MLB Draft Profile: Owen Murphyby Alex Kielar July 14, 2022 0 comments
The 2021-22 Gatorade Illinois Baseball Player of the Year, Owen Murphy is a legitimate two-way prospect from Riverside-Brookfield High School. While his potential as a hitter is certainly there, Murphy’s future is on the mound where he has really trended upwards. The right-hander came into this season after showing success in the PDP League last July and on the U.S. 18-and-under national team in September. In the PDP League, he recorded 10 strikeouts in four scoreless innings and went 4-for-9 with a home run at the plate. Let’s dive into what the Notre Dame commit has going for him.
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Owen Murphy, RHP/SS, Riverside-Brookfield (IL)
Weight: 190 lbs.
2022: 58.1 IP, 30-5, 0.12 ERA 0.24 WHIP, 137 K, 4 BB (pitcher), .550, 18 HR, 75 RBI, 15 2B, 34 BB, 6 K (hitter)
Murphy was Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason First Team All-American this year and backed it up with an incredible season. He is a phenomenal athlete and student of the game, along with applying his tremondous knowledge to his schooling. After Nick Demarco won the Gatorade Illinois Baseball Player of the Year award last year, Murphy is now the second straight Notre Dame commit to win it. DeMarco attended St. Charles North High School and went undrafted in the 2021 draft as he had a strong commitment. The winner before that was Ed Howard, whom the Chicago Cubs drafted 16th overall in the 2020 MLB Draft out of Mount Carmel High School. Murphy won’t be selected quite as high, but does have a shot at going in the late first round. He pitched four no-hitters, including two perfect games this season.
Owen Murphy (‘22 IL) with 14 Ks in 6+ here today. Mostly 91-94, grabbed a couple 5s, lots of carry @ 2600 RPM, has CB & SL for strikes, spins both well & misses bats; over 78% strikes today, now up to 109 Ks in just 44 IP. #GoIrish commit. #PGHS #PGDraft pic.twitter.com/m33MFkAnZW
— Perfect Game Illinois (@PG_Illinois) May 11, 2022
As a hitter and shortstop alone, Murphy could be seen as a potential fifth-round talent. But when you add in the level of pitching he has put up, he gets first round hype. That is where his future is, and whether or not he attempts to be a two-way player at the next level remains to be seen. The right-hander comes right at hitters on the mound, with an advanced feel for a full four-pitch arsenal. He has the competive juices necessary to develop into a solid rotation arm.
His pitch mix is led off by a mid-90s fastball that saw an increase in velocity this season and has solid spin rates and riding action. That is joined by his best secondary pitch in a mid-80s slider that has good depth, a less consistent by still effective mid-70s curveball, and still developing mid-80s changeup that has fade. There is plenty of potential with his stuff and his delivery is repeatable from a three-quarter slot.
With his small, 6-foot-1, 190 pound frame, Murphy lacks much projection. It is tough to tell where his stuff goes once he adds on more weight and strength. That being said, his ceiling of a mid-rotation starter is somewhat limited. That is the only knock on him, however, as he is very athletic and has great pitchability as it stands.
Pro Comparison: Gerrit Cole
The potential with his stuff is there for Murphy to develop into an ace like Cole. The ceiling isn’t quite as high, but Cole was a smaller pitcher coming out of high school as well, at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds. He did have more projection coming out with broad shoulders and a strong build. The Yankees’ ace has always thrown consistent strikes and a solid fastball-slider combination to go with an easy, repeatable delivery. New York originally drafted him 28th overall in 2008 draft before he attended UCLA and was then drafted by the Pirates with the first pick in 2011. With added strength, Murphy could reach higher velocity on his fastball, possibly to Cole’s level. The slider has very good depth like Cole’s as well.
Draft Projection: Early Second Round
The stacked prep pitching class will make it tough for Murphy to sneak into the first round, but it is not out of the question. What could give him an edge is the two-way potential, especially with the success Shohei Ohtani is seeing from that standpoint. But even if he stashed his bat away upon going pro, a team picking late in the first or early in the second round could be optimistic enough in his potential on the mound to take him.
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Main Image Credit: From BVM Sports