Tom Murphy
Tom Murphy
29-Year-Old CatcherC
Seattle Mariners
60-Day IL
Injury Foot
Est. Return 2/1/2021
2020 Fantasy Outlook
After four partial seasons in Colorado, Murphy joined Seattle for the 2019 campaign to play behind Omar Narvaez. By the end of the season, Murphy had become one of the premier backup catchers in baseball, compiling a .273 average and 18 home runs in 260 at-bats. The 28-year-old's emergence was not entirely a surprise as he had tallied a .286 average and 47 homers in 215 Triple-A games. Strikeouts have long been a problem for Murphy -- he holds a career 34.4 K% -- but his power is undeniable. Murphy's .262 ISO and 14.4 AB/HR each ranked third among catchers last season (minimum 250 PA), and the 18.9 degree average launch angle he generated portends many homers to come. With Narvaez now with Milwaukee, Murphy should start for Seattle in 2020. His propensity to swing and miss makes his batting average volatile, but he is a mixed-league catcher based on his power potential and expected playing time. Read Past Outlooks
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$Waived by the Rockies in March of 2019. Claimed off waivers by the Giants in March of 2019.
Officially shut down
CSeattle Mariners
Foot
September 19, 2020
Murphy (foot) was recently shut down in his recovery process and sent home by the Mariners, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
ANALYSIS
Murphy fractured his left foot during summer camp and was never able to make it back to game action during the shortened 2020 season. Although the 29-year-old was shut down for the remainder of this season, he could certainly be ready for the 2021 campaign as he should compete for playing time behind the plate.
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Batting Stats
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2020
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+55%
OPS vs LHP
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
+69%
OPS vs LHP
2018
Even Split
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left 1.007 162 19 11 28 1 .322 .377 .631
Since 2018vs Right .648 215 18 9 23 1 .216 .251 .397
2020vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Left 1.103 130 18 11 25 1 .347 .408 .695
2019vs Right .653 151 14 7 15 1 .211 .252 .401
2018vs Left .637 32 1 0 3 0 .226 .250 .387
2018vs Right .637 64 4 2 8 0 .226 .250 .387
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+10%
OPS at Home
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
+2%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+59%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .840 174 20 7 22 1 .287 .328 .512
Since 2018Away .767 203 17 13 29 1 .238 .286 .481
2020Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Home .848 134 16 6 15 1 .288 .336 .512
2019Away .868 147 16 12 25 1 .259 .313 .556
2018Home .813 40 4 1 7 0 .282 .300 .513
2018Away .511 56 1 1 4 0 .185 .214 .296
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
The list of would-be Rockies catchers expected to be a fantasy stud is dotted with names like Todd Greene, J.D. Closser, Ben Petrick, Wilin Rosario, Yorvit Torrealba, Miguel Olivo and Charles Johnson. Murphy has his work cut out for him to keep his name from being added. He posted an impressive 1.006 OPS in September of 2016, heightening expectations for 2017. Hidden in that impressive month was a not-so-impressive 39 percent strikeout rate. In the spring, Murphy broke his arm, getting hit by an Anthony Rizzo swing while attempting to thwart a steal attempt. When he finally returned, Murphy struggled with Triple-A Albuquerque, fanning at a 36 percent clip with a middling .736 OPS. He was promoted when rosters expanded and played sparingly down the stretch, recording a terrible .198 OPS in 26 plate appearances. Murphy is still young, but Colorado brought back Chris Iannetta, so Murphy is going to have to have a big spring to carve out a significant role. Let someone else draft the uniform.
A dreadful spring training left Murphy in the minor leagues to start the season, but the 25-year-old turned things around in a flash while catching for Triple-A Albuquerque. In 80 games with the Isotopes, Murphy throttled opposing pitchers for 26 doubles, seven triples, and 19 home runs to run his slash line up to a ridiculous .327/.361/.647. Though his strikeout and walk rates look horrific, both actually improved in 2016. The best part of it all is that the top prospect's power tool translated to the big leagues during his September callup, as he logged five home runs and two doubles in just 44 at-bats. An improvement in his K:BB ratio would be more than welcome for the Rockies and fantasy owners alike, but there's no denying that Murphy's power is ready to take stage in Denver. Now that Nick Hundley is out of the picture, the Rockies' starting catching job is Murphy's to lose.
Murphy spent most of 2015 in the minors, where he showed excellent power-hitting ability. In 294 plate appearances with Double-A New Britain, the 24-year-old had a .788 OPS and improved it to an outstanding .836 after his promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque. This strong showing and injuries at the major league level led to his first big-league action in September. He only batted .257 in 39 plate appearances, but still showed his impressive power with three homers and a double. Murphy's season was cut short with another shoulder injury in October -- he missed most of 2014 with a shoulder issue -- but no structural damage was found and he should compete for a spot on the Rockies' roster in the spring if he can stay healthy.
The Rockies’ top catching prospect, Murphy was viewed as a dark horse to reach the majors at some point last season, but that never materialized as he batted .213/.321/.415 through mid-May at Double-A Tulsa and then missed the remainder of the campaign with a shoulder issue. He’s expected to be healthy for the start of the upcoming season and figures to slot back in as the primary catcher at the same level again, but the 24-year-old will need to rediscover the plus power and on-base skills that he previously demonstrated in the California League. Murphy isn’t nearly as skilled defensively as he is with the bat, but the Rockies seem to believe his receiving abilities and throwing arm are competent enough for him to avoid a position change. In any case, it’s Murphy’s offense that will dictate his eventual arrival to the majors, so if he’s able to rebound swiftly from the long injury layoff, he could still have an outside chance at usurping the disappointing Wilin Rosario for the Rockies’ everyday catching gig some point later in the season.
The Sally League proved to be no challenge for Murphy, who slashed an impressive .288/.385/.590 with 19 homers before getting the call to Double-A Tulsa, skipping High-A entirely. He was able to maintain his success at the plate following the promotion, but still seems likely to spend most of the 2014 campaign at Tulsa for further defensive polish and some light refinement to his swing. Though Murphy doesn’t possess the game-changing power of Wilin Rosario, the Rockies’ anointed catcher of the present and future, he appears to be much more adequate as a game-caller and pitch-blocker, and has thus far proven capable with the bat. Colorado's pursuit of Carlos Ruiz in free agency in the offseason suggests the organization is somewhat skeptical Rosario can make the necessary defensive improvements to stay behind the plate long-term, which could open the door for Murphy at some point if he continues to thrive in the upper minors.
More Fantasy News
Return not imminent
CSeattle Mariners
Foot
August 31, 2020
Mariners manager Scott Servais said Monday that Murphy (foot) has yet to resume baseball activities, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
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Shifts to 45-day IL
CSeattle Mariners
Foot
August 18, 2020
Murphy (foot) was transferred to the 45-day injured list Tuesday.
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No DH-only duties planned for now
CSeattle Mariners
Foot
August 18, 2020
Murphy (foot) is still having trouble catching and running, and manager Scott Servais confirmed there have not been any discussions about activating him to exclusively serve as a designated hitter, the Associated Press reports.
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Making slow but steady progress
CSeattle Mariners
Foot
August 16, 2020
Murphy (foot) continues to make incremental progress while rehabbing at the team's alternate training site in Tacoma, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
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Remains without return timetable
CSeattle Mariners
Foot
August 5, 2020
Murphy (foot) is feeling better but doesn't have a timeline for a return, Lauren Smith of The Tacoma News Tribune reports.
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