GM Scouting Report: OF, Matthew Murton

OF, Matt Murton

Matt Murton, along with fellow 2003 Red Sox draft pick David Murphy, represents a new drafting philosophy within the organization. Murton was selected by the Sox with the 32nd overall pick in this year's draft. He was selected out of Georgia Tech, alma mater of current Sox stars Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Varitek. Murton is in the mold of the classic power hitting outfielder.

Matt Murton had two very impressive summers in the Cape league that helped to improve his stock as a prospect. He was also a member of the Wareham Gatemen along with Murphy and won the league MVP on the strength of his .324 batting average. In the summer of 2002, Murton continued to impress and won the home run derby at the Cape league All-Star game.

Murton brought his polished skills to Lowell where he did fairly well. He hit .286 for the Spinners in 189 at bats and also stole 9 bases. Murton has the rare ability to hit for power and also swipe some bases on a consistent basis. In his limited action with the Spinners, Murton provided a dangerous weapon from his leftfield position, offering many ways in which he can hurt the opposing ball club. Murton already does a nice job getting on base, especially for a power guy. He did a good job at Lowell as his .374 OBP is solid, but could serve to be improved. Finally, Murton struggled a bit to get his power stats on track, but he will develop as time goes on.

Year

Team

AVG

AB

H

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2003

Lowell

.286

189

54

2

29

30

9

27

39

.374

.397

2003

GA Tech

.344

250

86

10

58

62

20

36

37

.434

.536


*Stats as of 9/7/03.

Batting and Power. Murton combines power and patience at the plate, making him especially appealing to any major league ball club. For a big guy, he does a nice job of drawing walks and getting on base. Murton can muscle the ball at the plate and does not have to get everything to get it out of the park. Murton at the plate ideally may remind people of a Frank Thomas type, a guy with a very good eye but can crush anything over the plate.

Base Running and Speed. Murton, despite being a big guy, is surprisingly fleet of foot. He stole 20 bases during his final season at Georgia Tech and 9 more during his time with the Spinners. He also was 19-19 during his MVP Cape league season.

Defense. Murton is very solid in the outfield, mainly as a product of his speed. He would not be a liability in the field as so many power hitting outfielders tend to be. He can cover his share of ground in left and develop into a solid fielder.

Projection. Murton's time at one of the top college baseball schools in the country is an asset in his eventual development into an everyday major league player. Murton has all of the skills necessary to play in the bigs, but he does need time to develop. He has to continue to be selective at the plate and further develop his power. If he can continue to refine his skills he can be a very solid corner outfielder for the Sox.

ETA. 2006/2007.

Outfielders Team
Anton French AAA - Pawtucket Red Sox
Justin Sherrod AA - Portland Se Dogs
Antron Seiber A - Sarasota Red Sox
Matt Cooper A - Augusta Greenjackets
Kevin Jordan A - Lowell Spinners


Comments


1. Anton French is getting on in years, but posted very solid numbers for Pawtucket this past season. The 28 year old hit .293 for the Paw Sox. He also demonstrated great speed stealing 40 bases as well. He is very versatile defensively as he can be used at any outfield position. He very well could get his shot very soon, what he does with it remains to be seen.

2. Justin Sherrod was drafted in 2000 by the Sox and spent the past season in Portland. He had an average year for the Sea Dogs, hitting .259 while driving in 74. He is a big, strong kid with some pop in his bat. He strikes out way too much though, whiffing 143 times this past season. His pitch selection and ability to put the bat on the ball will have to improve for him to have any shot at the big time.

3. Antron Seiber had a tough year in 2003 as he missed much of the season due to injury. This was especially disappointing as Seiber was coming off a breakout 2002 campaign with the Augusta Green Jackets when he hit .298. Seiber has blazing speed which is an asset on the base paths and in the field. Hopefully, he can rebound from the injury and pick up where he left off in 2002.

4. Matt Cooper started out the year with Augusta, but was promoted to Sarasota after posting a .293 average with the Green Jackets. He did not have the same success in Sarasota. He batted a meager .176 with Sarasota with 53 strikeouts in only 131 at bats. Cooper has some pop and little speed and needs to prove he can have success throughout the entire season.

5. Kevin Jordan was selected in the late rounds of the 2003 draft out of Texas Tech. "Scooter" very much lives up to the nickname. He is very fast, stealing 24 bases for Lowell, while hitting a very solid .263. He did a very nice job getting on base, drawing 49 walks in his first professional season. He could develop into a very good everyday outfielder.

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