John Ryan Murphy
John Ryan Murphy
28-Year-Old CatcherC
Pittsburgh Pirates
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Murphy received big-league at-bats for the seventh straight season in 2019, but, as usual, he did very little with them. In 69 plate appearances for the Diamondbacks and one more for the Braves, he hit just .175/.246/.413 while striking out at a 40.0% clip. The sample was small, but his 66 wRC+ was right in line with his career mark of 65. He fits best as a depth option in the minor leagues and is unlikely to suddenly become more than that in his age-29 season. He does at least have decent framing numbers and has hit a respectable 13 homers in 293 plate appearances over the last two seasons, so it's not impossible to envision him winning a backup job. He'll have to earn far more at-bats than expected if he's to even have deep-league value, though, something which will be hard to do with his career .219/.265/.357 slash line. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a minor-league contract with the Pirates in January of 2020.
All or nothing this spring
CPittsburgh Pirates  NRI
March 22, 2020
Murphy went 3-for-19 with three home runs during Grapefruit League action.
ANALYSIS
Along with Luke Maile and Andrew Susac, Murphy is vying for the backup role to starting catcher Jacob Stallings. While the non-roster invitee could provide some pop if he wins the job, he's posted a career 39:193 BB:K while slashing .219/.265/.357 in parts of seven major-league seasons. Maile may hold the inside track for the job, as he has a history with new GM Ben Cherington from their time in Toronto. Maile is also already on the 40-man roster. In any case, Murphy could start the 2020 campaign at Triple-A, with a real shot of seeing action in Pittsburgh sometime during the summer.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Minor League Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
8
1
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
8
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+16%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+5%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+23%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
-100%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .678 128 13 7 15 0 .202 .258 .420
Since 2017vs Right .583 172 15 6 17 0 .189 .231 .352
2019vs Left .639 27 4 2 3 0 .125 .222 .417
2019vs Right .672 43 5 2 4 0 .205 .262 .410
2018vs Left .688 101 9 5 12 0 .221 .267 .421
2018vs Right .561 122 10 4 12 0 .186 .225 .336
2017vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Right .429 7 0 0 1 0 .143 .143 .286
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+7%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+32%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+23%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
-100%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .645 153 13 5 13 0 .224 .260 .385
Since 2017Away .602 147 15 8 19 0 .163 .224 .378
2019Home .552 27 2 1 2 0 .160 .192 .360
2019Away .726 43 7 3 5 0 .184 .279 .447
2018Home .678 119 11 4 10 0 .243 .282 .396
2018Away .552 104 8 5 14 0 .155 .202 .351
2017Home .429 7 0 0 1 0 .143 .143 .286
2017Away .000 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
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Stat Review
How does John Ryan Murphy compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.21
 
BB Rate
8.6%
 
K Rate
40.0%
 
BABIP
.226
 
ISO
.238
 
AVG
.175
 
OBP
.246
 
SLG
.413
 
OPS
.659
 
wOBA
.289
 
Exit Velocity
87.9 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
36.1%
 
Barrels/PA
5.7%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
Arizona rotated three catchers throughout last season, with Murphy, Jeff Mathis and Alex Avila all starting between 44 and 61 games. Murphy's .202 batting average, .375 slugging percentage and nine homers all led the group. After spending parts of six seasons in the big leagues, Murphy has now compiled 604 plate appearances and a .224/.267/.351 slash line with 14 homers. That's acceptable for a backup catcher given the low offensive bar at the position, but it makes for an unexciting fantasy option even if the Diamondbacks decide to give him a larger role this year (something his performances certainly haven't warranted). Murphy did at least grade out well as a pitch framer, which could lead to more starts, but it would take both increased playing time and a performance improvement for him to gain fantasy relevance.
Murphy was acquired by Arizona in a July deal with Minnesota, and he didn't get a look with the big club until rosters expanded in September. His OPS at Triple-A jumped nearly 100 points with the move into the Pacific Coast League, but a .724 OPS is still nothing to write home about from a 26-year-old at that level. Despite being a second-round pick of the Yankees in 2009, Murphy has been unable to post an OPS of .800 or better at any stop above High-A. He may get an opportunity to compete for a spot on the Opening Day roster in spring training, but the D-backs may be willing to expose him to waivers in order to send him back to Triple-A Reno as their No. 3 catcher. Jeff Mathis has one year remaining on his contract, and the team may want to find a more established option to serve as the starter behind the plate following the departure of Chris Iannetta to Colorado.
On the heels of a .277/.327/.406 showing in 67 games with the Yankees in 2015, Murphy had some buzz as a sleeper at the catcher position coming into 2016 after the Twins acquired him to push Kurt Suzuki for the starting job. It did not materialize, however, he got off to a dismal 3-for-40 start and was quickly demoted to Triple-A Rochester. He didn't fare much better in the minors as he hit just three home runs with a .609 OPS. Murphy then had just a .594 OPS in a September callup, culminating a lost season. Murphy showed some power in 2014, so he could still offer upside as a backup, but his future with the Twins is uncertain and he may just provide depth at Triple-A. The team's signing of Jason Castro in free agency makes a backup role Murphy's short-term ceiling.
Murphy was traded to Minnesota in the offseason for Aaron Hicks and will compete with Kurt Suzuki to be the starting catcher for the Twins. The 24-year-old provided solid offense last season in a limited role for the Yankees, slashing .277/.327/.406 with three homers and was a capable backup for Brian McCann behind the plate. The righty saw a lot of starts against left-handed pitching but was actually better against righties last season, posting a .289/.341/.355 line in 86 plate appearances. If he doesn't win the starting job outright, he could split time with the fellow right-handed hitting Suzuki as a result. It may not be long before Murphy gets the bulk of playing time as the Twins likely view him as their catcher of the future.
Called upon to fill the backup role after Francisco Cervelli went down with a hamstring injury in mid-April, Murphy hit .286/.308/.365 with one homer in 65 plate appearances before heading back down upon Cervelli's return in June. During his time with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2014, Murphy slashed just .246/.292/.397 with six homers, 28 RBI and 13:42 BB:K in 51 games (196 PA), and while certainly not great, the Yankees' decision to trade Cervelli to Pittsburgh in the offseason speaks to the confidence they have in their catching depth. Brian McCann still has four years remaining on his contract and prospect Gary Sanchez is likely the long-term future at the position, but the team also has Murphy and Austin Romine to fall back on. Murphy seems like the favorite for the backup job in 2015 over Romine, but neither player would have much fantasy utility if McCann got hurt.
Murphy had a decent year across Double-A and Triple-A in 2013, hitting .269 with 12 homers and a .773 OPS. Murphy has a pretty good eye at the plate, and seems much more likely to stick behind that plate than fellow prospect Gary Sanchez. The addition of Brian McCann is free agency has left the Yankees with a very crowded situation at the position, which does not bode well for Murphy's chances of sticking around in New York even after he's deemed ready to see time at the big league level in the next season or two.
More Fantasy News
Invited to Pirates' camp
CPittsburgh Pirates  NRI
January 10, 2020
Murphy signed with the Pirates as a non-roster invitee Friday, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
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Fails to ink deal with Atlanta
CAtlanta Braves  NRI
December 2, 2019
Murphy was non-tendered by the Braves on Monday.
ANALYSIS
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Joins big-league club
CAtlanta Braves  NRI
September 17, 2019
Murphy had his contract selected by the Braves on Tuesday.
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Traded to Atlanta
CAtlanta Braves  NRI
July 31, 2019
Murphy was sent from Arizona to Atlanta in exchange for cash considerations Wednesday, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports.
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Heading to Triple-A
CArizona Diamondbacks  NRI
June 1, 2019
Murphy cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Reno on Saturday.
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