This offseason, the New York Yankees made their first big splash signing free agent catcher Brian McCann. He, a seven time All-Star, will secure the starting catcher position that last year which was a major question mark for the Yankees. New York had four catchers start for it last year, none of which worked out.
This Spring Training, the Yankees will be searching for their backup catcher. This role will be vital to the teams success as McCann is currently slotted as the team’s backup first baseman as well, so he will need a break from behind the dish. J.R. Murphy is one of the hopeful catching prospects for the Yankees backup job. Murphy had a cup of tea in the bigs last year. In 16 games, J.R hit just .154, and drove in just one run.
The 22-year-old Murphy did not impress in his brief stint last season, and he is up against a ton of competition in Spring Training this year. Austin Romine, who came on strong toward the end of last season, is in all likelihood going to compete with the man who proved that steroids don’t always work, Francisco Cervelli to backup McCann.
Murphy has a lot of time to improve, but his path back to the bigs will be a tough one in New York. The Yankees’ No. 1 prospect is Gary Sanchez. Unlucky for Murphy, Sanchez is also a catcher and is likely going to get a call up at some point this season.
Murphy is a below-average bat with an above-average arm from behind the plate. However, it will likely take more than a strong arm to get Murphy back on the big league roster this season. One thing’s for sure, this youngster will be competing his tail off in camp this spring. Also, Murphy got to catch for Mariano Rivera. That alone proves he made the right career choice.