Truckee grad Murphy goes undrafted
After the 50th and final round Friday, reality set in for former Truckee pitcher J.R. Murphy: The 2008 Major League Baseball draft passed him by.
Not to worry, said Truckee coach Mike Ellis.
“He’ll get picked up as a free agent. I know he’ll go somewhere,” said Ellis, who played pro ball out of Santa Rose Junior College and coached Murphy as an assistant at Truckee. “It happens all the time. (College) seniors don’t have much bargaining power.”
While Ellis is confident Murphy will sign as an undrafted free agent before the Aug. 15 deadline, the 2004 Truckee High grad said Monday that he was both surprised and disappointed he was not among the 1,453 selections.
“Yeah, I think everybody expected me to get drafted,” said Murphy, who recently returned to Truckee from San Diego for the summer. “It’s disappointing, but I just have to work on staying in shape because of the possibility of free agency.” He’s working out with the semi-pro Reno Astros.
Murphy posted a 5-2 record and a 4.52 ERA pitching for head coach Tony Gwynn and the San Diego State Aztecs this past season. In 65 2/3 innings, mostly as a starter, he recorded 59 strikeouts while allowing 76 hits and walking 19.
He ran into bad luck at the end of the season, having to sit out his first start in the Aztecs’ conference tournament because of an illness. After receiving IV (intravenous) therapy, Murphy was ready to pitch had San Diego State played a fourth game. But the Aztecs were eliminated in Game 3.
Ellis recommended Murphy call each of the approximately 15 major-league teams that sent him letters during the season showing interest.
“He’s definitely ready to go pro,” Ellis said. “All he needs to do is get on a team.”