Phillies Select Andrew Knapp in the 2nd Round and thoughts on JP Crawford

Knapp is an incredibly unsexy, 2nd round pick.  He is a college catcher with kind of all around tools.  The defense could use some work as he has not been playing the position long, but the tools are there to be an above average defender down the road.  The bat could be average for both power and hitting.  There is really nothing special about the profile other than he is a catcher.

That being said, it looks like a bit on an overdraft but if the Phillies save some money they can grab slightly better players with their two third round picks.  The other thing is that Knapp will stay up the middle which means there is at least a decent chance he can at least get to the majors as a back up.  The Phillies have had success developing college players recently and Knapp might have more projection than Cameron Rupp did 3 years ago.

I thought the JP Crawford pick was the best player available at the time.  There are plenty of holes and he likely will never be an impact bat, but given how the picks fell he was easily the best player available.  He likely won’t come for less than slot, but he becomes a Top 5 prospect for a team that really only has one SS prospect (Quinn).

As for Quinn, there is a lot of time to figure out any positional problems down the road, but this pick is entirely unrelated to how the organization views Quinn.  Quinn will succeed or fail at SS entirely independent of Crawford’s development.

As for the rest of the top 10 I expect at least another college pitcher and hitter, probably a senior money saver, and some high upside HS hitters and pitchers.  I would not be surprised if the third round picks were a HS OF and SP with plenty of projection and upside.

About Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has previously appeared on Phuture Phillies and The Good Phight. You can read his work at Phillies Minor Thoughts

61 thoughts on “Phillies Select Andrew Knapp in the 2nd Round and thoughts on JP Crawford

  1. Because Crawford will go over slot, and Knapp will go under slot, this pick balances out the ledger. You do hope for more than organizational filler/back-up catcher with your second round pick, but, oh well.

    1. You’d certainly like a little more upside with this pick, but maybe they see something in the swing that can be developed. Because he will stick at catcher, if the hit or power tools could just tick up to above average, he would be a very good prospect.

      1. 265 hitting as a sophomore scares me, he improves his junior year, but do you take a one year improve hitter., not a good defensive catcher as your second round pick?? this smells like a cheap sign to me.

        1. He raked in last fall’s Cape Cod league as well, probably the hardest league to hit in any college draftee will have experienced, so the bat has a bit more pedigree than you are giving credit for.

          1. TY. I can only go after what i read. nothing on cape cod league in the bio. that I have read.

          2. It’s very hard to do well in the Cape Cod league – it’s the place where the aluminum bat pretenders go to die and where the real hitters shine. That’s a very helpful factoid.

  2. It seems that the general school of thought before the draft was that Knapp should be sought after in the 3rd round and after. Would have perfered to see them go after Bobby Wahl. Early drafts had him going in the top 10 but fell off. Scouts think he could be a reliever but I saw where he has been pitching with an injury to his pitching hand that hasn’t had the chance to heal. He’d be a steal if we land him next.

  3. Not exactly thrilled with either pick, not that there were many better options available for the first pick but to be honest, I wanted a 3/4 hitter with the first pick, and based on the scouting and projection for Crawford, even if he reaches his ceiling, he’s still likely to be a 2/7 hitter, not enough for your #16 overall pick on an offensively challenged team AND system. The second pick is a cheap sign.

  4. Does anyone have an idea of what college commitments the Phils could attempt to buy out with the savings from this pick?

    1. Crawford is a 1st round position player. The Phillies won’t have to go over slot to sign him. He’s not committed to Stanford or Vanderbilt. Not many position players believe they can improve their draft position by going to college, especially when they are drafted in the middle of the 1st.

      1. “Not many position players believe they can improve their draft position by going to college”

        We could still keep our fingers crossed

        1. So you want Crawford to spurn the Phillies? You don’t want to improve the farm system?

  5. Not impressed with either pick , Rube said he wanted a BAT @ 16 ? , he got a good fielder with average speed that needs work on his swing . The catcher has average written all over him . No power. Why not take a HS pitcher that throws 95 and roll the dice rather than a player who will never make the majors, ? Terrible pick

    1. How do you know that Crawford will never make the majors? Do you have information that no one else has like a Gray’s Sports Almanac?

      1. Sigh….it’s posts like Dom’s that remind me why I don’t generally visit this site on draft days

    2. I agree with you. Both picks look just average to me. I would have loved to grab someone like Hunter Harvey. It wouldn’t take much to sign and he has frontline starter written on him.

  6. They have knapp on baseball america as inf. I think he might move to 1b or of.

    Just a thought.

  7. I find it hilarious that the posters on this site ripped the Cozens pick last year but now the team takes a safer pick in the 2nd round, and they’re unhappy with that. Boggles the mind.

    1. You know there is a difference between a safe pick, a risky one, an overdraft, and best player available.

        1. If Knapp is rated by the major baseball publications in the 50-70 range, how in the hell is this an overdraft?

  8. My guess is that both Crawford and Knapp sign for exactly slot. The Phillies arent very creative. They only shaved a little last year and that was only with college seniors signed between Rounds 4-10. Knapp was 70 per BA, 65 per MLB and 56 per Keith Law. Not much of a reach.

    1. What you’re saying doesn’t matter. People on this board think he’s an overdraft. They don’t care that the experts ranked him near where the Phillies grabbed him. They will just ignore the information so they can be angry about something they don’t understand.

  9. Phil Ervin would have been a good choice at 16. Instead the Reds just solidified their OF even more,

  10. Squire said it. Its not like 2nd round pick was considered a slouch. Plus, he was the catcher on a team that moved to the college WS. From Baseball America : 2 catchers drafted before him and rated higher – at 14 and 21; next 2 best catchers (incl Denny) were high schoolers. They may have wanted another Rupp in the pipeline.

    1. The Phillies scouts seldom miss on evaluation of defensive tools. Expect our first two picks to stick at the positions for which they were drafted.

  11. Figures. They take a college player high up, and it’s a reach.

    Meanwhile, Yankees take Jagielo and Judge, who will make an impact soon.

    1. I’ve copied and pasted this from Squire’s post above: “Knapp was 70 per BA, 65 per MLB and 56 per Keith Law. Not much of a reach.”

    2. The guy wasn’t a reach. He’s basically the 65th best player, being picked at 53. If they wind up signing him for less than slot, which I think they will, It is a very smart pick.

  12. I mentioned this on another thread, but I texted back and forth with a buddy of mine that is an NL scout here in the state of Texas. He liked the Knapp pick. He’d have told me if he hated it.

  13. For an organization that lacks power Crawford is a bad pick. He doesn’t project to more than a 250-260 5-10home run guy at the major level. Why bother you already have a superior defensive shortstop in Galvis waiting in the wings. You have Quinn. This just doesn’t make much sense to me. I don’t care it will be 3-5 years before he is here, Galvis is only 23 and Quinn is even younger. For a team that needs power there were better choices. I think it was lazy scouting on the Phillies part they seem to keep going to the same area’s to draft folks.

    1. LOL. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Stop before you hurt yourself. Again, you draft the best player available. To do otherwise is utter lunacy. This is not football or basketball.

  14. There is no draft in sports that offers better than 50-50 on almost any prospect.

    In the industry I work in, a five-star football prospect translates to being drafted at a 1: 1.8 rate, which is actually pretty incredible when you consider that these forces in play are the following:

    Raw talent vs injuries, arrests, women, bad luck, academics (in college), maturity issues, bad luck and on and on and on.

    Both players were even values at worst, if you go based on drat rankings, which means there wasn’t a serious reach in the first two picks. If they stayed true to the board, I’m ok with that. I have to trust my baseball people.

    I now the odds are against every guy they select, so it’s a bit of a unfair position to show up the day after the draft and emphatically take a position that our brains tell is might be likely. Every prospect is a bet, a game in Vegas of sorts. Nothing I witnessed last night tells me that they dd something outlandish. They took arguably the best middle infielder in the draft and they took a top five catcher

    Not all needs in a draft can be filled in two picks, so nitpicking the needs for power or something else when the value might not have been the same, while the risks remains exactly the same is a poor approach IMO.

    1. Agreed. I have no problems being critical of the Phillies approach in the draft if I believe it is warranted, but I find it hard to be critical of the first 2 picks. Based on who was available when the Phillies picked, I think their selections make sense and were decent value…especially Crawford.

      For an organization that was incredibly bare at MI, 3B, and C just 24 months ago, the Phillies have done a pretty good job at trying to restock those positions.

    1. No, it was a good post. We have seen in the past that some of the guys our scouts really liked with the early picks fell outside the external rankings for those draft slots. Now we have two guys whom the scouts really like whom the outside raters say aren’t a reach. Both rank just about where we pick them and undoubtedly our scouts rated them better than the consensus rankings. You can’t reach for a player like a power OF. There were good power OFs in the draft, but they were gone. What remained were iffy power OF. In Greene and Cozens we definitely picked guys to be power OFs. One of them may still work out. Dom Brown is currently the best young power hitter in baseball and he is ours. Ruf in a real off year but has undeniable power. Franco has power. All the scouts say Joseph has power. It is just too early to know about guys like Tocci and Pujols. We’ve done our share of drafting for the power tool in recent years. Hewitt was supposed to be all about raw power. The best approach is to take the guys your scouts think are the best prospects and let the organizational needs sort themselves out over time. It is a lot easier to acquire a corner OF in FA or trade than a SS or a catcher.

      1. “It is a lot easier to acquire a corner OF in FA or trade than a SS or a catcher.” – allentown1


      2. Completely agree, when in doubt you pick an up the middle guy (SS, C, or CF, 2B you pick SS) because you don’t require the hit tool to be perfect. If you draft a corner OF or 1B they have to mash all the way, the bat has to special. This isn’t to say that it isn’t good to draft no hit all defense guys. But when a guys fall back position is 2B, 3B or RF and not 1B/DH there is a lot more room for developmental growth.

        There are always at least platoon guys who can hit. Go look at the deals given out to SSs recently. The Phillies gave up two assets for Revere because it is hard at times to find a guy who can legitimately play CF. Once the special bats are gone you are better off taking high risk/upside guys later than reaching for an average corner bat because you want a hitter. So you take the guys that you know have a major league future because of their defensive profile.

        1. Special bats are critical though. Agreed that at 16 this year with (Smith), Peterson, Renfroe gone, the next guys had risk: Jaigelo, Judge, (Ervin is speed guy) from college side and McKinney might be good HS guy but possible overdraft.

          I do hope they go for upside power but of course at this point it will definitely come with a poor hit tool risk (otherwise they’d be a top pick!). Nearly MLB guys like Rizzotti, Overbeck, Ruf and similarly Murphy, Duffy, Serritella are reasonable picks lower in draft with very small chance to make the show as hitters only. At least they fit a role through the minors as quality bats in the middle of the lineup.

      3. Great post. This should be required reading material for every poster commenting on the draft.

        1. I agree. There is a real lack of understanding regarding the basics of a baseball draft by some posters on here today.

  15. Hard to believe, Harry, that Ward was the best player available at the second round pick. Looking forward to our two 3rd round picks. Looking for pitching.

  16. So many people who are commenting here are out of their minds in terms of the appropriate draft philosophy. After you get past the first 10-12 picks, the hit/miss ratio on picks, even in the first round, is extraordinarily high on the “miss” side – and that percentage increases dramatically as each subsequent round passes. The general goal should be to get the best player possible with each pick (or more to the point, now that the draft money alotment has affected the process, to get the best overall group of players possible).

    If you want confirmation of this fact, get on the draft page in baseball reference and start with any draft dated 2006 or earlier (so that the draft has roughly played out already) and click round by round and what you will see is shocking. After the first 10 or 15 picks, the “hits” become very random and much more infrequent. By the second round, hits on good players (not AAAA guys or utility players – valuable players) are not that common. By the third and fourth rounds, the success rate drops to very low rates.

    Let’s take, for example, the second round of the 2006 draft. How many stars have emerged from that round? How about none. There are three good to very good players – Justin Masterson, Trevor Cahill and Jon Jay (none taken early in that round, mind you), and two sort of okay players – Chris Tillman and Brett Anderson. Folks, that’s it and that’s not all that uncommon. The “hit” ratio is very low, so you don’t get too fancy and draft for need because when you do, you end up with guys like Drew Carpenter (what were they thinking???). You draft the player you think will be the best and most valuable major league player and then you wait for the next round when you will do the precisely same thing. If you draft for need, you end up becoming the 1966 Mets, who passed on future superstar Reggie Jackson to pick a catcher, you know, a guy they could build the franchise around. His name? Steve Chilcott. Is this making sense to the uninitiated now?

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