Player: Andrew Knapp
Drafted by: Philadelphia Phillies (No. 53 Overall)
DOB: 11/9/1991 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6’1”/175 lbs.
Previously Drafted: 2010: Oakland Athletics (41st round)
A 41st-round selection of the Oakland A’s out of high school in 2010, Knapp struggled to put things together during his first two seasons at Cal. Receiving playing time at several positions including right field, first base and designated hitter, the 6’1”, 175-pound switch-hitter batted just .253/.334/.386 between his freshman and sophomore seasons.
However, after moving behind the plate full time before the 2013 season, Knapp’s prospect stock has taken off. Additionally, he’s benefited from a strong season in a draft class that has but a few players expected to make an impact at the position. Overall, he batted .350/.434/.544 with 16 doubles, eight home runs and a 35/27 K/BB in 54 games for the Golden Bears.
He’s not a Day-1 talent compared to some of his peers, but Knapp definitely headlines the second tier of catchers in this year’s class.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Switch-hitter; consistent swing from both sides of the plate; features a toe-tap trigger and compact, quick swing from the left side; hips tend to drift forward, and he’ll open up with his front side to compensate; more length to right-handed swing; more of a rotational swing; good extension through the ball.
Average power potential from both sides of the plate; his tendency to roll over his front foot will limit his ability to hit for power; left-handed swing is more geared towards power; more forceful swings from the right side; will probably hit more doubles than home runs; could increase power by adding more strength to 6’1”, 175-pound frame.
Athletic ballplayer but lacks true speed; good mobility for his size; moves well enough to get looks in the outfield if he can’t stick behind the plate.
Work in progress behind the plate; first full season as a catcher since arriving at Cal; understandably raw at the position, but has made significant strides this spring; below-average receiver who’s struggled with good velocity and secondaries; quick feet; catch-and-throw skills are improving; quick release.
Above-average arm strength; profiles favorably behind the plate; impressive ability to control running game despite lack of experience; throws are accurate with carry.
MLB Player Comparison: A.J. Pierzynski
Projection: Solid-average regular.
MLB ETA: 2016
Chances of Signing: 85 percent