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Prospect Roundup: Tom Murphy earns Offensive Player of the Week honors, Antonio Senzatela sparkles with a 0.66 ERA

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Tom Murphy is catching some attention with his hot bat, earning the Eastern League’s Offensive Player of the Week award. Meanwhile Antonio Senzatela is torching the California League with a 0.66 ERA. Weekly stats and highlight videos are included.

Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Catcher Tommy Murphy (No. 12 PuRP) earned the Eastern League Offensive Player of the Week award in his first week with the New Britain Rock Cats. The award is bittersweet after losing a year to a shoulder injury last season, showing how the organization missed out on the development of a good young catcher. The right-handed hitter is back in a dominating fashion, however, leading the Eastern League in six offensive categories, including home runs (3) and wRC+ (237).

The University of Buffalo standout is having one heck of a start to the season, posting a .811 slugging rate. The slugging may seem like an outlier, but the New York native has proven he carries a big stick with a career .517 minor league slugging rate going into the 2015 season.

John Sickels of Minor League Ball gave Murphy a B rating prior to the year and ranked him as the Rockies No. 7 overall prospect. Murphy is known for good on base skills and having a ton of power. Murphy is a solid defensive catcher and has shown an unptick in throwing out runners this season with a 40 percent caught stealing rate, compared to a career rate of 26 percent, which could be a strong sign that his shoulder is better.

Prior to his injury, Murphy posted a .948 OPS over two levels in 2013. The young catcher caught many of us off guard at the time by skipping a level and being promoted from Low-A to Double-A and bypassing High-A Modesto. Murphy is knocking on the doorstep to the major leagues and could leapfrog Triple-A if the stars align and his hot hitting continues.

Antonio Senzatela is scorching the CAL

Modesto pitcher Antonio Senzatela (No. 14 PuRP) is sporting a whimsical beard this season, and a dazzling repertoire to match. The righthander was on fire in his two starts this week. Allowing just one earned run in 12 innings pitched. The Venezuelan is carrying a 0.66 ERA to start the season.

Hampered by a nasty blister in Low-A Asheville last year, the now 20-year-old Senzetala struggled to throw his changeup with consistency and was occasionally punished for his tendency to challenge hitters without a mix in velocity. This season, Antonio appears to have overcome his injury and is able to use a full assortment again.

"He never shows frustration on the mound, he just gets the ball and challenges hitters," Modesto manager Fred Ocasio said to MiLB.com. "He was aggressive, he controlled his fastball and pretty much pitched with his fastball and he mixed in pitches."

Senzatala had a quick hook to start the season, being pulled after nearing his pitch count of 38 pitches in only the second inning. His manager explained that it shouldn't be considered a bad outing however.

"His first start was not shaky, he just gave up a couple really good hits in the second and there were some errors. ... His pitch count [ran] out and even though we had to take him out of the ballgame, he pitched very well," Ocasio said. "He's aggressive and uses the fastball to pitch inside. He's a strike thrower, he's going to go after hitters and he throws strikes."

Senzatela is an aggressive pitcher who tops out at 96, but tends to sit in the low-90's on his fastball. His strikeout numbers have never been eye-popping, but he makes up for it with an above average groundball rate.

Ranked the No. 12 prospect in the Rockies system by John Sickels, Senzatela is under team control until 2017, but will be Rule 5 eligible after this season. So the Rockies have time to develop him, but could leave him exposed to other teams if he doesn't show he's close enough to the majors to be added to the 40-man roster.

Stars of the Week

Hitters

Name

Age

Tm

PA

2B

3B

HR

RBI

K

SB

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS ▾

Will Swanner

23.75

NBR

18

1

0

1

4

5

2

0.467

0.556

0.733

1.289

Tim Wheeler

27.42

ALB

34

3

0

3

12

5

2

0.379

0.471

0.793

1.264

Tommy Murphy

24.17

NBR

31

3

0

1

4

7

1

0.417

0.548

0.667

1.215

Robbie Perkins

21.08

ASH

5

2

0

0

0

1

0

0.400

0.400

0.800

1.200

Cristhian Adames

23.92

ALB

39

3

0

2

5

1

0

0.394

0.474

0.667

1.141

Pitchers

Name

Age

Tm

W

Sv

BF

IP

ERA ▴

H

HR

BB

K

Ryan Castellani

19.17

ASH

0

0

12

3

0.00

1

0

2

1

Josh Michalec

23

ASH

0

1

13

4

0.00

1

0

0

2

Sam Moll

23.42

MOD

0

0

10

3

0.00

0

0

1

6

Antonio Senzatela

20.42

MOD

1

0

20

6

0.00

2

0

0

2

Matt Flemer

24.58

NBR

1

0

22

6

1.50

3

0

1

4

Shane Broyles

23.83

MOD

0

0

22

5.2

1.59

5

0

0

9

Helmis Rodriguez

21

ASH

0

0

23

5.2

1.59

6

1

0

4

Chad Bettis

26.17

ALB

2

0

49

12.2

2.13

11

2

4

9

Alarms of the Week

Hitters

Name

Age

Tm

PA

2B

3B

HR

RBI

K

SB

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS ▾

David Dahl

21.17

NBR

29

1

0

0

0

9

2

0.143

0.172

0.179

0.351

Dom Nunez

20.42

ASH

21

1

0

0

0

6

0

0.150

0.190

0.200

0.390

Pat Valaika

22.75

NBR

13

0

0

0

0

4

0

0.167

0.231

0.167

0.398

Juan Ciriaco

24.92

NBR

15

0

0

0

4

4

0

0.214

0.214

0.214

0.428

Kyle Parker

25.75

ALB

33

0

0

1

2

12

2

0.111

0.226

0.222

0.448

Pitchers

Name

Age

Tm

W

Sv

BF

IP

ERA ▴

H

HR

BB

K

Matt Pierpont

24.42

MOD

0

0

16

3.2

9.82

5

1

0

3

Rex Brothers

27.5

ALB

1

0

15

3

9.00

4

0

3

4

Jon Gray

23.58

ALB

0

0

46

10

8.10

14

1

5

10

Carlos Polanco

21.33

ASH

0

0

28

5.2

7.94

12

2

0

4

Johendi Jiminian

22.67

MOD

0

0

40

8.1

7.56

11

0

4

11

Zach Jemiola

21.17

ASH

0

0

28

6

7.50

8

2

0

4

Highlights of the Week

Tim Wheeler launches a grand slam for Albuquerque.

Cristhian Adames showing off some lighttower power.

Will Swanner shows off his hot bat this week with this opposite field home run for New Britain.

Profile piece on Asheville's new manager Warren Schaeffer, includes workout highlights of players such as Forrest Wall. You can even catch a peek of me around the 1:37 mark taking photos on Media Day.