Oakland A's

Why Sean Murphy Could Be Athletics' Breakout Player for 2022 Season

Why Murphy could be breakout player for A's in 2022 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Well, there certainly aren't many fan favorites remaining on the Athletics' roster. 

Oakland's fire sale has resulted in stars such as Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Chris Bassitt and Sean Manaea being traded away from an organization that has very clearly signaled for yet another teardown. 

So that begs the question, who remains? And who is left to root for this season? 

I present to you, the new potential face of the franchise, catcher Sean Murphy. 

The 27-year-old catcher has impressed defensively and has shown flashes offensively, but has yet to reach -- what many believe to be -- his true potential. 

Last season in 119 games played, Murphy hit an underwhelming .216/.306/.405 with 17 home runs and 59 RBI in 448 plate appearances. 

Despite the poor averages, Murphy established himself as potentially one of the better power-hitting catchers in the American League. 

He provided us with a reminder in the A's spring training game against the San Diego Padres on Sunday. 

Murphy has an abundance of power, plenty that he still has yet to tap into. 

The six-foot-three, 228-pound catcher has the power and frame to be a consistent 25-30-plus home run hitter, a trajectory that he showed flashes of last season. 

Whether or not he lives up to that potential remains to be seen. At the time of this writing, Murphy is 3-for-3 in Sunday's game against the Padres, boosting his spring average to .520 with two home runs, eight RBI and a whopping 1.552 OPS. A great sign for the A's slugger, who will begin his second full season in the major leagues in just five days. 

Aside from Murphy, Oakland does have some exciting, young talent remaining on the roster. 

Starting pitcher Frankie Montas showed ace potential last season and last time I checked, has not been traded ... yet. Right fielder Seth Brown, who figures to be Murphy's battery mate in the middle of the order is another offensive threat capable of hitting 20-25 home runs. 

Centerfielders Cristian Pache, who Oakland acquired from the Atlanta Braves in the Matt Olson trade, along with Ramon Laureano, who will serve the remaining 27 games of an 80-game suspension from last year, also figure to be staples of the A's current roster. 

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As of right now, morale amongst the fanbase is low and for good reason. Plenty of A's fans are hesitant to get attatched to another star player and that's certainly understandable. But at the end of the day, fans want someone to root for. So if you're looking to take the plunge and risk future heartbreak, Sean Murphy might just be worth it. 

Winning his first career Gold Glove award last season, Murphy has already established himself as a reliable leader defensively behind the plate. If his big bat continues to develop, he could become a consistent power threat in the middle of the A's order for years to come. 

Unless he's traded for a haul of prospects in two years. 

Too soon? 

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