If you happen to run into Dodgers catching prospect Jack Murphy during spring training at Camelback Ranch, you will immediately notice one thing about him – he is there to play baseball. No silliness, no clubhouse horseplay, no slacking off, just pure 100 percent give-it-all-you’ve-got baseball.
Oh sure, spend a few minutes talking with the soft-spoken soon-to-be 28-year-old Sarasota, Florida native and you quickly realize that he is extremely polite and a great guy, but make no mistake about it, he is taking his non-roster invitation to Dodgers major league spring training camp very seriously.
Murphy was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 31st round of the 2009 MLB First Year Player Draft out of Princeton University. And while being the 940th overall player selected may not come with all the glitz and glamour enjoyed by lower round draft picks, Murphy has never let that discourage him – not for one second. In fact, in addition to his seven seasons in the Blue Jays minor league system – up to and including one season with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons – he played three seasons of winter ball with the Canberra Cavalry of the Australian Baseball League, including their 2013 Australian Championship season.
But after spending seven professional seasons with one team, what was it like to be traded to the Dodgers this past off-season?
“Toronto was pretty laid-back, kind of like it is here,” Murphy said. “It’s the same game, the same process – getting the pitchers ready – but I doubt it’ll be a whole lot different. Baseball’s a small world, a lot of places are run similarly, but it’s got great energy here and I’m just really happy to be here.”
Although coming to a new team after so many years with one organization undoubtedly has its challenges, it also has its rewards – such as working with Dodgers World Series Champion catcher and series co-MVP Steve Yeager and longtime Dodgers catching coordinator Travis Barbary.
“It was awesome. I got to come down here [to Camelback Ranch] in September when I got traded and I was here a month working with them,” said Murphy. “It was awesome … a ton of knowledge and it’s good because I’ve only been one other place, so it’s good to hear new, fresh ideas. I needed that, I needed a change and I’m just happy that I’m out here and to be able to work with those guys.”
When you’ve been around as long as Murphy has, there are no delusions of grandeur. He is well aware of the catching depth within the Dodgers organization. But he is also well aware that things can change very quickly and he maintains a very positive attitude.
“That stuff can change with a foul ball,” Murphy said. “It’s way too early and I don’t really concern myself with that. I just try to go out there and play and let it fall where it will. All I can do is get ready, wait for my opportunity, wherever that comes.”
There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that when Jack Murphy’s opportunity does come, he will be ready.
…and he’ll be as focused as ever.