Stats don’t tell the full story on Boston Red Sox prospect Chris Murphy
One look at Boston Red Sox prospect Chris Murphy‘s numbers will tell anyone he’s having a fantastic season. The left-handed pitcher has tossed 70 2/3 innings in Double-A this season. In that time he’s posted a 2.80 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, .179 BAA, and 83 strikeouts. Now I ain’t no math-magician but that sounds like a winning equation to me (if you understand this reference and know what movie this is from, just know that I love you with all my heart).
I love numbers in baseball. It’s such an easy way to tell if someone is producing. Numbers never tell the whole story though. There’s good luck and there’s bad luck. Winning plays, attitude, all types of fun stuff need to get added into the mix. This is especially true when talking about prospects.
Something I really want to highlight for Chris Murphy is his demeanor. Definition of chill. Pre-game, he’s locked in but doesn’t look tense. He’ll gladly sign baseballs for some kids or talk to a teammate. Seriously, it was wild to see how often he was veering off in different directions to sign stuff for fans. The moment isn’t too big for him. He’s going to go out there and do what he’s best at, toying with opposing batters.
And when he’s on the mound, you don’t see what he’s thinking. There’s never that moment of panic or disappointment. Last Tuesday, Murphy gave up two solo home runs. He didn’t hang his head in shame or make some kind of gesture or glove throw or anything crazy. If you were watching the game on mute and the camera only showed Murph, you wouldn’t have known he gave up a home run.
The first homer saw him respond with a fly out and a strikeout. The second saw him allow just two base runners over his final three innings.
Game one of the series against the Reading Phillies saw Murphy take the loss. Not really his own fault there, as he threw six innings and gave up just two runs. Portland couldn’t get a groove on offense though and dropped the contest 2-0.
After the game, Murphy was still signing autographs for fans. He was able to talk about his performance and while he wasn’t down-trodden, Murph wasn’t about to take too many compliments either. Mention of his backdoor curveball buckling a hitter’s knees as it snuck into the zone for a strikeout wasn’t going to make him forget those two home runs. Saying how he was hitting 95 all night and his changeup looked nasty was met with “it wasn’t too good, I gave up two homers with it.”
The Red Sox sixth-round pick in 2019 said it with a smile too. Murphy knows those are all good pitches. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out for you. Any pitcher would be happy with his line from that night. But the lefty wasn’t going to be content with allowing two home runs.
Murphy has a nasty mix of pitches. A fastball that hits the mid-90s, a really beautiful curveball, a sexy changeup (which is my favorite pitch ever, give me all the changeups), and a slider that he doesn’t use often (but I think I saw him bring it out effectively a few times in his two starts).
He’s absolutely got the stats too. You saw what he’s doing this season.
Murphy’s demeanor is a serious winning trait that deserves some love as well though. Clearly he takes the game seriously. But he’s able to have fun too. Locked-in before games, but able to sign autographs for all the fans that call his name (he actually also got asked twice by the same kids that asked Rio Gomez twice and made a similar joke).
When he’s on the mound, he dusts himself off after a bad pitch. And doesn’t boast after a nasty one (some emotion is great but it’s not like he flips out or anything).
After the game, even in a loss, he’s happy to sign autographs for fans. Maybe talk to and take pictures with some loser writer or whatever, I don’t know – definitely just making up that scenario.
Murphy is the kind of guy you want on your team. And the exact type of teammate that Red Sox fans would love. Extremely humble, hard worker, who 100% seems to be team-first. Something I’ve brought up about both him and catcher Kole Cottam is how often they are liking/retweeting things about their teammates. It’s just some classic wholesomeness that I’m here for.
He’s never content with “good”, he clearly wants to be great. And he has the talent to get there. The Boston Red Sox have a lot of pitching options for their future. Murph needs to be on that list.