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Getting to CHS Field

Saints Circle Former Twins Prospect, Robbinsdale Cooper Standout, Outfielder Max Murphy, Re-Sign Infielder Perio

ST. PAUL, MN March 29, 2018

The St. Paul Saints have had success signing former Minnesota Twins prospects.  When a former Appalachian League Player of the Year, two-time Post-Season All-Star, and 2017 Gold Glover was released recently released by the Twins, the Saints pounced.  They have signed the former Robbinsdale Cooper Standout, outfielder Max Murphy.  In addition, the Saints also re-signed a former American Association Post-Season All-Star, infielder Noah Perio, whom they had signed earlier this off-season, but then was signed by the Colorado Rockies.

 

          The 25-year-old Murphy split last season between High-A Fort Myers and Double-A Chattanooga where he earned accolades at both stops.  In Fort Myers he hit .307 with five home runs and 34 RBI in 78 games.  In 300 at bats he scored 52 runs, slugged 16 doubles, three triples, stole nine bases, with a .390 on base percentage, and a .430 slugging percentage.  He was named a Florida State League Post-Season All-Star as an outfielder.  Murphy had a season high 11-game hitting streak from June 22-July 4 that included three, three-hit games and a four-hit game.  He had a career high five RBI on June 14.  He had an incredible 11 games with three of more hits.  Murphy was promoted to Chattanooga on July 8 and hit .252 with a home run and 28 RBI in 52 games.  In 206 games he scored 28 runs, roped 13 doubles, three triples, had a .317 on base percentage, and a .359 slugging percentage.  Murphy was awarded the MiLB “Rawlings Gold Glove Award” for right field.  Overall, his 80 runs scored, 29 doubles and 62 RBI were career highs.  The Lookouts were co-champions in the Southern League after defeating the Pensacola Blue Wahoos three-games-to-two. The Championship series was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma.

 

          Murphy was a ninth-round draft pick by the Twins in 2014 out of Bradley University and made his mark immediately with an incredible five weeks at Low-A Elizabethton where he was named the leagues Player of the Year and a Post-Season All-Star.  He hit .378 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI in 35 games.  In 119 at bats he scored 34 runs, had seven doubles, two triples, a .483 on base percentage, and a .723 slugging percentage.  He finished first in the league in slugging and second in home runs, despite playing just 35 games.  He reached base safely in his first 22 professional games from June 19-July 13.  Murphy had a career high 12-game hitting streak from June 20-July 4, scored a run in an incredible eight straight from June 23-July 1, and an RBI in six straight from June 24-30.  He homered in back-to-back games on three different occasions and had two triples in a game on June 30.  He was promoted was promoted to Single-A Cedar Rapids on July 28 and hit .242 with four home runs and 15 RBI in 32 games.  Murphy hit safely in 11 straight from July 30-August 9.  His team lost two-games-to-none in the semi-finals to the Kane County Cougars.

 

          In 2015 Murphy spent the entire season at Cedar Rapids where he hit .225 with four home runs and 36 RBI in 93 games.  In 347 at bats he scored 54 runs, ripped 15 doubles, had a career high eight triples, a .302 on base percentage, and a .349 slugging percentage.  His hottest streak came during May 4-11 when he was named the Hitter of the Week. He collected a multi-hit game in five of six games, including two, three-hit performances.  The Kernels made the playoffs, but lost in the Championship Series three-games-to-two to the West Michigan Whitecaps. 

 

          After starting 2016 at Cedar Rapids, Murphy was promoted to Fort Myers on April 28 and hit .257 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 49 games.  Unfortunately, he was injured from July 2-August 9.  Prior to going on the disabled list, and then doing a three-game rehab stint at the Gulf Coast level, Murphy was hitting .282.

 

          Murphy played baseball, football, and soccer at Robbinsdale Cooper High School and earned 5-AAA All-Section Honors as a freshman.  While at Bradley University he twice made ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays, on back-to-back nights, during the State Farm MVC Tournament.  Both were on the defensive side in center field: a diving catch in right-center field and an over the shoulder grab racing towards the warning track.

 

          Perio was the Saints first free agent signing of the off-season back on February 5, but the Rockies organization signed him on March 3.  He was released by the Rockies following Spring Training and the Saints re-signed him.  The 26-year-old Perio spent all of last season at Double-A San Antonio in the San Diego Padres organization.  He hit a solid .281 with four home runs and 36 RBI in 112 games.  In 430 at bats he scored 53 runs, ripped 15 doubles, four triples, a .330 on base percentage and a .363 slugging percentage.  The left-handed hitter had nearly even splits between lefties and righties, hitting .283 vs. LHP and .281 vs. RHP and he closed the season strong, hitting .344 over the final 25 games of the season.  He helped guide the Missions to the playoffs where he hit .273 in a three-games-to-two loss to Midland in the semi-finals.

 

          Perio began his career straight out of high school where he was a 39th round draft pick by the Florida Marlins in the 2009 First Year Player Draft from De La Salle (CA) High School.  After playing four games at the Gulf Coast level in 2009, he went 2-4 in the playoffs where his team made it to the Championship Series, but lost to the GCL Nationals two games to none in the finals.

 

          He continued to move up the Marlins organizational ladder, spending all of 2010 at Low-A Jamestown before having a monster season in 2011.  Perio spent the entire season with Single-A Greensboro and hit .323 with six home runs and 52 RBI in 119 games.  In 488 at bats he scored a career high 76 runs, smacked a career high 30 doubles, three triples, swiped 15 bases, with a .323 on base percentage and .406 slugging percentage.  He finished third in the South Atlantic League in hits and eighth in batting average.  He helped guide the Grasshoppers to the South Atlantic League Championship, hitting .316 with seven RBI in seven games.  He finished tied for second in the playoffs for most hits (12), third in RBI and sixth in average.

 

          Perio spent all of 2012 at High-A Jupiter and once again got back to the playoffs where the Hammerheads lost three games to two in the Florida State League Championship Series to the Lakeland Flying Tigers. 

 

He entered the 2013 season as the #14 ranked prospect in the Marlins organization by MLB.com.  In 2013 Perio split time between Jupiter and Double-A Jacksonville.  Between the two stops he hit .236 with a home run and 30 RBI.

 

          In 2014 Perio played one final year in the Marlins organization, with Jupiter, before becoming a free agent and signing with the Explorers in the American Association for the 2015 campaign.  He tore up the league hitting .316 with career highs for home runs (7) and RBI (74).  He played all 100 games and in 408 at bats he scored 61 runs, ripped 29 doubles, four triples, had a career high 18 stolen bases, struck out just 26 times, had a .345 on base percentage and a .458 slugging percentage.  Perio led the American Association in hits, most games at shortstop (99), most put outs by a shortstop (157), most double plays by a shortstop (62), tied for first in games played and second in at bats and doubles.  He had a 15-game hitting streak from May 30-June 15 and topped that with a 17-game hitting streak from July 12-August 2.  Perio was selected as a Post-Season All-Star at shortstop.

 

          Perio picked up where he left off in 2016 hitting .338 with three home runs and 36 RBI in just 35 games with the Explorers before his contract was purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers organization on June 26.  He was assigned to Single-A Great Lakes and hit .288 with a home run and nine RBI in 20 games before being promoted to Double-A Tulsa.  After seven games with the Drillers, Perio finished the season at High-A Rancho Cucamonga where he hit .355 with six home runs and 24 RBI and a .999 OPS in 30 games.  The Quakes made the playoffs that season, but lost in the first round, two games to one to the Lancaster JetHawks.

 

          Overall Perio has reached the playoffs in seven of his nine seasons of professional baseball and won one championship.  He’s also struck out in just 10.9% of his plate appearances throughout his career.  According to FanGraphs a strikeout percentage of just 10% is considered excellent.

 

The Saints have now signed 12 players this off-season.

 

Roster

RHP – Mike Devine

LHP – Ken Frosch

RHP – Eddie Medina

RHP – Vinny Nittoli

RHP – John Straka

RHP – Beck Wheeler

OF - Kes Carter

OF - Max Murphy

OF - Jordan Smith

INF – Josh Allen

INF – Noah Perio

INF Brady Shoemaker

The Saints had signed infielder Jake Hager, but he signed with the Milwaukee Brewers organization on February 20.

 

          The Saints begin the 2018 season on the road against the Gary SouthShore Railcats on Friday, May 18.  The Saints first game at home is on Monday, May 21 against the newest member of the American Association, the Chicago Dogs, at 3:05 p.m.