Athletics catcher Sean Murphy underwent a lateral meniscal debridement procedure on his left knee today, as per a team announcement. The surgery addresses the meniscus problems that plagued Murphy this season (leading to a pair of stints on the Triple-A injured list), and the young backstop “is expected to be ready for Spring Training.”
Knee surgery isn’t exactly the best way to celebrate a birthday, as Murphy turns 25 years old today. But, given how the youngster performed in his first taste of MLB action even while not at 100 percent, a clean bill of health makes Murphy seem like an even more intriguing prospect going forward, and a strong candidate to assume the everyday catching duties for the Athletics for next season.
Murphy hit .245/.333/.566 with four home runs over his first 60 Major League plate appearances, all but one of which took place in September. With the A’s battling for a wild card berth, Murphy’s performance earned him an increasingly larger share of the playing time alongside veteran catcher Josh Phegley, and Murphy ended up getting the start in Oakland’s wild card game loss to the Rays.
After three impressive years at Wright State, Murphy was a third-round pick for the A’s in the 2016 draft and continued to impress as he worked his way up the minor league ladder. Murphy hit .267/.341/.456 over 966 career PA in the minors, showing up strong offensive potential to go along with his highly-touted defensive skills. Fangraphs ranks Murphy as the 29th-best prospect in baseball, with MLB.com (43rd) and Baseball America (52nd) also issuing strong placements on their top-100 prospects lists.