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Murphy's Monster Week Earns Him American Association Pointstreak Player of the Week

June 24, 2019 - American Association (AA) - St. Paul Saints News Release

ST. PAUL, MN - Max Murphy had a great month...in one week. He helped carry the offense to one of its best weeks of the year and was instrumental in the St. Paul Saints 5-2 record over the last seven days. The otherworldly numbers he put up made him an easy choice for the American Association to name him Pointstreak Player of the Week for the week from June 17-23.

Murphy went 19-37 (.514) with six home runs, 14 RBI, scored 14 runs and roped seven doubles in seven games. He had a multi-hit game in all seven games, scored a run in all seven, doubled in six of the seven games and had an RBI in four of seven. His week started with a 4-6 night at Sioux Falls with a double, two home runs, one being a grand slam, a career high seven RBI, scoring four runs and 11 total bases. Two nights later he topped that with 12 total bases, one shy of the franchise record, going 4-6 with two doubles, two home runs, four RBI and four runs scored. He homered in back-to-back games on June 19 and 20, doubled in the first four games of the week and has doubled in the last two.

On the season Murphy is hitting .320 with 12 home runs and 32 RBI in 34 games. In 147 at bats he's scored 28 runs, ripped 10 doubles, one triple, swiped five bases, with a .374 on base percentage, .646 slugging percentage for a ridiculous 1.020 OPS. He is tops in the league in total bases (95), home runs and slugging percentage, tied for first in hits (47) and extra base hits (23), tied for second in runs and RBI, and third in OPS. He also leads the league in runs created (34.49), one of only four players who have a runs created number of over 30.0. His isolated power, a sabermetric stat that only takes into account extra base hits and the type of extra base hit into account, is second in the league at .327. Only Keon Barnum of Chicago is better at .328 and they are the only two players in the league with an isolated power average of more than .300.

The 26-year-old Murphy did it both offensively and defensively for the Saints in 2018. He hit .319 with seven home runs and 68 RBI in 98 games. In 427 at bats he roped 31 doubles, five triples, 32 walks, swiped 10 bases in 12 opportunities, with a .373 on base percentage, a .464 slugging percentage, for a .836 OPS. His 136 hits were the most ever by a Saints player, breaking the 124 set by Adam Olow in 2004 and the 31 doubles trailed only Jason Cooper's 38 in 2010. Murphy led the league in at bats, which was also a franchise record, second in doubles, third in hits, tied for third in total bases (198), and tied for ninth in average. He finished tied for second in outfield assists with 10. Murphy was also third in the sabermetric stat runs created, at 72.5, which estimates a player's offensive contribution in terms of total runs.

His season was highlighted by a career high 16-game hitting streak from July 14-August 1 and he reached base safely in 22 straight games from July 8-August 1. Murphy had another double-digit hitting streak when he hit safely in 12-straight from August 8-20. He tied a career high with an RBI in six straight from August 11-17 and broke his career high by scoring a run in 10-straight from August 8-17. He tied two other personal bests by collecting four-hits in a game, which he did twice, and five RBI on August 5 vs. Kansas City. In the playoffs Murphy hit safely in six straight games and hit .267 in eight games.

Murphy split the 2017 season between High-A Fort Myers and Double-A Chattanooga where he earned accolades at both stops. In Fort Myers he hit .307 with five home runs and 34 RBI in 78 games. In 300 at bats he scored 52 runs, slugged 16 doubles, three triples, stole nine bases, with a .390 on base percentage, and a .430 slugging percentage. He was named a Florida State League Post-Season All-Star as an outfielder. Murphy had a season high 11-game hitting streak from June 22-July 4 that included three, three-hit games and a four-hit game. He had a career high five RBI on June 14. He had an incredible 11 games with three of more hits. Murphy was promoted to Chattanooga on July 8 and hit .252 with a home run and 28 RBI in 52 games. In 206 games he scored 28 runs, roped 13 doubles, three triples, had a .317 on base percentage, and a .359 slugging percentage. Murphy was awarded the MiLB "Rawlings Gold Glove Award" for right field. His 80 runs scored were a career high. The Lookouts were co-champions in the Southern League after defeating the Pensacola Blue Wahoos three-games-to-two. The Championship series was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma.

Murphy was a ninth-round draft pick by the Twins in 2014 out of Bradley University and made his mark immediately with an incredible five weeks at Low-A Elizabethton where he was named the league's Player of the Year and a Post-Season All-Star. He hit .378 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI in 35 games. In 119 at bats he scored 34 runs, had seven doubles, two triples, a .483 on base percentage, a .723 slugging percentage, for a mind boggling 1.206 OPS. He finished first in the league in slugging and second in home runs, despite playing just 35 games. He reached base safely in his first 22 professional games from June 19-July 13. Murphy had a 12-game hitting streak from June 20-July 4, scored a run in an incredible eight straight from June 23-July 1, and an RBI in six straight from June 24-30. He homered in back-to-back games on three different occasions and had two triples in a game on June 30. He was promoted to Single-A Cedar Rapids on July 28 and hit .242 with four home runs and 15 RBI in 32 games. Murphy hit safely in 11-straight from July 30-August 9. His team lost two-games-to-none in the semi-finals to the Kane County Cougars.

In 2015 Murphy spent the entire season at Cedar Rapids where he hit .225 with four home runs and 36 RBI in 93 games. In 347 at bats he scored 54 runs, ripped 15 doubles, had a career high eight triples, a .302 on base percentage, and a .349 slugging percentage. His hottest streak came during May 4-11 when he was named the Hitter of the Week. He collected a multi-hit game in five of six games, including two, three-hit performances. The Kernels made the playoffs, but lost in the Championship Series three-games-to-two to the West Michigan Whitecaps.

After starting 2016 at Cedar Rapids, Murphy was promoted to Fort Myers on April 28 and hit .257 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 49 games. Unfortunately, he was injured from July 2-August 9. Prior to going on the disabled list, and then doing a three-game rehab stint at the Gulf Coast level, Murphy was hitting .282.

Murphy played baseball, football, and soccer at Robbinsdale Cooper High School and earned 5-AAA All-Section Honors as a freshman. While at Bradley University he twice made ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays, on back-to-back nights, during the State Farm MVC Tournament. Both were on the defensive side in center field: a diving catch in right-center field and an over the shoulder grab racing towards the warning track.

This is the first Player of the Week Award for the Saints in 2019 and their third weekly honor of the season. Pitcher Eddie Medina earned the Pitcher of the Week award in back-to-back weeks for the weeks of May 20-26 and May 27-June 2. The last Saints Player of the Week was Zach Walters on July 30-August 5, 2018.

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