Max Murphy Re-Signs with St. Paul Saints
In the 26-seasons of the St. Paul Saints no player collected more hits in a single-season, and only one player slugged more doubles, than outfielder Max Murphy in 2018. On the heels of one of his best all-around seasons in his five-year career, Murphy will once again patrol the outfield at CHS Field as he was re-signed for 2019.
The 26-year-old Murphy did it both offensively and defensively. He hit .319 with seven home runs and 68 RBI in 98 games. In 427 at bats he roped 31 doubles, five triples, 32 walks, swiped 10 bases in 12 opportunities, with a .373 on base percentage, a .464 slugging percentage, for a .836 OPS. His 136 hits were the most ever by a Saints player, breaking the 124 set by Adam Olow in 2004 and the 31 doubles trailed only Jason Cooper’s 38 in 2010. Murphy led the league in at bats, which was also a franchise record, second in doubles, third in hits tied for third in total bases (198), and tied for ninth in average. He finished tied for second in outfield assists with 10. Murphy was also third in the sabermetric stat runs created, at 72.5, which estimates a player’s offensive contribution in terms of total runs.
His season was highlighted by a career high 16-game hitting streak from July 14-August 1 and he reached base safely in 22 straight games from July 8-August 1. Murphy had another double-digit hitting streak when he hit safely in 12-straight from August 8-20. He tied a career high with an RBI in six straight from August 11-17 and broke his career high by scoring a run in 10-straight from August 8-17. He tied two other personal bests by collecting four-hits in a game, which he did twice, and five RBI on August 5 vs. Kansas City. In the playoffs Murphy hit safely in six straight games and hit .267 in eight games.
Murphy split the 2017 season between High-A Fort Myers and Double-A Chattanooga where he earned accolades at both stops. In Fort Myers he hit .307 with five home runs and 34 RBI in 78 games. In 300 at bats he scored 52 runs, slugged 16 doubles, three triples, stole nine bases, with a .390 on base percentage, and a .430 slugging percentage. He was named a Florida State League Post-Season All-Star as an outfielder. Murphy had a season high 11-game hitting streak from June 22-July 4 that included three, three-hit games and a four-hit game. He had a career high five RBI on June 14. He had an incredible 11 games with three of more hits. Murphy was promoted to Chattanooga on July 8 and hit .252 with a home run and 28 RBI in 52 games. In 206 games he scored 28 runs, roped 13 doubles, three triples, had a .317 on base percentage, and a .359 slugging percentage. Murphy was awarded the MiLB “Rawlings Gold Glove Award” for right field. His 80 runs scored were a career high. The Lookouts were co-champions in the Southern League after defeating the Pensacola Blue Wahoos three-games-to-two. The Championship series was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma.
Murphy was a ninth-round draft pick by the Twins in 2014 out of Bradley University and made his mark immediately with an incredible five weeks at Low-A Elizabethton where he was named the league’s Player of the Year and a Post-Season All-Star. He hit .378 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI in 35 games. In 119 at bats he scored 34 runs, had seven doubles, two triples, a .483 on base percentage, a .723 slugging percentage, for a mind boggling 1.206 OPS. He finished first in the league in slugging and second in home runs, despite playing just 35 games. He reached base safely in his first 22 professional games from June 19-July 13. Murphy had a 12-game hitting streak from June 20-July 4, scored a run in an incredible eight straight from June 23-July 1, and an RBI in six straight from June 24-30. He homered in back-to-back games on three different occasions and had two triples in a game on June 30. He was promoted to Single-A Cedar Rapids on July 28 and hit .242 with four home runs and 15 RBI in 32 games. Murphy hit safely in 11-straight from July 30-August 9. His team lost two-games-to-none in the semi-finals to the Kane County Cougars.
In 2015 Murphy spent the entire season at Cedar Rapids where he hit .225 with four home runs and 36 RBI in 93 games. In 347 at bats he scored 54 runs, ripped 15 doubles, had a career high eight triples, a .302 on base percentage, and a .349 slugging percentage. His hottest streak came during May 4-11 when he was named the Hitter of the Week. He collected a multi-hit game in five of six games, including two, three-hit performances. The Kernels made the playoffs, but lost in the Championship Series three-games-to-two to the West Michigan Whitecaps.
After starting 2016 at Cedar Rapids, Murphy was promoted to Fort Myers on April 28 and hit .257 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 49 games. Unfortunately, he was injured from July 2-August 9. Prior to going on the disabled list, and then doing a three-game rehab stint at the Gulf Coast level, Murphy was hitting .282.
Murphy played baseball, football, and soccer at Robbinsdale Cooper High School and earned 5-AAA All-Section Honors as a freshman. While at Bradley University he twice made ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays, on back-to-back nights, during the State Farm MVC Tournament. Both were on the defensive side in center field: a diving catch in right-center field and an over the shoulder grab racing towards the warning track.
The Saints have signed four players this off-season.
P Eddie Medina
INF Josh Allen
INF Devon Rodriguez
OF Max Murphy
The Saints begin the 2019 season with a 10-game homestand. Opening Day is Thursday, May 16 at 7:05 p.m. against the newest member of the Milwaukee Milkmen.
By Sean Aronson