It was just a few months ago since the defining moment…so far…of John Ryan Murphy‘s young career. The operative words being so far. Murphy will forever go down as the last player to catch a pitch from the great Mariano Rivera. But the young catcher does not want his legacy to end there.
After a solid 2013 season, split between Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Murphy earned himself a September call-up to the Bronx. As Yankee fans, it seemed like we were watching a player that we would soon be seeing in the Bronx for long time.
That all changed when the Yankees brought in free agent catcher, Brian McCann. Now, young catchers like Murphy, Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez are blocked for the forseeable future. That might discourage some young players. But not Murphy. he knows what he has to do to get back to the highest level. He can’t focus on the fact that he will be splitting catching duties at Triple-A with Romine. “We’re both just here,” Romine said. “I’m assuming we’re both going to catch a little bit. We’re both going to DH a little bit. We’re both just looking forward to playing.”
Looking forward to playing goes along with looking forward to improving. Murphy looks to improve on his 2013 campaign where he his .269 with 12 homers and 46 RBI. If he can continue to improve on the field, he will force the Yankees’ hand sooner than later.
For Murphy, its more than just on-field improvement. “I want to keep developing my leadership,” Murphy said. “I want to keep working with the pitching staff and adapting to different personalities.” He wants to make it back to the Yankees, and will use any angle to improve and show he belongs.
If nothing else, John Ryan Murphy is focused. Focused on the ultimate goal, which is to be a Yankee.