Legends On Deck

International League Player of the Week: RHP Murphy Smith – Blue Jays

It can be very difficult to gain any momentum as a player or a team while playing in the Northeast in April.  Rain has forced the postponement of many games already as we enter in the third week of the season.  Not all leagues have this problem, but the International League seems prone to this early on forcing teams to scramble.  Even with that though, there are players that can still rise above in spite of all of that.  It was evident as I sorted through the stats for the week coming up with this weeks award.  Murphy Smith who is a pitcher for the Buffalo Bisons (from upstate New York), is this week’s International League Player of the Week.

Smith, 29, was originally selected in the 13th round by the Oakland A’s in the 2009 draft.  After spending several years in the A’s organization, Smith was released in the beginning of April 2015.  It wouldn’t take long for the 6’3 righty to find work as the Toronto Blue Jays would sign him to a free agent deal less than two weeks after his release.  He was first assigned to the Dunedin Blue Jays where he would make 17 appearances (16 starts) throughout the season.  The Blue Jays promoted Smith to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League.  It was sort of a homecoming as Smith was born just about 30 minutes south of Manchester where the Fisher Cats play.  After making two starts there, he was sent back to Dunedin.

At the end of the 2015 season, Smith elected to become a free agent, but would later sign a deal to rejoin the Blue Jays organization.

Things certainly improved for Murphy as he would make his way to Triple-A Buffalo in 2016 although just for one game.  Bouncing back and forth from Double-A to Triple-A like so many players do that are chasing this dream, Smith seems to have settled in a bit this season back with Buffalo.

This past week has been very good to Smith and the Bisons.  They have won four out of their last five including three in a row.  Smith did his part as he went 2-0 with a save pitching 5.2 innings.  He didn’t allow a single run and just gave up four hits and recorded five strikeouts.  All of his appearances this past week were in relief.

There were a few other players that caught some attention.  Nick Delmonico of the Charlotte Knights had a good week too. Delmonico went 10-for-18, with four runs, two doubles, two RBI and a walk.  Jason Motte who is currently fighting to get himself back to the major leagues, picked up two saves for the Gwinnett Braves with five strikeouts.  Louisville Bats Juan Perez had a nice week too going 11-for-27, with three doubles, two home runs, and four driven in.  He is also hitting .390 over his last ten games for the Bats.

Congratulations to Murphy Smith on earning the Legends on Deck International League Player of the Week honors.


John has recently graduated from the University at Albany with a B.A. in History and is currently finishing his Master's Degree there as well in secondary education. After being away from school for over two decades he decided to go back and work towards his dream of becoming a social studies teacher.

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