Philadelphia Phillies backup catcher Andrew Knapp is just that: The quintessential backup. Even more so when considering that Knapp plays behind J.T. Realmuto, one of the best catchers in the sport.
However, Knapp's 2021 season is one he would probably like to forget. He is a career .214 hitter, but that was dragged down a bit this season when he hit just .152 over 159 plate appearances.
His woeful performance at the plate this season prompted many to begin discussing his future on the team. Especially after prospect Rafael Marchan was called up and proved that, after some time learning the ropes, that he could serviceably fulfill the backup role.
However, Knapp's relationship with the Phillies pitching staff and his ability to call games is where his value lies. Aside from a good rookie season and an appreciable shortened season in 2020, Knapp has never really been known to be a hitter. His numbers over the 60-game MLB season were most likely his ceiling.
His 2021 was exceptionally dreadful and should be considered an outlier. The catcher dealt with COVID-19, entered the concussion protocol, and went on paternity leave all in relative short succession.
So, one could argue that Knapp was never given enough time to sustain some momentum, particularly down the stretch, but even that's being generous. Knapp's arbitration number remains to be seen, but after his horrendous year at the plate and Marchan waiting in the wings, it is difficult to see Knapp returning in 2022.
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