California catcher Andrew Knapp has been selected a first-team Preseason All-American by Baseball America, it was announced today by the national baseball publication.
Knapp – slated to start behind the dish this season for the Bears -- was outstanding this past summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League for the Chatham Anglers, batting .293 with 13 doubles, eight home runs and 29 RBI in 40 games.
He becomes the program's first, first-team Preseason All-American since current Chicago Cubs outfielder Brett Jackson -- who was in attendance at October's Alumni Game at Evans Diamond -- earned the honor in 2009.
Knapp led the Northwoods League in hitting in 2011, batting .500 with five home runs and 33 RBI. Baseball America annually polls major league scouting directors to vote on the team and make their selections based on performance, talent and professional potential. In the past, the preseason All-America team has been a predictor both of the first round of the draft and of team success. Jackson was a first round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs following the 2009 college season.
Knapp is the son of former Cal catcher Mike Knapp, who was a standout for the Bears in 1985 and 1986, and at the Alumni Game on Oct. 21, the father-son combination combined for four hits and three RBI, as the current Golden Bears beat the alumni, 5-3.
In addition, Aaron Knapp -- Mike's younger son -- is a left-handed hitting outfielder from Granite Bay (Calif.), who will be joining the program in the fall of 2013 as a member of Cal baseball's 2012 signing class.
Last season, Knapp was invaluable as starting first baseman Devon Rodriguez went down with a knee injury, playing much of the year at first base, while also spelling Chicago Cubs draft pick Chadd Krist behind the dish at times, and playing the outfield. Knapp hit .265 in 54 games with 16 doubles, five home runs and 26 RBI. As a freshman in 2011, he had the game-winning pinch hit in a 6-5 come-from-behind win over Utah in the second game of a doubleheader during his first collegiate day at Evans Diamond.
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