time didn’t bring about increased production. He hit just .240 for the month with only two extra-base hits and 17 strikeouts in 50 at-bats.

After a respectable .250 batting average and nearly .380 on-base percentage in July into early August, Knapp went down with a fractured right hand.

Returning from injury in the middle of September, Andrew Knapp had only 10 at-bats the rest of the way, hitting .300 with a .417 on-base percentage.

More from That Balls Outta Here

Defensively, it was a mixed bag for Knapp. He had a solid .991 fielding percentage and only three passed balls in 53 games. On the flip side, he threw out only 19 percent of stolen base attempts.

Knapp’s ended his rookie season with a .257 average and an above-average .368 on-base percentage in 171 at-bats.  He was on his way to an very good rookie season as the backup before the injury. Knapp was relatively dependable in his role, showing nothing outstanding, nothing glaringly weak with the possible exception of throwing out base runners. I give Knapp a B- for his first season as a backup catcher.

Next: Phillies should inquire on fired Yankees manager

Alfaro appears to be the front runner to claim the starting catcher’s role next season. The backup will be between Knapp and Rupp. Whichever player has the better spring training should get the role. The other could be traded for whatever the Phillies can get for him.

facebooktwitterreddit