The Colorado Rockies made the rare organizational choice of selecting a catcher in the third round of the 2012 draft. The move has paid off so far.
The Rockies drafted Tom Murphy, out of Buffalo, becoming the fifth catcher selected that high by the Rockies since the team began in 1992.
Entering the weekend, Murphy had a 16-game hitting streak, reaching base safely by hit in 18 of 20 games played this season. The 22-year-old has failed to reach base in just one game this year.
As a result, Murphy is leading the South Atlantic League in almost every hitting category, posting a .420 average with a .535 on-base percentage for Asheville. He has seven doubles, two triples and eight home runs in 88 plate appearances.
In three games against the Augusta GreenJackets last weekend, Murphy went 5 for 11 with two doubles and four RBI.
Murphy is ranked 14th in the Rockies system by Baseball America. Reports indicate the 6-foot-1 right-handed hitter has a short, compact swing with good strike-zone awareness and the ability to put up good power numbers..
Ranked as the highest catcher in the system, Murphy should move quickly through the organization.
CONVERTED SLUGGER: It didn’t take long for West Virginia first baseman Stetson Allie to discover his calling as a player is not on the mound.
Allie was drafted in the second round in 2010 out of an Ohio high school, displaying an impressive power arm. But his command and control failed him early in professional baseball, and he was forced to seek an alternative to remain in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization after a little more than a year.
The big right-hander seems to have found it as a power hitter. In his first full season as a hitter, Allie entered the weekend batting .339 with a .427 on-base percentage, recording eight doubles and eight home runs in 143 plate appearances.
Allie has shown the typical signs of a power hitter, recording a high amount of strikeouts but also walking at a good rate. He has also flashed athletic ability with four stolen bases from a big frame.
It wasn’t a smooth transition from the mound to the batter’s box. Allie finished the 2012 season in the Gulf Coast League as a hitter, batting .213 in 173 plate appearances. But he has adjusted in his first season as a full-time hitter, and the results have been positive for the Pirates prospect.
HOMER LEADER: Entering the weekend, Houston Astros prospect George Springer held the minor league lead with 11 home runs through 33 games.
It’s a pleasant sight for the Astros, who drafted Springer 11th overall in the 2011 draft out of Connecticut, making him the highest pick in the school’s history.
Springer, considered a five-tool threat, leads the minors in home runs while recording nine stolen bases and a .373 on-base percentage in the Texas League.