Colorado Rockies: Looking at 3 Position Battles in the Spring
Catcher: Tony Wolters and Tom Murphy
The Colorado Rockies were expected by many to address the catcher position through trade or free agency. The team did not make any major changes behind the plate, but instead voiced a sense of confidence in the two young catchers on the roster.
Tony Wolters took over last season as the team’s primary catcher after Nick Hundley suffered an injury late in the year. Wolters’ success was a bit of a surprise, as he came to the team as an offseason waiver claim with minimal catching experience. After spending a few years in Cleveland as a middle infielder, Wolters was converted to a catcher and later released by the Indians.
Tom Murphy has been hyped as one of the top prospects in the Rockies system for a while, but has yet to see serious playing time at the big league level. This year he will be given the chance to split time behind the plate, but will ultimately look to supplant Wolters as the full-time starter.
Both players bring different strengths to the lineup, which makes the decision even harder to decide on a full-time catcher. The Rockies, as well as many other clubs, often use two catchers throughout the course of a season. This position battle is a little different than normal.
Tony Wolters is an ultimate team player and fan-favorite as well as a skilled pitch framer and plus-defender. He also brings a sense of energy and speed at the plate which is uncommon for catchers. Tom Murphy could be a franchise caliber catcher if he is able to sharpen his pitch framing ability and solidify his defense behind the plate. At the plate, he offers enormous power and consistency, batting over .300 last year in Triple-A.
If the Rockies choose to go with one catcher moving forward, Tom Murphy should be the favorite to take over. If Murphy is unable to match Wolters’ defense and ability to frame pitches, he could be bumped in favor of the former middle infielder.