Colorado Rockies Prospects: Tom Murphy and Raimel Tapia
Our colleagues at Call to the Pen recently took a look at the top 10 Colorado Rockies prospects for 2017. You can check it out here as well as learn exactly what went into the formula to pick the top 10.
There are four players on the list who played for the Rockies last season — Jeff Hoffman, German Marquez, Tom Murphy and Raimel Tapia. Only two of those were ranked in the top 5 of Call to the Pen’s list, so it’s just another indication of the bright future that lies ahead for the Rockies thanks to their strong farm system.
In a previous article you can read here, we took a look at the impact of Hoffman and Marquez not only last year but their potential heading into 2017. In this article, we’ll discuss Murphy and Tapia in the same framework.
Murphy joined David Dahl last season as two of the prospects who joined the Rockies who had the most fanfare before their arrival in Denver. He quickly proved the excitement was well deserved.
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In 44 at-bats last season, Murphy blasted five homers as part of his .273 average. His biggest game of the season came on September 17 when he hit a pair of homers and five RBI to back up Jon Gray’s historic 16-strikeout performance against the San Diego Padres.
Murphy has shown enough at the plate that many are penciling him in as the starting catcher in 2017. As mentioned in this article, he Rockies are confident enough in Murphy and Tony Wolters handling duties next year that veteran Nick Hundley is searching for a new team.
While Murphy has shown power in his limited at-bats, he still needs to improve on his defense. Last season, he threw out just one of eight runners attempting to steal a base. That must improve. Ironically, Murphy’s defensive struggles are almost the complete opposite of Wolters, who has become one of the best framing catchers in the league in a very short amount of time, yet struggles with his bat.
Murphy’s progress in the offseason will be one of the more interesting things to see when the Rockies open spring training. Under the watch of new bench coach Mike Redmond, if Murphy can improve defensively, he’ll prove Colorado’s faith in him for 2017 was well-warranted.