2022 will be the year of Boston Red Sox prospect Chris Murphy
The Boston Red Sox have a couple of electric arms in their minor league system. That makes it a little harder to stand out. Since being drafted in 2019 though, Chris Murphy has done a lot to get people excited and show off his filthy pitches.
The left-handed pitcher had an up-and-down 2021 that saw him pitch in High-A and Double-A. Murphy finished with a 4.62 ERA, .241 BAA, and 1.26 WHIP in 101 1/3 innings. He walked 36 batters but struck out an impressive 128 as well.
Overall, most of those numbers aren’t all that great. But he did pitch at two levels that he’s never pitched at before. And outside of a few implosion starts, he was pretty strong most of the season.
We saw some absolutely dominating performances too though. Games that showed you just how nasty Murphy can be. Like a game in September that saw the lefty toss six shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out 11 (tied for a career-high).
So why will 2022 be such a good year for Murph? It’s pretty simple. He came into the Red Sox system in 2019 out of College. That makes you automatically believe he’ll move up the system ladder a little bit faster. 2020 put a serious halt to the momentum though. And suddenly Murphy’s 2021 was him playing catch-up.
He pitched in High-A and Double-A, two levels he had never been at before. And outside of a few bad starts, he was pretty dominant.
Now he’s got his legs under him. More experience and no long layoffs. He’ll start the year in Double-A but I don’t think that’s where he’ll finish. Murphy has a chance to not only get to Triple-A, but a Major League debut isn’t completely out of the question.
And even if he doesn’t get to the show in 2022, he’ll build his case for 2023. I think we’re going to see some ridiculous strikeout numbers. We’ve all seen how devastating his off-speed stuff can be.
With a little more refining, he should be able to work on that command a bit. That will limit the walks and pump up the strikeouts. But it will also take away a couple of those home runs (21 long balls really hurt him last season).
If Murphy can lower that number a bit, his entire season would have looked different. Struggling with command leading to walks and home runs can be a killer because it piles up quickly. In Murphy’s case though, I think he was just trying to get too cute every once in a while.
He wasn’t accustomed to the talent at the new levels, so he thought he could get away with some stuff and make hitters chase more. This led to those hitters-counts that got him in trouble.
In 2022 the Boston Red Sox will see a more mature Chris Murphy. He’s going to attack more, and that will lead to better numbers everywhere. Triple-A is definitely in his sights. That promotion right there is enough to say it will be a great year. The possibility of the Majors though? That’s when it becomes Murph’s year.