The Braves didn’t make many moves this offseason; the roster was already loaded with talent under long-term contracts. However, Alex Anthopoulos did make one notable acquisition by trading for Gold Glove catcher Sean Murphy.
It was one that confused many Braves fans. The club already had two All-Star backstops in William Contreras and Travis d’Arnaud, but AA wasn’t satisfied and saw an opportunity to upgrade the position.
So far, the Braves have to be happy with the early returns of the trade because Sean Murphy has broken yet another franchise record after homering on Tuesday night, marking 11 straight hits that were of the extra-base variety.
Sean Murphy destroyed this baseball.
And set a record: His last 11 hits are extra-base hits, the longest such streak in Atlanta Braves history (since 1966). pic.twitter.com/YJw5ws5VsN
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) April 19, 2023
Coming into Wednesday’s series finale against the Padres, Sean Murphy is hitting .275 with four homers and seven doubles, good for a 1.078 OPS. He’s also getting on base at an unbelievable .431 clip, thanks to the 13 walks he’s induced, all while playing elite defense. The advanced metrics back it up; his Baseball Savant page is a sea of red.
- Avg. Exit Velo. — 89th percentile
- Max. Exit Velo. — 84th percentile
- HardHit% — 84th percentile
- xwOBA — 99th percentile
- xBA — 83rd percentile
- xSLG — 98th percentile
- Barrel% — 97th percentile
- BB% — 98th percentile
- Chase Rate — 91st percentile
- Framing — 79th percentile
Sean Murphy isn’t only hitting at an elite rate for a catcher; he’s among the highest-performing offensive players, regardless of position. The Braves new backstop has come as advertised and probably even better than advertised. After a somewhat sluggish start, the former third-round pick has come out on fire in the wake of Travis d’Arnaud’s injury.
Before the season, I expected Murphy to assume most of the starts at catcher and very few as the designated hitter, but if he keeps mashing like this, Brian Snitker will have no choice but to keep him in the lineup on off-days as the season progressing deeper into the Summer.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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