It has been a great 2018 season for Blue Jays prospects. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and others get a lot of the attention, and rightfully so, however, put your eyes on Patrick Murphy, the 23-year-old is on the rise.
Patrick Murphy has had a very bumpy professional career after being selected out of high school in the 3rd round pick of the 2013 draft. The right-hander from Chandler, Arizona, has gone through several serious injuries, successfully overcoming them and is now thriving in the minor leagues. Our own former writer Craig Borden had an opportunity to interview Murphy back in April of this year, and it’s definitely worth checking out.
Murphy was drafted while he was recovering from the Tommy John surgery he had in 2012 as a senior. In 2014 he only pitched four innings with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays. Things did not go well for him in those four innings as he gave up five earned runs., although he wasn’t exactly healthy. After his short 2014 season, he had a nerve in his elbow, and a rib removed, as he had some numbness in his pitching hand which made him miss the entire 2015 season.
Finally, in 2016, Murphy had a healthy season in which he showed flashes of his talent. He managed to pitch 90.2 innings in 15 starts with the Lansing Lugnuts and Vancouver Canadians. The workload was already good news for the pitching prospect, but the numbers were there too. He had an ERA of 3.18 between the two levels while giving up just three home runs.
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After re-establishing some of his value in 2016, the following season would be even better for the 23-year-old. In 2017 his total of innings pitched went up to 106.2, something important for a player that has gone through multiple arm surgeries. He also posted an excellent 3.04 ERA between the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, Lansing Lugnuts, and Dunedin Blue Jays.
Although his strikeout rate isn’t high (6.5 SO/9), Murphy will keep the ball in the park suggested by his 0.4 HR/9. Once again, Patrick Murphy closed off on another good season which showed why he was a relatively high pick even though he was coming off an important surgery.
Murphy’s 2018 season culminates his solid 2016, 2017 seasons. Murphy pitched to a 2.64 ERA with a record of 10-5 in 146.2 innings pitched, which got him Pitcher of the Year for the Florida State League. The 23-year-old led the league in strikeouts with 135, which brought his usually low strikeout rate up to 8.3 SO/9 on the season. His fantastic season with the Dunedin Blue Jays in High-A class got him a promotion to the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats for a start in which he threw a quality one (6 IP 2 ER).
Patrick Murphy must be added to the 40-man roster in order to keep him away from the Rule-5 draft. The right-hander is not on MLB Pipeline’s Blue Jays top 30 prospects, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in there next season.
Who knows if the Blue Jays will add him to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule-5 draft, but a 23-year-old pitcher whose numbers are getting better each season is something worth to hang on to. His work ethic and mental strength to come back from important injuries at such a young age are admirable and important aspects of a professional player. Keep an eye on Patrick Murphy fans.