Sean Murphy

Sean Murphy

29-Year-Old CatcherC
Atlanta Braves
2024 Fantasy Outlook
When Atlanta acquired Murphy, it was coming off a season where he had collected 611 plate appearances for the Athletics. While it was anticipated Murphy wouldn't repeat that with Travis d'Arnaud in the mix, most expected Murphy would gather more than the 438 plate appearances he recorded. Confusing matters more is Murphy's 129 wRC+ was the highest of all catchers with at least as many plate appearances, and Murphy's defense was outstanding. Meanwhile, when healthy, d'Arnaud's offense and defense both displayed signs of decline. Perhaps the extra rest helped Murphy, as he posted career highs in average exit velocity, hard-hit rate and barrel percent. Even so, it's curious why Murphy didn't play more. Both backstops will be back with Atlanta this season, so it must be assumed Murphy will continue to lose playing time to his veteran counterpart. However, at some point, Atlanta should realize Murphy is the better option. Paying for more playing time is defensible, just don't take the leap to 2022 levels. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#142
ADP
$Signed a six-year, $73 million contract extension with the Braves in December of 2022. Contract includes $15 million team option for 2029.
On bench Sunday
CAtlanta Braves
June 9, 2024
Murphy is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Nationals.
ANALYSIS
Murphy started the previous three games and will take a seat for Sunday's series finale in Washington. Travis d'Arnaud will step in behind the plate to catch for Hurston Waldrep in his MLB debut.
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Batting Stats
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2024
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2024 MLB Game Log
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2023 MLB Game Log
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2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
2
4
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
1
2
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2022
 
 
+7%
OPS vs LHP
2024
 
 
+674%
OPS vs RHP
2023
 
 
+6%
OPS vs LHP
2022
 
 
+16%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2022vs Left .822 276 38 11 31 0 .241 .366 .456
Since 2022vs Right .765 814 96 29 107 1 .247 .332 .434
2024vs Left .077 13 1 0 1 0 .000 .077 .000
2024vs Right .596 28 1 1 3 0 .192 .250 .346
2023vs Left .884 101 15 4 9 0 .274 .396 .488
2023vs Right .832 337 50 17 59 0 .245 .356 .476
2022vs Left .848 162 22 7 21 0 .242 .370 .477
2022vs Right .728 449 45 11 45 1 .252 .318 .410
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2022
 
 
+11%
OPS on Road
2024
 
 
+47%
OPS at Home
2023
 
 
+9%
OPS on Road
2022
 
 
+16%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2022Home .739 537 62 15 60 0 .235 .337 .402
Since 2022Away .819 553 72 25 78 1 .255 .344 .475
2024Home .528 18 1 0 2 0 .188 .278 .250
2024Away .358 23 1 1 2 0 .091 .130 .227
2023Home .807 221 33 8 30 0 .253 .367 .441
2023Away .880 217 32 13 38 0 .250 .364 .516
2022Home .702 298 28 7 28 0 .226 .319 .383
2022Away .812 313 39 11 38 1 .272 .345 .467
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Stat Review
How does Sean Murphy compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.18
 
BB Rate
4.9%
 
K Rate
26.8%
 
BABIP
.154
 
ISO
.105
 
AVG
.132
 
OBP
.195
 
SLG
.237
 
OPS
.432
 
wOBA
.199
 
Exit Velocity
85.2 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
22.2%
 
Barrels/PA
4.9%
 
Expected BA
.158
 
Expected SLG
.310
 
Sprint Speed
22.7 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
66.7%
 
Line Drive %
7.4%
 
Fly Ball %
25.9%
 
Prospect Rankings History
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
Trade imminent?
COakland Athletics
December 4, 2022
Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports Murphy is "getting close" to being traded by the Athletics.
ANALYSIS
It's unclear if Oakland is making significant progress in negotiations with any particular team, but Feinsand said Atlanta is "considered the frontrunner." The Guardians, Padres, Cardinals, Rays and Red Sox have also been mentioned as possible trade partners, as the 28-year-old backstop is a hot commodity with winter meetings now underway. Murphy had a .250/.332/.426 slash line with 18 home runs and 66 RBI in 148 games last year.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
Murphy came into the season known more for his glove work than his bat, yet finished the season as the fifth-best fantasy backstop behind only Realmuto, Varsho, Smith, and Perez. Murphy pulled a Perez-like workload in plate appearances with 612 plate appearances, but Oakland used him at DH 30 times to reduce the wear and tear on his knees. He rewarded them by reducing his strikeout rate and setting career bests in every possible category, even with his first career steal! Murphy could see a decrease in plate appearances following a trade to Atlanta, but it could be a net positive given the lineup upgrade. It has already been reported that Murphy and Travis d'Arnaud will each see time at designated hitter when the other is catching.
While Murphy continued to establish himself as one of the game's top defensive backstops, the 27-year-old endured his fair share of offensive struggles last season. He slashed .216/.306./405 with 17 homers while striking out at a 25.4% clip. Instead of seeing some positive regression from his .278 BABIP in 2020, Murphy saw his average on balls in play drop even further to .257 in 2021. Now is not the time to be overly pessimistic about Murphy's offensive potential going forward, however, especially considering that 2021 was his first full 162-game big-league season. If he can cut down on his strikeouts and have better luck when he does put the ball in play, he may be able to improve across the board offensively in 2022. At the very least, fantasy owners can be confident that his elite defense will keep him among the league leaders in games started behind the plate.
Murphy's 2020 Statcast page paints a confusing picture. His average exit velocity and hard-hit rate were 91st percentile while he toted an 83rd percentile barrel rate. Yet, his expected batting average was a paltry .211, in part due to a 26.4 K% as well as a home park that suppresses hits. It bodes well how hard Murphy stings the ball when he happens to hit it. A 17.4 BB% is also encouraging. Murphy's power metrics are promising as he posted a 22.6% HR/FB and 39.6% flyball rate last season. Don't be fooled by last season's .233 average. With fewer strikeouts and a BABIP more reflective of his batted-ball profile, Murphy has breakthrough potential. All this on top of excellent glove work, a strong arm and improving pitch framing mean he's sure to see bountiful playing time. The floor is shaky, but the ceiling is enticing.
It's hard to start a career much hotter than Murphy did. After missing most of the early part of the season with knee issues, he made his first career start in early September and went on to hit .414 with four homers in his first nine games of the month. He came down to earth after that, grabbing just one hit in 10 games over the rest of the month, but it was enough to make him the starting catcher heading into the playoffs. He will hold onto that job this season and should be a viable option in most formats. The 25-year-old hit .288/.369/.521 across his last two seasons in the minors, and scouts project him to hit for plus power with an average or better hit tool. His defense has a chance to be excellent, so he could rank near the top of the position in games played, with the one big caveat that he has missed significant time with injuries in each of the last two seasons.
Murphy spent the bulk of the 2018 season with Double-A Midland, posting a strong .288/.358/.498 line with eight homers in 68 games. Those numbers represented significant growth from his 53-game stint at the same level the season prior, when he hit just .209/.288/.309. The young backstop did miss a month and a half late in the season after undergoing wrist surgery, but he returned to play eight games at the end of the year, including his first three at the Triple-A level. That's probably the level at which he'll spend the bulk of this year, though he'll have a chance for at least some MLB at-bats, especially given the Athletics' lack of established options at his position. Scouting reports project Murphy as a fairly good defender, which should help him get playing time. He doesn't project for much more than average power or contact.
More Fantasy News
Returns to Atlanta lineup
CAtlanta Braves
June 6, 2024
Murphy (elbow) will start at catcher and bat sixth in Thursday's game versus the Nationals.
ANALYSIS
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Sitting out Wednesday
CAtlanta Braves
Elbow
June 5, 2024
Murphy (elbow) is out of the lineup for Wednesday's game in Boston.
ANALYSIS
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X-rays negative
CAtlanta Braves
Elbow
June 4, 2024
Initial X-rays on Murphy's right elbow came back negative after he was hit by a pitch during Tuesday's win over the Red Sox, Justin Toscano of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
ANALYSIS
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Exits after HBP
CAtlanta Braves
Elbow
June 4, 2024
Murphy was removed from Tuesday's game against the Red Sox after getting hit in the elbow by a pitch, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports.
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Resting Saturday
CAtlanta Braves
June 1, 2024
Murphy isn't in Atlanta's lineup for Saturday's game against Oakland.
ANALYSIS
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