After the Pirates decided to reassign both Michael Perez and Jamie Ritchie to minor league camp, the team was on the hunt for a backup catcher behind Roberto Perez. According to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Pirates are signing Andrew Knapp.
Knapp was cut from the Reds roster on Sunday and was quickly picked up by Pittsburgh. Knapp was hitless in eight spring at-bats with Cincinnati and drew a pair of walks. The 30-year-old is is a switch hitter, and was a second round pick of the Phillies back in 2013. He was ranked as the 96th-best prospect by Baseball America prior to the 2016 season.
Knapp has spent all five of his big league seasons with the Phillies. For his career, Knapp carries a slash of .214/.314/.322 with 13 home runs and 62 RBIs in 309 career games. He does have an impressive career walk rate of 11.9%. His best year came in 2020 when he posted an OPS of .849 in 33 games.
Knapp’s defense hasn’t graded highly, as he’s responsible for a -30 defensive runs saved mark throughout his career. He’s caught 19% of attempted base stealers. When it comes to pitch framing, it’s a bit of a mixed bag for Knapp who has ranged anywhere from well above average to well below average. In addition to catcher, he’s occasionally gotten some work at first base and has made an appearance at both second base and on the mound.
Knapp will need to be added to the 40-man roster and the 28-man roster prior to Thursday’s opener in St. Louis.