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Tommy Murphy, OF (Arkansas Travelers)
Murphy has great physical tools, but since being drafted in 2000, he hasn't shown much in the way of offense, and was very erratic defensively in the middle infield. Now an outfielder, Murphy appears to be having a breakthrough season in his second try at Double-A, hitting .286/.354/.468 with 17 doubles, 10 triples, 11 homers, and 23 steals. He is on course to set career highs in all categories, and has already broken his career record for walks, while also reducing his strikeout rate. On paper, it looks like real progress, and it looks like real progress in person too. His swing is shorter and more compact than in the past, and he works the count MUCH better. The problem here is that he's 26 years old, so while the improvement is impressive, we can't be sure that it is real unless he does this again at higher levels. An Arkansas source speculates that playing outfield rather than shortstop has enabled Murphy to relax and concentrate on improving his hitting.