Joey Murray

Position: RHSP
Level: High A
Affiliate: Dunedin Blue Jays
League: Florida State League
Born: 09/23/1996 (Age: 22)
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 195
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: 9th Rd., 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft (TOR)

Prospect Spotlight

Murray had a dominant college career at Kent State, winning the MAC Pitcher of the Year award in his sophomore and junior seasons. That success put him on scouts’ radar, but a lack of velocity dropped the righty to the ninth round in 2018. Murray breezed through the Northwest League last summer, and he pitched well enough in the Midwest League this year to earn a quick promotion to High-A.

At 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, Murray has little projection remaining with a solid base and broad shoulders. He creates deception from a three-quarters arm slot due to a long arm-path and explosive lower body sequence. The fastball sat at 88-to-90 mph, reaching as high as 92 mph but dipping into the mid-80s at times. Despite below-average velocity, Murray generated a ton of whiffs on fastballs in the zone. At the low end of his velocity range, the pitch showed some cutting action. He relied on both his slider and changeup to get ground balls, but his most frequent secondary was a 72-to-76 mph curveball. Its movement was inconsistent but occasionally sharp, with 11-to-5 shape across the zone. Though Murray used it less than his curve, I felt his slider was the better breaking ball. He spots it well off the plate, coming in from the same tunnel as the fastball and curve. He mixed a changeup at 83-to-84 mph, though it’s a less advanced than the rest of his arsenal.

Murray knows how to be effective with his type of stuff, but the lack of velocity could hold him back as he gets closer to the big leagues. Double-A will be a good test for the polished righty, whose deception and pitchability gives the upside of a mopup or long relief type. If his fringy velocity catches up to him, Murray could wind up more of a 4A depth piece.