Red Sox pitching prospect Chris Murphy wrapped up his month of April with yet another impressive performance for Double-A Portland on Tuesday night.
Working against the Somerset Patriots (Yankees affiliate) at TD Bank Ballpark, Murphy scattered just two hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over six scoreless innings of work. The left-hander retired each of the final nine batters he faced as 50 of the 81 pitches he threw went for strikes.
Through his first four starts of the season with the Sea Dogs, Murphy has posted a 2.25 ERA and 3.12 FIP with 24 strikeouts to seven walks across 20 innings pitched.
Among qualified pitchers in the Eastern League, Murphy ranks 15th in strikeout rate (30.8%), 24th in walk rate (9.0%), seventh in batting average against (.171), 12th in WHIP (0.95), 13th in ERA, and 14th in FIP, per FanGraphs.
Murphy, 23, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 12 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks sixth among pitchers in the organization. The Red Sox originally took the California-born southpaw in the sixth round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the University of San Diego.
Since being promoted from High-A Greenville to Portland last July, Murphy owns a 4.25 ERA and strikeout-to-walk ratio of 71:20 over 11 appearances (10 starts) spanning 53 total innings of work at the Double-A level.
Per his Baseball America scouting report, the 6-foot-1, 175 pound hurler operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a 92-94 mph fastball that can reach 96-97 mph, an above-average changeup, a curveball, and a changeup. He is also very open when it comes to pitch design and pitch tunneling.
Murphy, who turns 24 in June, is set to become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this December. With that, it would not be surprising if the Red Sox elect to promote the lefty to Triple-A Worcester at some point this season to further evaluate and determine if he is worthy of a spot on the club’s 40-man roster come late November.
(Picture of Chris Murphy: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)