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Interview with Orioles Catching Prospect: Tanner Murphy

Thursday November 24, 2011

 

Jonathan Hacohen:  We are proud to welcome to MLB reports: Tanner Murphy, catching prospect for the Baltimore Orioles.  Tanner was a 22nd round selection for the Orioles in the 2010 draft.  At 19-years of age, Tanner recently completed his 2nd season with the Orioles organization, playing in the Gulf Cost League.   Coming off elbow surgery,  Tanner looks to be healed and ready for the start of spring training.  2012 represents a big year for Tanner as continues to work his way up the Orioles ladder and one day join the big club in Baltimore.

Featured on MLB reports, I proudly present my interview with baseball prospect, Tanner Murphy:

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MLB reports:  Welcome to MLR reports Tanner and thank you for taking the time today for us.  Who was your favorite baseball player growing up, that you most idolized and patterned your game after?

Tanner Murphy:  Growing up, I idolized Ken Griffey Jr. And Paul Lo Duca.

 

MLB reports:  Which current MLB star do you most admire and why?

Tanner Murphy:  The current MLB player would be Matt Wieters because he smart and smooth behind the plate.

 

MLB reports:  Reflecting on your career to-date, what are your proudest accomplishments on the baseball field?

Tanner Murphy:  I would have to say every game that our team wins and all games when our pitchers feel comfortable no matter what happens on the mound.

 

MLB reports:  What are your goals going into the 2012 season?

Tanner Murphy:  I have many many goals going into this next season.  A couple main goals are to stay healthy the whole season and to become a better catcher and hitter than I was the year before and learn.

 

MLB reports:  When you first found out you were drafted, what was going through your mind?

Tanner Murphy:  Honestly, the first thing that what went through my mind was: Wow!  It was almost surreal.  I worked so hard towards that day growing up.

 

MLB reports:  What round did you expect to be drafted and what was the process like signing with the Orioles?

Tanner Murphy:  I really wasn’t thinking an exact round, just was going with the flow. The process was a lot of phone calls and thinking and guessing. It was a very busy process.

 

MLB reports:  What do you consider your greatest baseball skill(s)?

Tanner Murphy:  I feel that I am pretty skilled in all aspects of the game, but everyday I can learn and get better to become the best that I can be.

 

MLB reports:  What facets of your game do you most wish to improve upon?

Tanner Murphy:  I feel every part of my game. There is always room for improvement. It is a game of failure and you can’t be perfect in this game.

 

MLB reports:  How do strikeouts and walks figure into your game?

Tanner Murphy:  Strikeouts actually tell you a lot about your next at-bats and can help me become a better hitter. Walks are the same way- just reading the pitchers.

 

MLB reports:  Do you see any of these items changing over time and to what degree?

Tanner Murphy:  Yes. I see that from strikeouts and walks I will continue to get better learning which pitches that I can handle and can’t handle during each of my at-bats.

 

MLB reports:  Long term do you see yourself staying behind the plate considering Matt Wieters is the current starting catcher? How do you view your role in the organization?

Tanner Murphy:  As for now, I do see myself still behind the plate.  Given my age, I have some time.  I feel that my role is to get better and do everything I can do to help the big league club win.

 

MLB reports:  How do you see defense as part of your overall game?

Tanner Murphy:  Defense is the most important part of my game.  Being a catcher, I see everything and handle the pitchers.  My job consists of making the pitchers get through the game, no matter the situation and to know the other hitters.

 

MLB reports:  If you had to look into a crystal ball, when do you see your expected time of arrival in the big leagues and what do you think you need to do most to get there?

Tanner Murphy:   I can’t really put a time on getting there.  I just need to do everything and work hard to get myself there.  No matter how long it takes.

 

MLB reports:  Has pro ball been everything you expected it to be thus far?

Tanner Murphy:  For the most part yes.  There have been some things I wasn’t expecting, but that is the case in everyday life as well.

 

MLB reports:  What do you do for fun when you are not playing baseball?  Best friend(s) on the team that you most hang out with and what do you guys like to do to chill?

Tanner Murphy:  When baseball is done for the season, I just hang out, travel, visit family, watch some football and basketball (when there is not a lockout).   But doing that can only last for a couple of months, until the end of November.  At the start of December, I usually start training again getting ready for the season.

 

MLB reports:  Tell us more about your recent elbow surgery:  what was the nature of the injury leading up to the surgery and how is your recovery going?

Tanner Murphy:  I had surgery on my right elbow- my throwing arm.  I had an ulnar nerve transposition.  The nerve when I was throwing was so loose that when throwing, it would move.  When I was throwing then moving back every time it became loose to the point that I could feel it.  I had numbing in my ring and pinky fingers. As for my recovery, I am ahead of schedule.   I have no more numbing and have a full range of motion.  I should be all ready for spring training come February/March.

 

MLB reports:  Do you have a favorite pre-game meal?

Tanner Murphy:  I never really had a favorite pre-game meal.  But I always do the exact same thing before every game.

 

MLB reports:  Final Thoughts?

Tanner Murphy:  Glad to help out.  For the readers:  hope you enjoy!  Thanks MLB reports.

 

Thank you again to Tanner Murphy for taking the time to join us today on MLB reports.  We highly encourage our readers to post at the bottom of the article any questions and/or comments that you may have for Tanner.  As well, please follow Tanner onTwitter (@TMurphy20)

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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Interview with MLB Prospect Lance Durham: Talking Baseball with “The Bull”

Sunday November 20, 2011

 


Jonathan Hacohen:  We are proud to welcome to MLB reports: Lance Durham, first base prospect and 2nd generation baseball player.  His father, Leon Durham, played 10 seasons in the show.  Best known as an outfielder/first baseman for the Cubs, Leon had pop in his bat and a strong ability to get on base.  Following in his dad’s footsteps, Lance looks to make his own mark on the game.  Originally signed by the Detroit Tigers in 2006, Lance opted to attend college and was drafted again in 2009, this time by the Toronto Blue Jays.  Lance has just completed his third season in the Jays’ organization.  I have enjoyed the opportunity to talk baseball with Lance on several occasions.  He is an extremely intelligent bright man, with a strong sense of his roots and his path in the game.  An extremely motivated and hard-working player, Lance has the fundamental tools to succeed in the game.  At 23-years of age, the future looks bright for “The Bull”.  

Featured on MLB reports, I proudly present my interview with baseball prospect and future superstar, Lance Durham:

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MLB reports:  Who was your favorite baseball player growing up, that you most idolized and patterned your game after?

Lance Durham:  My favorite baseball player growing up was my father. I know it sounds cliché but it’s the truth. I didn’t get to see him play in person but we have tapes all over the house of him when he was with the Cubs and I loved the intensity he played with. His demeanor, swagger and confidence were never lacking out on the playing field and that’s something I try to carry out on the field.

 

MLB reports:  Which current MLB star do you most admire and why?

Lance Durham:  I admire Prince Fielder the most. First, he was the only player to play all 162 games in 2011 and 160 games in 2010. That’s something to admire a lot because he brings it to the table everyday and doesn’t ask for days off.

 

MLB reports:  Reflecting on your career to-date, what are your proudest accomplishments on the baseball field?

Lance Durham:  Having the opportunity to follow in my father’s footsteps.

 

MLB reports:  What are your goals going into the 2012 season?

Lance Durham:  Stay healthy and set no limitations for the season. Sky’s the limit.

 

MLB reports:  When you first found out you were drafted, what were your reactions?  Did those reactions change over time?  What was the process like being drafted originally by the Tigers in 2006 and Blue Jays in 2009 and not signing with the Tigers originally?  What made you decide to finally sign with the Jays in 2009?

Lance Durham:  When I first got drafted out of high school, I thanked God and was happy to know that my name was already out there. But I thought it was best for me to go to college at that point. In 2009, it was just like “well, its time to start the grind” because I wasn’t a first rounder like my father and he told me it was time to out perform the competition. I didn’t sign with the Tigers originally because I was drafted in the 45th round and I figured going to college and getting smarter about the game of baseball and physically stronger (was in my best interests). Not to mention mom (Angela Durham) always wanted me to go college and I promised her I would one time in my life. So I did it (went to college) fresh out of high school.

 

MLB reports:  What facets of your game do you most wish to improve upon?

Lance Durham:  I just hope to improve on all areas of the game, whether it’s hitting, base running, defense, and having a great baseball IQ- which I think is the best advantage. The more you know about the game, the better you will do.  My baseball IQ includes knowing what to do with the ball once you get it, thinking before the play even happens, so that the game slows down for you.

 

MLB reports:  How do home runs and walks figure into your game?  Do you see any of these three items changing over time and to what degree?

Lance Durham:  Well home runs are awesome.  There is no better feeling for me, except winning a ball game.  Walks are also great because it shows your patience at the plate. Those are two statistics that you want to be pretty high.

 

MLB reports:  How much of an influence was your dad on you growing up? What did you learn from your dad that has shaped you as a baseball player?

Lance Durham:  Dad was a great influence on my baseball career. He has been involved in baseball his whole life, so to learn stuff from him about the game is great. The thing I learned from my dad the most is the mental part of the game. You are going to strike out. You are going to make errors. But it is how you learn from them and not make the same mistakes twice. He always preaches adjustments. If we are in the batting cage and I keep making the same mistake over and over, he won’t say anything until I make the adjustment on my own.  Then he will say “what took you so long,” and we just laugh. But the quicker you pick up on the adjustments, the better ball player you will become.

 

MLB reports:  If you had to look into a crystal ball, when do you see your expected time of arrival in the big leagues and what do you think you need to do most to get there?

Lance Durham:  Hopefully as soon as possible. That is what all of minor leaguers strive for. I am just going to take it one day at a time. Even in the offseason: with the workouts and the cage work and everything, you just have to have it on your mind and want it bad.

 

MLB reports:  If you were not playing professional baseball, you would be ____

Lance Durham:  A video game creator.

 

MLB reports:  What do you do for fun away from the ballpark?

Lance Durham:  Hanging out with friends, go to the movies and spending time with the family.

 

MLB reports:  Which of your teammates are you closest with – any good stories?

Lance Durham:  This past year on the Lansing Lugnuts team, I got really close with a lot of guys. Michael Crouse, Jake Marisnick, Jack Murphy, Markus Brisker, Matt Nuzzo. The stories could go on for days. Let’s just say that they are a great group of guys and I thank God I got to play with them.

 

MLB reports:  Your father Leon was known as “The Bull”.  Do you go by the same nickname? What is the origin of the nickname and how did you adopt it?

Lance Durham:  Well my dad’s nickname just stuck with me because of him. When he would bring me into the locker rooms as a kid, everyone would already call me “Little Bull” when I was like 10. So it has stuck with me even until today, so I just roll with it. Won’t be long until they just start calling me BULL!!!

 

MLB reports:  Final thought:  When fans think of the name Lance Durham, what images do you want them to associate you with?

Lance Durham:  He was a student of the game.  He played the game right and he played the game hard.  He was also a great teammate.


Thank you again to Lance Durham for taking the time to join us today on MLB reports.  We highly encourage our readers to post at the bottom of the article any questions and/or comments that you may have for Lance.  As well, please follow Lance on Twitter (@LanceBullDurham)

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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