South Atlantic League All-Star Game Outtakes: Tom Murphy

By Ashley Marshall

Over the next week, I’ll be publishing a series of short posts featuring players I spoke with at Lakewood’s FirstEnergy Park during the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. 

You can read the full game recap, revisit the Gameday box score or check out the sidebar feature on the Pirates prospects at the game. Follow me on Twitter for more interview outtakes.

A month into the season, Asheville catcher Tom Murphy was hitting .426, riding a 15-game hitting streak and coming off a week in which he homered in three consecutive games.

One week and a 1-for-15 streak later, the average was down to .349. The following week, he went 2-for-19 and the average dropped another 44 points to a season-low .305.

The Rockies prospect stabilized his average and entered the All-Star break hitting .318 with 12 homers and 49 RBIs. His .653 slugging percentage topped the league, and he says it’s all due to consistency.

“I went through a little tough stretch where I was hitting real well and then things hit the can, like can happen in baseball. It really comes down to attitude and approach,” he said.murphy_640

The reason for the sudden, prolonged slump following such a hot start?

“I tried to change a bunch of physical things, but it wasn’t that; it was all in my head,” Murphy said. “I had to stay aggressive, but when things are going bad, it’s hard to tell yourself to stay aggressive. I thought it was something with my hands, but it had to do with my approach. I went from being an aggressive hitter in the strike zone to a non-aggressive hitter who was taking too many strikes.

“Now I’m starting to see more pitches early in the game. I’m seeing curveballs in my first at-bat, so really when pitchers do that it only helps me because by the third or fourth inning, I’ve seen all of his pitches.”

On deck: Lakewood catcher Numata discusses BlueClaws pitching staff

More SAL ASG outtakes:

Rome’s Elander talks staying loose, capri pants
Savannah’s Boyd is floating on Cloud Nine
Brinson not worried about ‘first-rounder’ tag

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