After a breakout performance in his first full Minor League season, Penn Murfee is continuing to improve his prospect stock in the Arizona Fall League.
Murfee pitched especially well in third week of the Fall League, turning in a pair of strong starts for Peoria. As a result, he’s been named the league’s Pitcher of the Week for the week of Oct. 1-6.
“It’s a huge honor. I’m just really fortunate to be selected for something like this,” said Murfee. “There are a lot of good dudes in that clubhouse, with all the players and staff members from different organizations, and it’s been a great time.”
Murfee, 25, kicked off last week with a dominant start against Surprise for his second AFL win. Tossing four scoreless innings, he allowed just two hits, walked one batter and struck out seven. On Sunday, Murfee added to his already impressive week by posting four innings of one-run ball in which he struck out four and allowed one hit (a solo homer). He finished the week with a 1.13 ERA and 11 strikeouts in eight innings.
Overall, Murfee has made four starts for the Javelinas, going 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA, a 0.80 WHIP and 15 strikeouts in 14 innings.
“These guys are incredible ballplayers, the best the Minor Leagues have to offer. The competition is stout,” Murfee said. “It’s just been fun testing what I have against them. I feel like I’ve been pretty locked in and fortunate to be feeling all my stuff pretty well.”
Selected by Seattle in the 33rd round of the 2018 Draft out of Santa Clara, Murfee pitched exclusively in relief during his pro debut, making 19 appearances out of the bullpen at Class A Short-Season Everett. He continued to pitch out of the ‘pen to open 2019, as the Mariners deployed him as a multi-inning reliever at Triple-A Tacoma before eventually sending him to Class A Advanced Modesto -- after a brief stop at Double-A Arkansas -- for the remainder of the season in late May.
Murfee’s transition to Modesto was paired with a move into the starting rotation, and the right-hander responded to the challenge by posting a 3.35 ERA with 105 strikeouts and 21 walks in 91 1/3 innings (20 starts) for the Nuts.
“The biggest adjustment that’s still coming out is the chess match,” said Murfee about his ongoing development as a starter.
“As a reliever, you can kind of come in and throw your best stuff right away, dare guys to hit it. Starting, it’s more about playing the chess match: learning how to sequence guys and keeping a notebook in the dugout of what guys do in each at-bat so I can refer back to it.”