Height/Weight: 6’1”/225 lbs
At 6’1” and 225 pounds, Murphy is one of the top catchers in the 2012 draft class, as he possesses at least average tools across the board—something that’s seldom seen in catchers.
A right-handed hitter, he has a direct bat path and excellent hand-eye coordination that generates plus raw power, especially to his pull side. It’s doubtful that Murphy will ever hit for a decent average, as there’s a fair amount of swing-and-miss in his game caused by an overaggressive approach. And when he’s not swinging the bat well, he tends to press at the plate and extend his own slumps.
Murphy’s a slightly above-average defensive catcher, with his strong arm grading out as a plus tool. Since the start of the 2011 season, he’s greatly improved his blocking and receiving skills, though he will occasionally have bouts of inconsistency with both. However, his athleticism and overall skill set behind the plate leaves room for some projection.
He also possesses above-average speed for a catcher, having run anywhere from 6.75 to 6.8 seconds in the 60-yard dash (depending on who you ask). Although he’ll remain behind the plate for the time being, Murphy’s speed, arm and power also fits in right field, although such a transition likely won’t occur for several years.
Assuming that he’s developed as a catcher, Murphy has the potential to reach the major leagues by late 2014. While his raw power has outweighed his weaknesses behind the plate at the collegiate level, he’ll have to make significant strides in his defense before ascending to the major leagues.