Chicago Cubs: Quietly a fun player to watching during the early rebuild era.
If you do not remember much at all what happened in the second half of 2013…I cannot blame you. En route to another losing season in year two of the Theo Epstein rebuild, 2013 was arguably the most forgettable season of that era. Even though they did not quite lose 100 games as they did in 2012, most of the team’s production came from random utility veteran players. One of those guys was Donnie Murphy.
Murphy was a fifth-round pick of the Kansas City Royals in 2002 and made his MLB debut in 2004. He was never a regular starter and only averaged 30-50 games a year. He had several MLB stints with the A’s and Marlins and was with the Brewers organization before coming to the Cubs in April 2013.
Coming up to the Majors on August 4, his first 15 games went remarkably well. In those games, he slashed .340/.397/.811 with a 1.208 OPS, seven home runs, four doubles and 13 RBI. He had two multi-homer games and was dubbed “Donnie Baseball” by TV color analyst Jim Deshaies. Those seven home runs already had established his career-high with another month and a half left to go in the season. The remaining 31 games he played in he slashed .208/.276/.375 with four home runs and a .651 OPS. He still hit a few longballs, but fell fairly hard after the great start.
Murphy was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers in 2014 and played his final 45 games there. He spent some time in the Braves, Brewers and Reds organizations the next two years. He had spent time as a coach in the Blue Jays organization after retiring from playing.