Scouting reports change as results on the field change. Let’s let Chris Murphy illustrate the process before the scouts have updated.
- Born: June 5, 1998
- B/T: Left/Left
- 6’1″, 175-lbs
- Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of San Diego
His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:
This is a decent chart. The K% rate has risen as he climbed to Double-A, and the walk rate, while also climbing, has remained in decent territory. The xFIP doesn’t always match the WHIP, but a .244 BABIP that Murphy has as I write this on April 27, 2022 contributes to an artificially lowered WHIP. His xFIP tells us he hasn’t been this good this year.
Now I want to do something a bit different. Here are Murphy’s splits from last year:
Really dominated lefties, but righties gave him trouble, right? Cue the scouts in the offseason, starting with Prospects1500.com:
Yes, a concerning split against RHH, combined with dominance against LHH, make you think a bullpen role is in the offering. What say you, BaseballHQ?:
Yes, there it is again: “Very tough on LHH.” They noticed this split, saw that he has good pitches but not great pitches, and thus is destiny formed. Right, FanGraphs?:
There’s that bullpen role spoken about.
OK, now let’s do what I normally do, and show the current season’s splits:
Do you see any problems against LHH this year? I mean, sure this WHIP is not spectacular against lefties, but he’s striking out a higher percentage of them, and a 1.13 WHIP is fantastic anyway.
So maybe he’s figured out last season’s split issues? Of course it’s a small sample, we won’t know for sure until the season ends, but it’s a good start.
OK, BaseballHQ, what’s in Murphy’s tool box?:
That’s a starter’s mix: three average pitches, plus working on that curve. Nothing plus in the bunch, but when you have three average (the three +++ means average at BaseballHQ), you have a starter. And 94 mph from the LHP is fine.
- Rotowire: Not on their Top 400
- Fantrax: Not on their Top 400
- Fantasy Six Pack: Not on their dynasty Top 1,000+
- Imaginary Brick Wall: Not on their Top 473
The scouts talked about a bullpen destination in the offseason, so he wasn’t ranked anywhere.
Would be nice to see the control improve.
Chris Murphy is doing what you want your pitching prospects to do: address a weakness and make it, if not a strength, at least not an obstacle.
He’s repeating Double-A, and while that WHIP says he’s improved, the xFIP says otherwise. The skills numbers are about the same.
He is who he is, but without a split issue — so far this year — he remains on track to be a #4 or #5 type of starter as soon as 2023.
Remember that when you read scouting reports from the offseason. Sometimes the results on the field require us to reevaluate a prospect, and the numbers change before the articles get written.