2022 MLB Draft Profile: RHP/IF Owen Murphy, Riverside-Brookfield HS (Ill.)

Owen Murphy.

Owen Murphy, the next MLB Draft prospect in this profile series, might have the most legitimate 2-way potential of anyone in the draft. That doesn’t mean he’ll realize it, but it makes him a more intriguing prospect nonetheless.

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Previous Profiles

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Vitals
6’1, 190 pounds
Position: Right-handed pitcher/infielder
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
DOB: Nov. 12, 2003

Location
Riverside, Ill.
Commitment: Notre Dame

Rankings
The Athletic: NR
Baseball America: 45
CBS Sports: 30
ESPN: 27
FanGraphs: NR
MLB Pipeline: 48
Perfect Game: 37
Prospects Live: 43

Slot recommended bonus (No. 29): $1,950,900

Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and videos.

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Shohei Ohtani is the best player in baseball. It’s not even a question at this point. Because of that, teams are going to be looking for legitimate 2-way players. They might be looking for the next Ohtani, but there might not be a next Ohtani in this generation or many generations to come. But, Murphy has among the best chance to be the best 2-way player in this draft, even if his ability on the mound outweighs his ability in the field.

On the hill, Murphy is armed with a low-90s fastball that tops out at 96 MPH. It’s a high-spin heater that gets a bump up in the strike zone — a common theme among pitchers profiled in this series. His secondaries, depending which scouting reports you believe, vary. He has an 11-5 slurvy curveball in the 76-80 MPH range, or a mid-80s slider or a high-80s cutter. They might all be variations of the same pitch, but that’s something that can be smoothed out with professional instruction. He also has a changeup that’s a work in progress, but could end up being at least average once he fleshes it out. He has a very good delivery, quick arm and plenty of athleticism. He should be able to conjure above-average command with that combination. His release point helps his fastball play up in the zone and is consistent enough to help with his future command/control projection.

At the plate, he has a quiet stance (if a little hunched at times), modest leg kick and compact swing. He has average power potential and the bat would play better at shortstop than it would at third base. He’s athletic enough for both positions, with the arm for either.

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Video

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Murphy is similar to a guy I liked last year in Carson Williams (drafted by the Rays). He’s also similar to 2021 draftee Spencer Schwellenbach. Both have abandoned being 2-way players. Williams is strictly a shortstop, while Schwellenbach will focus on pitching once he recovers from Tommy John. One of the most legit 2-way player in the minors right now is Bubba Chandler (2021 Pirates’ 3rd-rounder). He has a similar profile to Murphy, but he’s thriving on the mound more than at the dish.

At some point, someone is going to break the mold and become a legit 2-way player in the majors. Whoever it is probably won’t be as good as Ohtani, but the player should also help on either side of the ball. Murphy has a chance, but his best bet for success is on the mound. If he’s only a pitcher, he’s still worth the 40th selection.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.