Top 100 Split Decisions: Knapp vs. Murphy vs. Stephenson

We had some debates in our discussions to reach a consensus for the Top 100 Prospects. In a desire for transparency, we give you some of the tougher decisions and our rationale for the selection.

Andrew Knapp (96) vs. Tom Murphy (97) vs. Tyler Stephenson (98)

John Manuel: Stephenson fits a very risky demographic as a high school catcher picked in the first round. He’s got the highest ceiling here, but I’m comfortable being conservative with his ranking. Knapp has loud offensive tools and a good track record for having a feel for hitting. We’ll see whether or not he’ll be good enough defensively, but I have faith in the reports that give him average potential. Murphy had an injury-plagued year last year but he has shown the tools to be a starter if not a starter. His grinder makeup gives me another reason to like him.

J.J. Cooper: These are three very different catchers. Stephenson is the long way away, high ceiling all-around catcher. Murphy is the very reliable big league ready catcher with a solid but unspectacular upside. Knapp is the breakout hitter in 2015 who needs to prove his defense is up to the task. I like having all three of them ranked. The funny thing for me is I think Stephenson has the biggest ceiling and Murphy has the highest floor, but Knapp is ranked highest. It’s the combination of floor and ceiling that leads Knapp to a ever-so-slightly higher ranking.

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