A catchers role may open up for the Phillies this summer
Phillies fans and executives have to be extremely pleased with what they’ve seen from 24-year-old catcher Jorge Alfaro both at and behind the plate. His cannon of an arm is catching 34% of runners, well-above the league average of 28% this season. He does lead the league with four passed balls and his .238 batting average can improve, but the raw tools are there for Alfaro to be the next Carlos Ruiz for a championship team.
Behind Alfaro sits 26-year-old Andrew Knapp, a former second-round pick by the club out of the University of California in 2013. With only one season of service time, the Phillies hold Knapp’s rights until he’s eligible for free agency in 2023.
Showing life at the plate last season with a .257 average and 12 extra-base hits in 56 games Knapp pushed veteran Cameron Rupp off the 40-man roster coming out of spring training.
This year Knapp’s production has slumped despite starting the year in a platoon with Alfaro, hitting just .154 in 24 games. He’s still valuable as a switch-hitter and he’s a tremendous clubhouse guy who brings energy to the bench, but Knapp’s not a reliable backup who, at this point, can grow with the club.
That being said, the Phillies could certainly keep Knapp in the minors with three minor league options remaining on his contract. If they stash Knapp in Lehigh Valley to get everyday work, they’d need to add another catcher to the major league roster through a trade.
Here are three catchers the Phillies could look at in a trade to mentor Alfaro and provide offense at the plate.