Born: November 9, 1991
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 189
Bats: Both
Throws: Right
Drafted: 2nd Round, 53rd Overall, 2013 (Phillies)
How Acquired: Free Agent
College: University of California Berkeley
Agent: Apex Baseball

The Phillies drafted Knapp in the second round in 2013 as an offense-oriented catcher.  Except for a huge half-season in AA, though, he was just a solid hitter in the minors, generally with high K rates.  A switch-hitter, in the majors he’s hit .662 against RHPs and just .550 against LHPs.  His swing-and-miss problems as a major leaguer have been significant.  He’s below average at pitch framing and, as a major leaguer, has thrown out only 19% of base stealers.  The Pirates signed him as a free agent at the end of 2022 spring training.

A-:  254/340/401, 217 AB, 20 2B, 4 HR, 22 BB, 57 K, 7-12 SB

Knapp mostly served as DH in his debut, catching 21 games.  He hit reasonably well, although with a lot of strikeouts.  Baseball America rated him 24th among Phillies’ prospects.  After the season, Knapp injured his throwing elbow and had Tommy John surgery.

A:  290/354/438, 283 AB, 19 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 27 BB, 71 K, 3-6 SB
A+:  157/222/205, 83 AB, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 BB, 26 K, 1-1 SB

Following the surgery, Knapp missed the first month of the season, then went to High A.  He served strictly as a DH and struggled to hit.  The Phillies moved him down to Low A in early June.  In mid-June he began catching occasionally, and did so increasingly as the season went along.  He hit well in Low A, although still with a lot of strikeouts.  BA ranked him 15th after the season.

A+:  262/356/369, 244 AB, 14 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 29 BB, 63 K, 0-1 SB
AA:  360/419/631, 214 AB, 21 2B, 2 3B, 11 HR, 22 BB, 43 K, 1-1 SB

The Phillies sent Knapp back to High A, then promoted him to AA at mid-season.  He hit just decently in High A, but had a huge half-season in AA.  For the first time as a pro, he caught regularly, and he threw out 36% of base stealers.  BA ranked him 4th in the Phillies’ system and 96th overall in MLB.

AAA:  266/330/390, 403 AB, 24 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 37 BB, 107 K, 2-4 SB

Knapp spent the entire year in AAA and had a season that was more solid than good.  He threw out 38% of base stealers and BA ranked him 14th in the system.  The Phillies added him to the 40-man roster after the season.

MLB:  257/368/368, 171 AB, 8 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 31 BB, 56 K, 1-1 SB

Knapp spent the entire season with the Phillies as their backup catcher, except that he was out from early August to mid-September with a fractured right hand.  He continued to hit respectably, with a high walk rate, but he did strike out in a third of his ABs.

AAA:  250/400/300, 20 AB, 1 2B, 5 BB, 6 K
MLB:  198/294/316, 187 AB, 6 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 24 BB, 75 K, 1-1 SB

Except for a brief injury rehab, Knapp again spent the season in the majors.  His contact issues increased and his hitting fell off sharply.

MLB:  213/319/324, 136 AB, 9 2B, 2 HR, 18 BB, 51 K

Knapp spent another season in the majors and his troubles making contact continued.

MLB:  278/405/444, 72 AB, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 15 BB, 19 K

In the pandemic season, Knapp hit well and managed to get the strikeouts down.

AAA:  125/417/125, 8 AB, 4 BB, 4 K
MLB:  152/215/214, 145 AB, 3 2B, 2 HR, 10 BB, 61 K

Knapp had a very rough season, with his K rate spiking back up.  The Phillies outrighted him after the season and he chose free agency.  The Reds signed Knapp to a minor league contract.

Knapp failed to make Cincinnati’s roster and, at the end of spring training, chose to become a free agent rather than go to the minors.  The Pirates signed him and he’ll open the season as their backup catcher.  There were 411 players in MLB with 150+ plate appearances in 2021.  Among them, the Pirates’ backup catcher Michael Perez was 404th in fWAR and 408th in wOBA.  Knapp was 408th in fWAR and 411th in wOBA.  Other than extreme cheapness, the team’s major league personnel moves under the current front office have been incoherent and this is another example.

UPDATE:  Knapp batted a robust .129 in 11 games through mid-May.  Once another marginal catcher became available on waivers, the Pirates claimed him and designated Knapp for assignment.

2022: $800,000
Signing Bonus: $1,033,100
MiLB Debut: 2013
MLB Debut: 4/6/2017
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2022
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/18/2016
Options Remaining: N/A
MLB Service Time: 5.000
June 9, 2010: Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 41st round, 1235th overall pick.
June 7, 2013:
Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2nd round, 53rd overall pick; signed on June 14.
November 18, 2016: Contract purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies.
November 5, 2021: Outrighted to AAA by the Philadelphia Phillies; refused assignment and became a free agent.
December 1, 2021: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Cincinnati Reds.
April 3, 2022: Released by the Cincinnati Reds.
April 4, 2022: Signed as a free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
May 16, 2022: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.