John Ryan Murphy
John Ryan Murphy
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 195 lb.
- School Princeton University
- High School The Pendleton School
- Debut September 2, 2013
John Ryan Murphy made his major league debut in 2013.
Murphy was the second-team high school All-American catcher in 2009 according to Baseball America, behind Bryce Harper. The New York Yankees took him 76th overall in the 2009 amateur draft; the pick was compensation for failing to sign Scott Bittle the year before. He was New York's second selection, following Slade Heathcott. He was signed by scouts Jeff Deardorff and Brian Barber for a bonus of $1.5 million, forgoing a scholarship to the University of Miami. He made his pro debut that summer, getting into just 9 games for the GCL Yankees (11 for 33, 2 BB, HR, 3 BB). Murphy hit .255/.327/.376 for the 2010 Charleston RiverDogs, fielding .973 with 13 passed balls in 53 games and throwing out 23% of attempted base-stealers. He did come up with a big day August 13th against the Hickory Crawdads, with a grand slam, a three-run homer and two more RBI to fall one RBI shy of the South Atlantic League single-game record.
Backing up fellow prospect Gary Sanchez for Charleston in 2011, he fared better (.297/.343/.457 in 63 G) and moved up to the Tampa Yankees (.259/.270/.365 in 23 G). He hit 29 doubles in 341 at-bats that year. In 2012, he played for Tampa (.257/.322/.374 in 67 G) and the Trenton Thunder (.231/.306/.408 in 43 G). He had 11 errors, 13 passed balls and threw out 32% of attempted base-stealers. He was 6 for 26 with two home runs and four RBI for Trenton in the playoffs.
In 2013, J.R. opened with Trenton (.268/.352/.421 in 49 G), then moved up to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (.270/.342/.430 in 59 G). He hit 29 doubles and 12 home runs. He was a September call-up to the majors. In his big league debut on September 2nd, he pinch-hit for Robinson Cano in the bottom of the 8th of a 9-1 blowout of the Chicago White Sox. He singled off David Purcey then exited the game in the top of the 9th. He hit .154/.185/.192 in 16 games in his first taste of the majors. He started the 2014 season back in the minors (5 for 26, 3 2B for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre) but was soon called up to New York to back up newly signed Brian McCann when Francisco Cervelli went on the disabled list. He hit his first career home run on April 26th, connecting off Hector Santiago of the Los Angeles Angels in the 5th inning, after having hit a two-run single in the 2nd. His offensive heroics were key to a 4-3 win. He ended plying 32 games for the Yanks, with a .284 average, 1 homer and 9 RBIs.
In 2015, John Ryan began the season as the main back-up for starting catcher Brian McCann, following Cervelli's trade in the off-season. On July 25th, his first homer of the season was a dramatic one against the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees had fallen into an early 5-0 hole, but three homers by Alex Rodriguez, including a solo shot in the 9t had tied the score. Facing All-Star closer Glen Perkins later that inning, he hit a three-run shot that gave the Yankees an 8-5 win. He played 67 games for the Yankees, hitting .277 with 3 homers and 14 RBIs and showing that he was ready to step into a starting job. However, this was not to come with the Yankees, with McCann signed to a long-term contract and with another young catcher waiting in the wings in Gary Sanchez. As a result, on November 11th, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins in return for OF Aaron Hicks.
Murphy's stay with the Twins was an unhappy one. Given a chance to earn the starting job at the start of 2016, he hit just .146 in 26 games and was sent down to the minors. With Rochester, he hit .236 in 83 games, with 3 homers and 39 RBIs. In 2017, he did not play for Minnesota, hitting .222 in 59 games for Rochester. On July 27th, the Twins gave up on him, trading him to the Arizona Diamondbacks for P Gabriel Moya. He played 5 games for Arizona, going 1 for 7 at the plate. In 2018, he spent the entire season with Arizona and played 87 games, hitting .202 with 9 homers and 24 RBIs while sharing catching duties with Alex Avila and Jeff Mathis. He was again part of a catching trio at the start of 2019, but on March 30th, he made his pitching debut. The D-backs and the Los Angeles Dodgers were coming off a 13-inning marathon the previous night, and when the Dodgers took a large lead, he was sent to the mound in the 7th. He allowed 7 runs, including homers by Cody Bellinger and Austin Barnes in 2 innings as Arizona lost the game, 18-5. The Dodgers also used a position player on the mound in the game, also to save a depleted bullpen, as Russell Martin pitched a perfect 9th inning to close out the game. he hit only .177 in 25 games for Arizona and on July 31st, he was purchased by the Atlanta Braves. He appeared in only one game with them, going 0 for 1. In the minors, he played 36 games for the Reno Aces, the D-Backs' AAA affiliate, and 14 for the Gwinnett Stripers, the Braves' top farm team.
On January 10, 2020, he signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pittsburgh was looking for catching depth after letting Elias Diaz go after a disappointing 2019; they had Jacob Stallings returning and had picked up Luke Maile; Maile, Stallings and Murphy all had strong defensive statistics but poor offensive profiles (though Stallings had hit surprisingly well in '19).
Sources include 2013 Yankees Media Guide