Blue Jays Prospect Patrick Murphy Cruising with High-A Dunedin

In a Blue Jays System that could use some pitching, Patrick Murphy is steadily rising.

 

The Toronto Blue Jays used their third-round pick in the 2013 MLB Entry Draft on a tall (6’4″) right-handed high school pitcher from Chandler, Arizona. That tall righty was Patrick Murphy, who despite never placing on any Top-howevermany prospects list, has quietly emerged as a solid starter up through High-A.

 

Murphy has never been a top prospect for the Blue Jays, but has managed to receive his promotions, mostly on-time, throughout his four-year rise through the system. He struggled in his first taste of pro ball in 2014 with the Gulf Coast Blue Jays, and missed the 2015 season after experiencing numbness in his throwing arm, having a rib removed as well as a nerve in his pitching arm, before returning full-time, and healthy, in 2016. He’s also had thoracic outlet surgery to dispel that numbness, a difficult one to rehab from.

 

 

Since returning to play in 2016, Murphy has graduated Low-A, struggled and improved at High-A, and even received a spot-start with Double-A New Hampshire in May of 2018. While walks can sometime be an issue – his lowest BB/9 as a pro is 3.1 over 106 innings – Murphy still gets his outs balanced with a 1.42 WHIP over 284+ innings. That WHIP has also more or less improved the farther out he gets from his 2014-2015 surgeries. He’s struck out 222 with 109 walks and 296 hits. There’s some work to be done to decrease those baserunners, but he’s shown improvement at every stop along the organizational highway.

 

Register Pitching
Year Age AgeDif Tm Lg W L ERA RAvg G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2014 19 -1.4 Blue Jays GULF 0 1 11.25 13.50 3 2 0 0 0 0 4.0 8 6 5 0 2 0 4 2.500 18.0 0.0 4.5 9.0 2.00
2016 21 2 Teams 2 Lgs 4 6 3.18 3.97 21 15 3 0 0 2 90.2 95 40 32 3 37 0 68 1.456 9.4 0.3 3.7 6.8 1.84
2016 21 -0.7 Lansing MIDW 0 1 4.29 5.14 8 2 3 0 0 2 21.0 24 12 10 3 14 0 20 1.810 10.3 1.3 6.0 8.6 1.43
2016 21 -0.2 Vancouver NORW 4 5 2.84 3.62 13 13 0 0 0 0 69.2 71 28 22 0 23 0 48 1.349 9.2 0.0 3.0 6.2 2.09
2017 22 3 Teams 3 Lgs 5 4 3.04 3.80 20 19 0 0 0 0 106.2 108 45 36 5 37 0 77 1.359 9.1 0.4 3.1 6.5 2.08
2017 22 -1.1 Dunedin FLOR 0 1 7.00 7.00 2 2 0 0 0 0 9.0 14 7 7 0 3 0 5 1.889 14.0 0.0 3.0 5.0 1.67
2017 22 0.1 Lansing MIDW 4 3 2.94 3.86 15 15 0 0 0 0 88.2 87 38 29 5 33 0 57 1.353 8.8 0.5 3.3 5.8 1.73
2017 22 1.5 Blue Jays GULF 1 0 0.00 0.00 3 2 0 0 0 0 9.0 7 0 0 0 1 0 15 0.889 7.0 0.0 1.0 15.0 15.00
2018 23 2 Teams 2 Lgs 4 4 3.02 3.78 15 15 0 0 0 0 83.1 85 35 28 1 33 0 73 1.416 9.2 0.1 3.6 7.9 2.21
2018 23 -1.4 New Hampshire EL 0 0 3.00 3.00 1 1 0 0 0 0 6.0 4 2 2 0 3 0 6 1.167 6.0 0.0 4.5 9.0 2.00
2018 23 -0.1 Dunedin FLOR 4 4 3.03 3.84 14 14 0 0 0 0 77.1 81 33 26 1 30 0 67 1.435 9.4 0.1 3.5 7.8 2.23
All All All All 13 15 3.19 3.98 59 51 3 0 0 2 284.2 296 126 101 9 109 0 222 1.423 9.4 0.3 3.4 7.0 2.04
A+ ( A+ ( A+ ( A+ ( 4 5 3.44 4.17 16 16 0 0 0 0 86.1 95 40 33 1 33 0 72 1.483 9.9 0.1 3.4 7.5 2.18
A (2 A (2 A (2 A (2 4 4 3.20 4.10 23 17 3 0 0 2 109.2 111 50 39 8 47 0 77 1.441 9.1 0.7 3.9 6.3 1.64
Rk ( Rk ( Rk ( Rk ( 1 1 3.46 4.15 6 4 0 0 0 0 13.0 15 6 5 0 3 0 19 1.385 10.4 0.0 2.1 13.2 6.33
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/26/2018.

Murphy the Pitcher

Patrick Murphy works off a three-pitch repertoire (reppa-twah, for you Buck Martinez aficionados) centered around a very good curveball, which his reliance upon may have led to some of his early-career injury woes. In an interview with Dan Laurila over at Fangraphs, though, these injuries seem to be behind him:
“There’s definitely been adversity, with the three surgeries and some other unfortunate stuff,” Murphy told me. “But I’ve learned a lot about my body — how to recover, and how to gain and maintain strength — and [in 2016] I was able to get back on the mound. This year [2018], I’m just excited to move forward and build on that. One thing adversity has taught me is patience.”
Since those injury-plagued days, Murphy has amassed 90.2 IP in 2016, 106.2 IP in 2017 and 83.1 IP so far in 2018, so the workload backs that up. Sticking with the game through those troubling times, and maintaining and improving the curveball throughout, speaks both to Murphy’s toughness and ability to adapt to adversities along the way.
Mixed in with what could be the organization’s best curve is a low-to-mid 90’s fastball with good life and a change-up which is improving alongside the other two pitches, but remains a bit behind. Considering he’s still just 23 years old and missed over a year with various ailments, that’s more than acceptable.

The Future for Murphy

 

As with many high school pitchers after just two-plus full professional seasons, Murphy is still a work in progress. Despite the injuries and some control issues though, Murphy still remains on a very respectable pace moving through the Toronto Blue Jays farm system. Continual honing of his bread-and-butter curve, as well as using some more of that 6’4″, 220-lb frame to potentially add more pop to a low-to-mid 90’s fastball are plausible development goals in the coming years.

 

Luckily for Murphy, there’s no reason to rush the young righty through the farm, with some solid upper-minors pitching prospects in Ryan Borucki, T.J. Zeuch and Sean Reid-Foley not too far off. Murphy is still unlikely to land on any mid-season top prospect lists, but his progress as a legitimate pitching option in the future should not be ignored.

 

 

 

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Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.

Roy-Z

Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.