Why a top Red Sox prospect was pitching while wearing one shoe


Chris Murphy is making a name for himself.

The Red Sox' 2019 sixth-round pick took an enormous jump in 2021, emerging as one of the organization's top pitching prospects. (To read more about Murphy's background leading up to the Sox' selection, click here.)

According to MLB Pipeline, Murphy is the Red Sox' No. 3 pitching prospect and 11th-ranked prospect, overall. This comes after a season in which the lefty totaled a 4.62 ERA in a combined 20 starts between Single-A Greenville and Double-A Portland, striking out 128 and walking just 36 in 101 1/3 innings.

All of it has made Murphy want to find whatever means are necessary to take that next jump. That much has been put on display during the Red Sox' Winter Warm-Up workouts in Fort Myers.

One video, in particular, encapsulated Murphy's thought process. It showed the pitcher throwing off a mound wearing one shoe, pushing off a pad wearing just a sock on his other foot.

The image elicited a fair amount of social media questions. In a text to WEEI.com, Murphy explained it all:

"So a lot of my postseason work has been working on stability as a whole, but also breaking it down to being stable during mound work. The foam pad creates a ton of instability which forces me to engage my core and have some more back-leg focus.

"Lat year, I was losing some stability in my back leg, leading to some of those games where I would walk four-plus guys. If I can keep my back leg stable and repeatable during games then I can be better all around with command of all my pitches, velo, and jut all-around feel on the mound."