The likelihood of Patrick Murphy reaching the big leagues was far from certain when I wrote about the then-22-year-old right-hander in February 2018. He’d pitched well the previous season, but that was in Low-A, and his injury history included thoracic outlet syndrome and multiple elbow procedures. Question marks abounded, and Murphy merited a mere honorable mention our Blue Jays Top Prospects list.
His future remained murky when I wrote about him nine months later on the heels a promotion to Toronto’s 40-man roster. Murphy was again coming off a good year — this time in High-A — but there was nonetheless still a lot to prove. He entered 2019 ranked No. 26 on our Blue Jays list, his FV an uninspiring 35+.
Then came a speed bump that necessitated a mechanical change. Midway through the 2019 season, Murphy was told that his delivery was illegal. More on that in a moment.
Fast forward to last month: Seven years after the Blue Jays selected him in the third round of the 2013 draft out of a Chandler, Arizona high school, Murphy made his major league debut. It came against the Philadelphia Phillies, and one of the first batters he faced was a close friend.