Oakland A’s: Sean Murphy’s quietly solid rookie year

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Sean Murphy #12 of the Oakland Athletics tracks a foul pop-up off the bat of Kyle Seager #15 of the Seattle Mariners in the top of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on September 27, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Sean Murphy #12 of the Oakland Athletics tracks a foul pop-up off the bat of Kyle Seager #15 of the Seattle Mariners in the top of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on September 27, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

It flew somewhat under the radar, but Oakland A’s catcher Sean Murphy had a solid rookie campaign in 2020.

We all know that the AL Rookie of the Year vote will come down to Luis Robert and Kyle Lewis. Any other rookies are, at best, battling to finish third in the vote. However, the stellar performances by those two rookies should not take away from the other freshmen, particularly Oakland A’s catcher Sean Murphy.

He did not start the season particularly well. Through the quarter-point of the season, Murphy had a .167/.286/.267 batting line in his 35 plate appearances, with just one homer and five walks. He also struck out 13 times, a concerning number of whiffs for the A’s primary backstop.

But he turned it on over the final three quarters of the season. In his final 105 plate appearances, Murphy produced an excellent .256/.390/.523 batting line, hitting six homers and five doubles. He also showed more discipline at the plate, drawing 19 walks while striking out 24 times.

More from White Cleat Beat

Murphy was also solid behind the plate. Noted for his defensive acumen during his time in the minors, he did nothing to change that perception. He saved a run defensively and threw out 29% of would-be basestealers, respectable numbers for a youngster getting used to his pitching staff and the rest of the league.

And yet, Murphy has been overlooked as a rookie, even on his own team. The potential displayed by Jesus Luzardo had pushed Murphy to the background. He remained an important part of the A’s future, but his progress this season was often overshadowed.

In the end, this will not be enough to make an impact on the AL Rookie of the Year race. Murphy, at best, could get a smattering of third place votes and find himself listed in the final results. But that does not mean his future is any less bright.

Next. Three storylines for A's-Astros. dark

Sean Murphy is an important part of the Oakland A’s future. His progress over the final three quarters of the season gives them plenty of reason to feel that he can fulfill his potential.

facebooktwitterreddit