Murphy improving behind the plate, Sanchez not so much


J.J Cooper had a little something about Gary Sanchez and J.R. Murphy today, writing about their defense behind the plate. You need a Baseball America subscription to read the whole article, but the important thing is that Sanchez’s struggles (league leading 13 passed balls in just 19 games at catcher) seem to have more to do with focus than physical tools. “He often will block a difficult breaking ball in the dirt, then clank a well-placed fastball on the corner off his mitt that rolls to the backstop,” says Cooper, who also spoke to a scout that said Sanchez has “bad form” and stabs at the ball. Focus can be fixed, lacking the tools to catch can’t. Remember, the kid is still seven months away from his 19th birthday.

Murphy, on the other hand, has shown “significant improvement as a backstop” and “enough diligence and desire to catch [that] the organization gave him another shot.” The Yankees had him work out at third base and in the outfield during Instructional League last year, and he still plays there on occasion now. “Murphy has shown significant improvement in his receiving and his throwing, to the point where he is clearly more advanced on defense than Sanchez is right now,” says Cooper.

Categories : Asides, Minors


  1. I thought Sanchez turned 18 in December 2010?

  2. Mike Myers says:

    Do people think JR hit in the Majors like everyone thinks Sanchez can?

  3. RalphieD says:

    does this have anything to do with why he hasnt played in (after today) 3 straight games?

  4. mike c says:

    sanchez has had a rough year in general it seems

  5. Samuel says:

    Sanchez is a head case with a less than stellar attitude to match. Unless he works on his hitting to change certain flaws (long swing, slight hitch) upper level pithcing will eat him up.

    He also doesn’t want to work hard at improving his game.

    That is a bad combination.

  6. Phil says:

    Having both these kids at this level is a REAL nice problem to have. You’ve gotta hope that Murphy’s solid work ethic & maturity rubs off on the Sanchez kid because if it does, in the long run it will only make Sanchez the great player he should become. I really think both of these kids have a great shot at not only playing in the Bronx, but becoming fixtures here for a long time to come.

  7. Reggie C. says:

    Rough night for the farm system.

    Cooper’s write-up doesnt bode well for Sanchez. If JR Murphy’s shown that much improvement at catcher, it undoubtedly behooves the organization to keep Murphy there. Clearly Murphy’s showing he’s got enough bat to make him an enticing catching prospect.

    I hope Gary Sanchez can snag fly balls.

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