In an unexpected turn of events, catcher Tom Murphy made his big league debut this season, getting the call to the big leagues after an injury to Nick Hundley and making his debut on September 12.
Murphy, ranked No. 11 on the most recent PuRPs list, played 11 games with the Rockies in 2015, getting just 35 at bats, but made the most of them. He hit .257/.333/.543 in his time with the Rockies, his nine hits including three home runs. He accumulated 0.2 rWAR in his brief time in Colorado, good for second among Rockies catchers in 2015, trailing only the veteran Hundley.
After going 0-for-8 in his first three games, Murphy recorded his first career hit on September 19 against San Diego, getting an RBI single in the second inning against Padres pitcher Robbie Erlin, bringing home Carlos Gonzalez. He followed that up with his first career home run in the fifth inning of the same game, a solo shot into the Padres bullpen against reliever Marcos Mateo.
That started a stretch of three straight starts with a home run for Murphy, as he took Pirates starters A.J. Burnett and Charlie Morton deep in his next two appearances. After the 0-for-8 start to his major league career, Murphy hit .333/.419/.704 in his final eight games, adding a double to his three homers and also walking four times.
Prior to his big league call up, Murphy played at both Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Albuquerque this season, hitting .249/.320/.463 in 72 games for the Rock Cats and .271/.301/.535 in 33 games for the Isotopes with 20 total home runs in the minor league season. His strong showing in 2015 was a nice bounce back from an injury-plagued 2014 season that saw him play just 20 games at Double-A Tulsa.
Murphy looks to have a bright future with the Rockies, and the 24-year-old should be in serious contention to break camp with the big club next season, though the team could decide to have him begin the season back at Albuquerque to increase his playing time in the early going.
Regardless of where his 2016 begins, expect to see a good bit more of Murphy at Coors Field next season and hopefully for several seasons to come as he establishes himself as a key part of the more youth-laden Rockies teams we will see as the rebuilding process continues.