2016 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Sean Murphy

By: Burke Granger

Sean Murphy – C – Wright State.  Bats: R. Throws: R. DOB: October 4, 1994.  Last Drafted: Never.

SCOUTED:  Toledo Rockets @ Wright State Raiders.  April 15, 2016.  Dayton, Ohio.

Sean Murphy is from Centerville, Ohio.  Elk Pride!  Undrafted before heading to Wright State, Murphy contributed right away for the Raiders.  Murphy earned Horizon League Freshman of the Year honors in 2014 after he hit .301/.390/.442 with 4 home runs and 10 stolen bases.

Murphy followed up his freshman season by leading the Raiders to a the 6th Regional in school history as a sophomore while being named to the NCAA Regional Tournament Team.

Last summer in the Cape Cod League, Murphy put his talents on display.  Combining polished catch and throw skills with above average raw power, Murphy positioned himself as one of the best true college catchers in this draft class, even though his strengths were paired with a rudimentary hit tool.  Murphy hit .226/.314/.366 with 23 strikeouts in just 93 at bats at the Cape.

Murphy got off to a hot start as a junior, tying his career high in home runs (4) by just the 7th game of the season.  Just a few nights later however, Murphy was hit on the hand by a pitch breaking his hamate bone causing him to miss the following 22 games.

Now back in the lineup, Murphy will look to establish a healthy track record in the second half of the season.

*Through June 7, 2016

YEAR
AVE
OBP
SLG
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
K
SB/ATT
2014
.301
.390
.442
11
3
4
35
23
38
10/12
2015
.329
.423
.458
11
3
4
36
28
30
7/10
2016
.281
.408
.504
3
3
6
31
23
16
5/5

It’s important to note that I’m not a scout.  I don’t have the training or expertise that they have.  I do, however, go to games to see these guys play live and talk to scouts.  While those scouts must reserve their reports for their employer, I can share my thoughts with you, the reader.

HITTING:  The big question that follows Murphy around is whether he’ll be able to hit as a professional.  Murphy makes loud contact but his swing can get a little long.  At the plate, he looked unbalanced at times which could point to pitch recognition issues or simply could be chalked up to rust following the layoff.

POWER:  Murphy has nice natural loft to his swing and strength that generates above average raw power.  Despite his offensive struggles at the plate in the Cape, Murphy managed to hit 3 home runs with wood bats against better pitching than he’s accustom to in the Horizon League.

SPEED:  No one would confuse Murphy for a burner, but he’s a good athlete and runs well for a catcher.  As a guy who can take the extra base when needed and go from first to third on a single, he’s not a liability on the base paths.

ARM:  Murphy’s arm is his calling card.  Strong, accurate and aided with a quick transfer, Murphy produces pop times in the 65-70 grade range.  A true weapon, Murphy uses his arm to deter the running game and punish with extreme prejudice, those who stray too far from the bag.

DEFENSE:  Murphy has extraordinary footwork behind the plate, displaying lateral movement to block anything in the dirt.  Murphy works on his blocking on everything that bounces, regardless of whether there is a runner on base.  When the ball does travel 60’6″, Murphy shows soft hands and an aptitude for pitch framing.

FUTURE:  Many of the other college catching prospects are better hitters than Murphy, but he has few peers defensively.  A good number of those more advanced hitting backstops in this class won’t stay behind the plate.  In a draft relatively thin on true up the middle talent, Murphy could sneak into the first round with a strong second half, but I think it’s more likely that he comes off the board in the 2nd-3rd round range.  I contend that it’s more practical to teach a catcher to hit than it is to teach a hitter to catch.  Because the defensive skills are already advanced and there is plus power potential, Murphy is an attractive option for Major League clubs.

 

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One thought on “2016 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Sean Murphy

  1. Pingback: 2016 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Will Smith | Prospect Junkies

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