Donnie Murphy was designated for assignment by the Royals on November 20. He was added to the A's 40-man roster.
The California native is a 23-year old middle infielder who had spent his entire career in the Kansas City organization up until today. He was the Royals' fifth round selection in 2002 out of Orange County Community College.
Murphy moved through the Royals system quickly, arriving at the major league level in 2004. He appeared in seven games for the Royals that season, collecting five hits in 27 at-bats, including three doubles. He played in 32 games for the Royals in 2005, collecting 12 hits in 77 at-bats, including a homer and five doubles.
He spent the entire 2006 season at AA-Wichita, where he established a career-high for homeruns with 14. He missed time with a wrist and a thumb injury and appeared in only 94 games, batting .249. In 2005, he hit .313 for the Wranglers with 10 homers and an 885 OPS in 50 games.
Murphy was recently named the Royals' 22nd best prospect by our sister site, RoyalsCorner. Royals Corner had this to say about Murphy:
"Donnie Murphy battled the injury bug all year long, and he finished the season soldiering through a broken hamate bone in his right hand as the Wranglers fought for a Texas League championship. Murphy’s injuries limited him to just 94 games, and his line of .249/.300/.437 was a big disappointment after he hit .313/.362/.523 for the Wranglers in 2005.
When Murphy is going right, he’s a solid second baseman with good range, soft hands, and a strong throwing arm, and at the plate he can flash above-average power for a second baseman. However, his plate discipline has declined steadily since he drew 65 walks in 504 at bats (en route to a .397 OBP) for Burlington in 2003, and he walked just 19 times in 2006."
Murphy joins Kevin Melillo, Mark Kiger and JJ Furmaniak as middle infielders who figure to spend time at AAA-Sacramento this season. Oakland lost Mike Rouse to waivers in September and cut D'Angelo Jimenez earlier this off-season, so they needed extra depth at the higher minor league levels at the middle infield positions. The A's have had a lot of injuries at the middle infield positions over the past few years. This past season, Oakland was without both their starting shortstop and their starting second baseman in the American League Championship Series because of injuries.