Matthew Henry Murton (born October 3, 1981), nicknamed "Thunder Matt",
is an American former professional baseball outfielder. He previously
played in Major League
Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago Cubs, Oakland
Athletics, Colorado Rockies, and in Nippon Professional
for the Hanshin Tigers.
1.1 Boston Red Sox
1.2 Chicago Cubs
1.3 Oakland Athletics
1.4 Colorado Rockies
1.5 Hanshin Tigers
1.6 Chicago Cubs
1.7 Detroit Tigers
2 Post Playing Career
3 Personal life
5 External links
Boston Red Sox
Murton was drafted out of Georgia Tech baseball in the supplemental
first round of the
2003 MLB draft by the Boston Red Sox. Murton
played a total of 155 games in the Red Sox organization for the Lowell
Spinners and the Sarasota Red Sox.
Murton was acquired at the 2004 trading deadline by the Chicago Cubs
along with Red Sox star shortstop and fellow former Georgia Tech
Nomar Garciaparra as part of a four-team blockbuster
deal. He spent the rest of the year with the Class A-Advanced
He started 2005 with the Double-A West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, but was
called up to the major leagues for the first time on July 8, along
with Adam Greenberg, to replace the struggling
Corey Patterson and
Jason Dubois. On the same day, he went 2-for-2 with a walk and a
sacrifice fly against the
Florida Marlins in his major league
debut. He continued his success in the majors over the rest of the
season, hitting .321 with two stolen bases, seven home runs, and an
on-base percentage of .386 in 51 games in 2005.
In 2006, Murton became the Cubs' starting left fielder. On August 3,
2006, Murton went 4-for-4 with 4 doubles and 5 RBIs in game 2 of a
doubleheader against the Arizona Diamondbacks, matching a major league
record for doubles in a single game. He finished the year with the
second-highest mark on the team in batting average, at .297, with 13
home runs and 62 runs batted in.
For 2007, Murton saw his playing time reduced when the Cubs signed
Cliff Floyd to play in left field. When center fielder Alfonso Soriano
switched back to left field in April, Murton switched to right field.
On June 13, after hitting only one home run with eight RBIs in limited
playing time, Murton was optioned to Triple-A to make room for
left-handed pitcher Clay Rapada.
On July 27, 2007, Murton was called back up to the major leagues,
along with pitcher Rocky Cherry, with his first start coming on July
In 2008, Murton saw his playing time diminish even further, playing in
just nineteen games, and recording only 42 plate appearances in the
first three months of the season for the Cubs. In those 42 plate
appearances, he managed only two hits, and spent most of the first
half of the season in the minors.
On July 8, 2008, Murton was traded along with Cubs prospects Josh
Donaldson, Eric Patterson, and Sean Gallagher to the Oakland Athletics
Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin.
On February 4, 2009, Murton was traded to the
Colorado Rockies for
infielder Corey Wimberly. When stepping to the plate at Rockies home
games, the song "Strong Tower" by
Kutless was played over the speaker
On December 4, 2009, Murton was released by the Rockies, who sold
his contract to the
Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Nippon Professional
In Murton's rookie season with the
Hanshin Tigers he became only the
fourth player in Nippon Professional
Baseball history to have a
200-hit season. On October 5, 2010, Murton broke the NPB single-
season hit record of 210, set by
Ichiro Suzuki in 1994 (in 130 games),
getting his 211th hit in game #142. He finished his first season
in Japan with 214 hits, a .349 batting average, 17 home runs and 91
Murton's single-season hits record was eclipsed in 2015 by Shogo
Akiyama of the Seibu Lions, who recorded 216 hits in 143 games.
Murton played six seasons for the Hanshin Tigers, with a .310 career
batting average and 1,020 hits. In 2015, Murton became the 16th
foreign player to achieve 1,000 career hits in NPB.
On February 16, 2016, Murton returned to MLB and signed a minor league
contract with the Chicago Cubs. After 76 games with the minor league
Iowa Cubs, Murton was released on November 7, 2016.
On February, 20, 2017, Murton signed a minor league contract with the
Detroit Tigers. The Tigers released him on April 18, 2017.
Post Playing Career
On March 9, 2018, Murton retired and became an assistant in the
Chicago Cubs front office.
Murton is married to Stephanie Murton and has homes in Georgia,
Florida, and Colorado. Murton played baseball for Eagles Landing High
School in McDonough, Georgia, and later for the Georgia Tech Yellow
Jackets. Matt's younger brother, Luke, also played for Georgia Tech
and played in the New York Yankees organization.
^ http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/draftday/search.jsp?sc=team&sp=bos 2003
First-Year Player Drat Tracker MLB.com
SI.com – MLB – Red Sox trade Nomar to Cubs in deadline deal
^ http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2103231 Patterson
recently lost starting job – MLB – ESPN
^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/FLO/FLO200507080.shtml July
Chicago Cubs at
Florida Marlins – BaseballReference.com
^ http://mlb.mlb.com/chc/history/single_game_records.jsp Cubs Single
Game Records cubs.com History
^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHC/2006.shtml 2006 Chicago
Cubs Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics –
Cubs recall outfielder
Matt Murton and right-hander
Rocky Cherry from
Triple-A Iowa cubs.com Press Release
^ "Cubs acquire right-handed pitchers
Rich Harden and
Chad Gaudin from
Oakland". cubs.mlb.com. Associated Press. July 8, 2008. Retrieved
February 17, 2016.
^ Ringolsby, Tracy. Rockies release Murton to pursue career in Japan
Archived 2009-12-12 at the Wayback Machine., FOX Sports. Published
December 7, 2009. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
^ Harding, Thomas. Rockies clear space for Spilborghs, MLB.com.
Published December 7, 2009. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
^ Clemmons, Anna. "
Matt Murton thrives in Japanese setting". Retrieved
July 16, 2015.
Matt Murton breaks Ichiro Suzuki's Japan season hits record".
ESPN.com. Retrieved 2015-08-23.
Japan Times – Lions' Akiyama Sets Single Season Hits Mark. Retrieved
February 10, 2016
Matt Murton Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
^ "Transactions". Detroit Tigers. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
^ "Matt Murton: Released by Tigers". CBSSports.com. Retrieved
Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN,
or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball
Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
ESPN The Magazine –
Matt Murton thrives in Japanese setting, by Anna
2003 Major League
Baseball Draft First Round Selections
Rickie Weeks Jr.
Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox first-round draft picks
1981: Lyons, Burrell
1982: Horn, Parkins, Ledbetter
1987: Harris, Zupcic
1989: Blosser, Vaughn, Morton
1991: Sele, J. Johnson, Hatteberg
1995: Yount, Jenkins
1996: Garrett, Reitsma
1997: Curtice, Fischer
1999: Asadoorian, Baker, Fossum
2003: Murphy, Murton
2005: Ellsbury, Hansen, Buchholz, Lowrie, Bowden
2006: Place, Bard, K. Johnson, Clay
2007: Hagadone, Dent
2008: Kelly, Price
2010: Vitek, Brentz, Ranaudo
2011: Barnes, Swihart, Owens, Bradley
2012: Marrero, B. Johnson, Light
2014: Chavis, Kopech