Ryan Murphy, RHP
BATS: R / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: Drafted 2020, 5th Round
LAST LEVEL: High-A
GiantFutures 2022 Ranks: #6 Starting Pitcher, #14 Overall
Performance: Of all the performances in 2022, perhaps none was as pleasant surprise as Ryan Murphy. The 5th round pick was seen by some as a budget pick at the end of the short 2020 draft, coming out of a Division II college. Instead, Murphy was named the Giants pitching prospect of the year for his performance in San Jose and Eugene.
Murphy started the year in San Jose, and had a rough pro welcome, allowing three earned runs in 4.0 innings in his debut, but then struck out 11 in 4.2 shutout innings in his second game. Across 15 starts, he had a 2.96 ERA with 116 strikeouts to just 18 walks in 76.0 innings. That earned him a promotion to Eugene, where he had a 1.44 ERA in six starts, with 48 strikeouts to eight walks in 31.1 innings.
The excellent performance included reverse splits, with him holding left-handed batters to just a .176 batting average compared to allowing a .252 against right-handers. His 164 strikeouts were third-most in all of the minors, although he was behind teammate Carson Ragsdale.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Murphy doesn’t have any overwhelming pitches. His fastball sits in the low-90’s that can get up to 95, and he pairs it with a low-80’s slider that has a lot of good movement. He also had a mid-80’s changeup and a slow curve.
Murphy makes the stuff play up thanks to excellent control, and a deceptive delivery that keep batters guess. While more advanced hitters might be able to draw out more walks, that control keeps Murphy away from free baserunners and keeps the ERA low.
2022 Outlook: After a short stint in High-A that was very successful, Murphy will likely get the jetpack push up to Double-A, which will be a big test. Murphy will need to prove he isn’t just a Single-A wonder, and he’ll probably be at the head of the Richmond rotation to prove it.
Future Profile: With his stuff, it’s hard to project Murphy beyond being a mid-rotation starter, with probably a back-of-the-rotation role as a more likely landing spot. Double-A often exposes lower velocity, high control pitchers, so 2022 will be the big test.