OAKLAND -- The A's have one of the best young catchers in the Minors in their system, and he continues to draw widespread attention.Sean Murphy, who frequently gets rave reviews for his elite defensive skills behind the plate, has been appointed by MLB Pipeline as the No. 4 catching prospect
OAKLAND -- The A's have one of the best young catchers in the Minors in their system, and he continues to draw widespread attention.
Sean Murphy, who frequently gets rave reviews for his elite defensive skills behind the plate, has been appointed by MLB Pipeline as the No. 4 catching prospect in the game.
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This comes just months after MLB Pipeline put together an All-Arizona Fall League team and chose Murphy, a 2016 third-rounder, at catcher. Murphy played in 18 games for the Mesa Solar Sox, batting .309 with a .413 on-base percentage.
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The 23-year-old catcher will be back in big league camp a second consecutive year to continue his development, having already greatly impressed the A's staff his first go around. Last year, manager Bob Melvin lauded Murphy's "electric arm." He even went so far as equating it to being "like Matt Chapman behind the plate," referring to Oakland's third baseman, who is equipped with one of the strongest arms in the game.
Along with his plus arm strength, Murphy's receiving and blocking skills are all considered Major League-caliber. But the Minor League grooming will continue in 2018, a year after Murphy finished the season with Double-A Midland.
Upon earning a midseason promotion, Murphy struggled at the plate, hitting .209 in 53 games with the RockHounds. He compiled four home runs and 22 RBIs in that span, after counting off nine home runs and 26 RBIs in 45 games with Class A Advanced Stockton, and he has the chance to hit for enough power to be a productive big league hitter.
It's Murphy's superior defense, however, that has him on the fast track to the Majors. It wasn't too long ago he was a walk-on catcher at Wright State University.
"He's still young," Melvin said, "but I know as an organization we're excited about him."
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.