With Wilin Rosario the only catcher on their major league roster, the Colorado Rockies will be in search of more depth behind the plate this Spring Training. The most likely candidate is minor league prospect Tom Murphy.
A New York native and graduate of the University of Buffalo, the 22-year old Murphy possesses huge upside. Defensively, Murphy is heralded as a much better pitch receiver than Rosario, who has been largely regarded as an offensively-minded catcher, not bringing much more than the average to the table in terms of his defensive skills. Rosario, who himself is only 24, batted .292 last year with 21 HRs and 79 RBIs.
It is no secret that offense is the Rockies’ forte; pitching and defense are secondary and tertiary concerns, in which order is anyone’s guess. Murphy could provide some needed defensive bolstering behind the plate, and he shows the potential to develop into a true game manager — and that is to say nothing of his offensive prowess.
He may be on the fast track to the big leagues, having hit a combined .289 with 22 HRs and 83 RBIs in 100 games between single-A Asheville and double-A Tulsa last year. He has the sort of power that should have the Rockies coaching staff licking their chops, and with some major league training, Murphy could quickly find himself hitting 25-plus home runs a year at a position where offensive production is not necessarily the standard.
Look for Murphy to make some noise this spring. There is an outside chance he could make the big league roster to start the year. He’ll most likely begin the season with Tulsa, but it shouldn’t be long before he receives a permanent call-up for the Rockies.