Braves top prospect rewarded for stellar week of pitching in South Atlantic League

One of Atlanta's top minor league arms impressed during the last week, earning high acclaim.

Chicago White Sox v Atlanta Braves
Chicago White Sox v Atlanta Braves / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Atlanta Braves top prospect Owen Murphy made headlines this last week. A dominant seven-inning performance with just one hit, 10 strikeouts, no walks, and no runs earned South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week.

A tremendous outing from the Braves' fifth-ranked prospect according to MLB pipeline. Murphy was Atlanta's first-round pick in 2022 and is currently just twenty years old. This performance highlights what the Braves saw in Murphy as they selected him out of Riverside-Brookfield High School in Riverside, Illinois.

What makes the performance even more special is that this was not just a one-off strong performance. It is the highlight of a strong start to the 2024 season for Murphy. In HIgh-A Rome, Murphy has started four games, throwing 24 innings, with a 1.13 ERA, 1.77 FIP, 2.43 xFIP, a 41.6% strikeout rate, and a 6.7% walk rate.

In fact, Murphy is fifth in ALL of minor league baseball with 37 total strikeouts. This includes just six walks issued. His 46.6% strikeout rate ranks 10th and his K/BB% of 34.8% has him listed seventh.

Owen Murphy may have had an award-winning week but it has been an eye-popping month. One that is starting to earn him attention not just in Braves country but around all of baseball.

The Braves can afford to be patient with the development of Murphy. There is not a current hole in the Braves pitching staff. Plus, several capable pitchers are knocking on the door already such as Darius Vines, Dylan Dodd, AJ Smith-Shawver, and potentially even Hurston Waldrep. This means Murphy can get all the seasoning he needs anyway.

There will come a point where Rome may be too easy for him and the Braves will want to see him in Double-A Mississippi. That is normally the level where we see top prospects separate themselves. The best-case scenario for Murphy to end up in Atlanta would be in the middle of 2025 if his development goes well.

For the time being, it looks like the Braves scouting department nailed this first-round pick. An exciting pitcher to watch so get out to Rome if you can when Owen Murphy is on the mound.

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