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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
Murphy the Pitcher
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.