The Southwest Booster
Murdoch named 18U AAA SPBL Most Valuable Player
A dominating season at the plate led to some well-deserved accolades for Ethan Murdoch when the Swift Current 57’s catcher and outfielder was named the Saskatchewan 18U AAA Baseball League Top Hitter and the Charlie Meacher League Most Valuable Player.
“I was pretty proud,” said Murdoch. “I put in a lot of time in the offseason at the gym and hitting inside and doing everything I could, so I was pretty happy to see that all the hard work paid off for sure. I knew that I had a pretty good year and I was proud of myself, but it was just that little bit of recognition from people around the league felt pretty good.”
It was a tough season for the 57’s as they finished with a 10-22 record, in 10th spot out of 11 teams, so his individual accolades were a touch bittersweet.
“It was kind of tough getting that award at Provincials and seeing that other teams were there competing in the tournament. We haven’t been able to go to a tournament in a while, so that was kind of tough.”
Murdoch led the league with a 1.332 OPS, which is a combination of on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He also led the league with a .786 slugging percentage and was third with a .449 batting average.
The awards brought his decorated minor baseball career in Swift Current to a close.
“We won a few provincial championships back when we were younger in Mosquito and Peewee. We won our league in Bantam. Obviously those were fun, everybody likes that. I think the relationships really stick out for me. Everyone was pretty tightknit through it all.”
Murdoch also noted the coaches that helped him along the way, including his dad, who has coached him for years.
“It’s definitely the connections I have with the guys I played with forever. The teams change a bit as you go, but the core group of guys, some every other year, but there’s a few guys I’ve played with every year since I was eight, nine, 10 years old. Those relationships stick out.”
Murdoch finished the season with 12 doubles, six triples, and three home runs. He added 34 runs batted in and 30 runs scored in 32 games. He was also seven for seven in stolen base attempts.
Murdoch will suit up this season for Mccook Community College in the Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference and has already made the move to the Cornhusker state.
He hopes to take some momentum from his final minor baseball season with him south of the border.
“I’m pretty comfortable in the box no matter where I am. I know that’s something that is going to do well for me. You can’t control it all the time. It’s going to get harder. I’m going to be facing really good pitching and it’s not going to get any easier. I know I can trust that I’m going to put together really good at-bats and good things will happen. It might not always go my way, but I’m pretty confident in the fact that I’ll be able to hold my own in the box and I think that will translate at the next level,” said Murdoch, who added that he could play both catcher and outfield next season.
Although the Swift Current
57’s have been unable to compete in the Western Canadian Baseball League for the past two summers, Murdoch still hopes to play for the team one day.
“Every kid who’s played in Swift Current Minor Baseball watches those guys and looks up to them.
I’m the same way. Since I was five years old I would go to the games with my dad and couldn’t get enough of it.”