Sean Murphy has already been named as a finalist for the AL Gold Glove award. The Oakland A’s catcher could be adding another piece of hardware to his trophy case as well.
The finalists for the Silver Slugger award were named on Thursday. Murphy was selected as one of the finalists, facing off against Alejandro Kirk, Cal Raleigh, Adley Rutschman, Salvador Perez, and Martin Maldonado.
Sean Murphy facing long odds to win Silver Slugger award
Chances are, Murphy will finish in the bottom half of the balloting. Kirk, Raleigh, and Rutschman are considered the favorites at this point. Perez is a possibility as well, especially as he has won the award four times in the past and had another strong power season.
But Murphy deserves consideration as well. He posted a solid .250/.332/.426 batting line with 18 homers and 37 doubles in his 612 plate appearances. That performance was fueled by an excellent second half where Murphy made strides in his plate discipline and contact rates as he started to become the offensive threat he was expected to be as a prospect.
Catchers tend to take a bit longer to emerge offensively. Due to the nature of the position, as their defense is such a focal point, the bat can take a while to come around. That has been the case with Murphy, whose potential was clear, but had not resulted in the statistical breakout one would have hoped for.
This may be the beginning for Murphy. As he just turned 28 years old, he is in the midst of his theoretical prime. It would not be a surprise if he was to be a finalist for the Silver Slugger again in the future, possibly taking home the award at some point. The only question is whether or not he will be a member of the A’s when that happens.
Sean Murphy has been named as a finalist for the Silver Slugger for AL catchers. This may not be the last time he is nominated.