Chris Murphy, LHP, BOS

Scouting reports change as results on the field change. Let’s let Chris Murphy illustrate the process before the scouts have updated.

Video courtesy of Fantrax Toolshed
  • 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

The Numbers

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?:

BaseballHQ’s Minor League Baseball Analyst

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?:

FanGraphs Boston Red Sox Top 51 Prospects List

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.

The Scouts

Warnings

The scouts talked about a bullpen destination in the offseason, so he wasn’t ranked anywhere.

Would be nice to see the control improve.

Conclusion

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.

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