On the heels of being named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week on Monday, Red Sox pitching prospect Chris Murphy has been promoted from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Worcester, per the team’s minor-league transactions log.
Murphy, 24, was originally selected by the Sox in the sixth round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the University of San Diego. The California-born left-hander is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 9 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks third among pitchers in the organization.
In 15 outings (13 starts) for the Sea Dogs this season, Murphy has posted a 2.58 ERA and 3.34 FIP with 91 strikeouts to 31 walks over 76 2/3 innings of work. Among qualified Eastern League pitchers, he ranks fourth in strikeouts per nine innings (10.68), fourth in strikeout rate (29.8%), first in batting average against (.169), second in WHIP (1.00), third in ERA, and third in FIP, per FanGraphs.
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, Murphy operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a 92-94 mph fastball that tops out at 96-97 mph, an 80-82 mph changeup, a 73-75 mph curveball, and an 80-84 mph slider. He has proven to be more effective against left-handed hitters compared to right-handed hitters over the course of his professional career and that has once again been the case this season.
Murphy becomes the third starting pitching prospect the Red Sox have promoted from Portland to Worcester so far in 2022, as he joins the likes of fellow southpaw Brandon Walter and hard-throwing righty Brayan Bello.
Like Walter, who is currently on the WooSox’ 7-day injured list because of a neck strain, Murphy can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this winter if he is not added to Boston’s 40-man roster by the November deadline.
With that, this promotion should give the Red Sox an ample opportunity to determine if Murphy — who does not turn 25 until next June — is indeed worthy of a 40-man roster spot. The lefty last pitched on Saturday, so he should be in line to make his Triple-A debut on Thursday or Friday, when the WooSox go up against the Rochester Red Wings on the road.
(Picture of Chris Murphy: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)