Sean Murphy's all-around game inspires confidence in Athletics teammates

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Murphy's well-rounded play, leadership role inspires confidence originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Sean Murphy is one of, if not the most, well-rounded players on the Athletics.

The Gold Glove catcher made a name for himself on defense and offense last season, winning the prized defensive award behind the dish while slugging 17 home runs at the plate and tapping into an abundance of raw power that he's just scratching the surface of unleashing.

In the A's 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles at the Oakland Coliseum on Monday night, Murphy got it done with the bat and the glove.

His double and run scored in the first inning were out-done by his efforts on defense. In the top of the sixth inning, Murphy made two impressive plays on defense.

One inning later, right fielder Seth Brown fired a missile to Murphy at home, who collided with Trey Mancini but held on to finish off the double play in the top of the seventh.

Even after making the perfect throw from right field, Brown heaped all the praise onto Murphy.

"He's an athlete back there," Brown said of Murphy postgame. "He's special to watch, obviously, he's incredible both defensive and offensive, it's just fun to watch him play. When he's back there, [we have] supreme confidence in everything that goes on back there. It's just a testament to how much of an athlete he is back there."

Starting pitcher Frankie Montas, who watched from the bench after six strong innings on the mound, was just another fired-up fan.

"That was sick," Montas said of the play. "That was nasty"

It wasn't just Murphy behind the plate and Brown in right field. The A's played phenomenal defense all across the board. The caliber of defense displayed Monday night will always be a pitcher's best friend.

"As a pitcher, it just gives you a little more confidence, like 'Hey, let them hit the ball,'" Montas told reporters after the game. "You have guys playing behind you and they're really good. For me, I'll take that all day."

Murphy's progress on the field is obvious, but his leadership role with Oakland's young pitching staff has first-year manager Mark Kotsay the most impressed.

"It's nice to inherit a Gold Glove catcher and one that's matured in our system," Kotsay told reporters after the game. "He does a great, great job of preparation along with our pitching coach and bullpen coach ... Sean has taken leadership in that role, actually leading the game-planning meetings and pre-series meetings always with some influence on our side as well."

RELATED: 'The A's Way': Kotsay's motto encapsulates early-season success

Whether or not the A's have enough talent to play competitive baseball from start to finish this season remains to be seen.

What we do know, though, is that Sean Murphy will play a major role in pretty much every facet of the game.