Murphy Alexander Smith
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 210 lb.
- School Binghamton University
- High School Shenendehowa High School
- Debut August 27, 2018
Pitcher Murphy Smith began his professional career in the Oakland Athletics system in 2009.
He was 0-2 with a save and a 5.45 ERA as a college freshman then improved to 6-4, 4.09 as a sophomore and 7-3, 3.12 as a junior. As a junior, he had 84 K to 14 BB in 89 1/3 IP. He led the America East Conference in wins, tied for the most whiffs and had the best ERA among hurlers with 50+ IP. He was the America East Pitcher of the Year. He was taken by the A's in the 13th round of that year's draft, a few slots ahead of infielder Matt Carpenter. The scout was Marc Sauer.
The hurler's ascension through the Athletics' chain was slow. He toiled in Rookie- and A-ball his first three seasons and spent all of 2012 and 2013 in Double-A. He split 2009 between the AZL Athletics (4 R in 6 IP), Vancouver Canadians (1 UER in 4 IP) and Kane County Cougars (2-2, 4.75 in 9 G). He split 2010 between the Cougars (8-2, 3.64) and Stockton Ports (3-5, 6.19). He was second in the A's chain in wins, two behind Clayton Mortensen and 9th in strikeouts (between Ian Krol and Graham Godfrey).
He was 6-9 with a 3.94 ERA for the 2011 Ports. He was 9th in the California League in ERA (between Jake Buchanan and Matt Magill). He was 9th in the A's chain in both strikeouts and ERA. He was awful with the Phoenix Desert Dogs (1-2, 12.46, 51 H in 26 IP), posting the worst ERA in the Arizona Fall League and allowing the most hits (51, 9 more than Collin McHugh), runs (38, 8 more than Stephen Fife) and earned runs (36, 12 ahead of Sean Gleason).
He struggled some more with the 2012 Midland RockHounds (6-11, 4.82 ERA, .311 opponent average). He tied Keyvius Sampson and Orangel Arenas for third in the Texas League in losses, tied Buchanan for 4th in hits allowed (176), was second to Noel Arguelles in runs allowed (95 to 91) and was third with 75 earned runs allowed (behind Arguelles and Arenas). He tied for third in the A's chain in losses (trailing Fabio Castro and Sean Murphy), allowed the most hits (7 more than Josh Bowman), was second in runs allowed (8 behind Brad Peacock) and tied for fourth in earned runs.
Despite going 9-8 with a 3.48 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) for the Midland RockHounds in 2013 (finishing 5th in the A's chain in ERA between Sonny Gray and Dakota Bacus and placing 6th in the TL in ERA between Lay Batista and Donn Roach and tying Ruben Alaniz and Neil Ramirez for fifth in wins), he converted to relief pitching to begin 2014 and, once again, began the year in Double-A.