SHEA MURRAY, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: November 5, 1993
Drafted: 18th round, 538th Overall, 2017
How Acquired: Draft
College: Ohio State University
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Murray is a big guy, listed at 6’6″, 240 pounds, and he turns 24 in November, so he was old for the draft class. He redshirted as a freshman, so 2017 was his fifth year at Ohio State. The Pirates announced him as a right-handed pitcher, but he spent most of his time in the outfield, where he put up stats that were slightly below average. He pitched a total of 12.1 innings over 13 appearances in college, with a 10.95 ERA, 12 walks and 17 strikeouts, so he’ll be a project. He’s intriguing because he has thrown as high as 99 mph. He also throws a slider and curve, and will probably work on a change.
Murray had an elbow injury after being drafted and ended up having surgery, so he wasn’t able to pitch in any games. The surgery was a substitute for Tommy John in which the existing ligament is reattached to the bone rather than being replaced.
A little surprisingly, the Pirates assigned Murray to the West Virginia Black Bears. In his first game, he walked all three batters he faced on a dozen total pitches. Things didn’t improve dramatically after that, until the Pirates shut him down in mid-July. He returned in mid-August for five outings and fared much better. He went one inning in each outing, giving up three hits and four walks, and allowing one run.
Like Nick Mears, Murray moved quite a ways through the system. He spent a month at Greensboro, moved up to Bradenton for most of the season, then made one very rough appearance for Altoona. Murray missed a lot of bats and continued to have control problems, frequently struggling to throw half his pitches for strikes. Opponents batted .215 against him and had little success driving the ball, with a slugging average of just .268 and only one home run. He had a minimal platoon split.
Murray spent the season at Altoona and continued along the same lines. He missed bats, although not as many as previously, and walked too many. He was also among the league leaders in hit batsmen. Opponents batted .255 against him, which was easily the highest of his career.
Murray will be 28 when the 2022 season opened, yet he still hasn’t thrown 100 innings as a pro. He has two more years before minor league free agency, so the Pirates could keep trying to see whether he can harness his stuff.
|2022: Minor league contract
MiLB Debut: 2018
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2020
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 14, 2017: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 18th round, 538th overall pick; signed on June 23.|