Murphy was selected out of the University of San Diego by the Red Sox in the sixth round of this year’s draft and signed for $37K under-slot. With Short-Season Lowell, the 21-year-old left-hander’s pro career is off to an excellent start, carrying a 0.69 ERA with a K:BB ratio of 31:4 over 26 innings. I saw Murphy pitch on July 27th versus the Staten Island Yankees.
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, he does not possess prototypical starting pitcher size. Murphy has a simple, direct delivery in which he gets good extension to home plate. Despite his unimposing build, Murphy’s fastball sits between 91-to-94 mph with solid ride in part because of a compact, quick arm action. He aggressively attacked hitters with his heater, particularly up in the zone for strikeouts. The left-hander showed good command of his fastball locating it inside to both righties and lefties. Murphy’s curveball flashed above-average 11-to-5 break, ranging between 79-81 mph. He was more comfortable throwing it to lefties, buckling opposing batters on multiple occasions. The 21-year-old used his changeup as the primary off-speed pitch to combat righties. The offering, which sat around 82-83 mph, lacked consistent fading action, but flashed average potential due to solid arm speed deception. Murphy showed decent feel for the changeup, usually locating it near the zone. While the left-hander has shown good control so far during his pro career, it should be noted that he walked more than six batters per nine innings this past college season.
With potential for three average pitches, Murphy can stick as a back-end of the rotation arm if he continues to throw strikes. However, should his control regress, he could also carve out a set-up relief role, predominantly relying on his heater and curveball out of the ‘pen – FV 45.