Atlanta Braves Prospects: Owen Murphy Continues to Impress

The 2022 first round pick of the Atlanta Braves has been impressive in 2022. Just how high is his ceiling?

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves
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The 2022 first-round pick for the Atlanta Braves was prep pitcher Owen Murphy. There was a lot of hype surrounding Murphy and the scouts said he might need a few years. He is showing in 2023 some flashes of what made the Braves select him with their first selection a year ago.

Looking at the stat line for Murphy may not scream "impressive" with a 4.84 ERA, 4.19 FIP, and 3.74 xFIP over 61.1 innings and 16 starts. However, the numbers are not always the best indicator for a young pitcher like that. He shows plenty of swing and miss potential with a 30.2% strikeout rate and a manageable walk rate of 9.2%. As he continues to mature and learn how to pitch, he will eventually see better results on the surface.

He is a 19 year old kid in Low-A, he is still very raw and very much a project for the Braves to continue to mold and shape into an actual pitcher. He shows flashes of brilliance, especially in his last start where in 5 innings, he allowed only 3 hits, with 1 earned run, while walking 1 run, and striking out 9 batters. He struck out 9 of the 18 batters he faced which is a phenomenal rate.

The flashes of being a special pitcher is there and it is evident when you get to watch him. He has good stuff with the potential to have a four pitch mix as he progresses.

In fact, he is one of FIVE pitchers above rookie ball with a 20+% K-BB rate this year.

His fastball sits in the low 90s but shows solid spin and rising action to make it a quality pitch. Fangraphs grades it as a 50 currently with a 55 FV while MLB pipeline gives it a 60 FV. He will need to keep up the good spin rate and rise to have it be a quality pitch if he cannot add any extra velocity.

His secondary stuff features a curveball and slider. The curve sits in the mid-70s with a 55 grade on Fangraphs and 60 FV, however, MLB pipeline gives it a 50. The slider sits in the mid-80s and looks more like a cutter at times. Fangraphs grades it at a 50 with a 60 FV with MLB pipeline giving it a 55.

The fourth pitch is his changeup that is behind the other offerings. It might become serviceable and play off the other pitches.

The command currently sits at a 25 present grade. Both Fangraphs and MLB give it a 55 FV.

Murphy is still a few years away. I like that the Braves gave him the full year in Augusta. Maybe they give him a taste of Rome to end 2023 but it feels like that would have happened by now. I think 2024 will see him spend most of the year in High-A with the potential for AA if he takes a big step forward. His most likely outcome to reach the big leagues, in my opinion, is sometime in the middle of 2025. The Braves have shown they will be aggressive with prospects if they can help the big league team, so there is a chance Murphy beats that estimate.

I think he has the ability to be a solid middle of the rotation arm. Maybe a low-end 2 at his peak. There is a lot of value in a guy with that projection.

He is easily a top 4 prospect currently in the organization. It just depends on opinions on guys like 2023 first rounder Hurston Waldrep, Ignacio Alvarez, and AJ Smith-Shawver.

No matter what he is ranked, Owen Murphy will be a name many Braves fans keep an eye on over the next few years with anticipation of what he might look like on the mound in Truist Park.