The Pittsburgh Pirates announced six more signings from their 2017 MLB draft class Friday, including one headed to Bradenton. Shea Murray, an 18th-round pick from Ohio State, is joining the Gulf Coast League Pirates, a Rookie-level team based out of Pirate City.
Murray has become a project for Pittsburgh despite his collegiate experience because of a position change. Murray was primarily an outfielder for the Buckeyes, posting a .449 slugging percentage for OSU. He did, however, make three appearances as a pitcher during the 2017 season, and the Pirates will try to find out what the 6-foot-6 right-hander can do as a full-timer on the mound.
Murray is the eighth player from this year’s draft class to be assigned to the GCL Pirates, following second-round outfielder Calvin Mitchell, second-round pitcher Steven Jennings, compensatory-round outfielder Conner Uselton, 19th-round pitcher Jake Webb, 30th-round catcher Manny Bejerano, 32nd-round pitcher Hector Quinones and 33rd-round pitcher Ryan Valdes.
The Gulf Coast League begins play Monday. The Pirates’ Gulf Coast League team opens at home against the Tigers East squad. Game time is noon.
No member of this year’s draft class has been assigned to the Marauders, Pittsburgh’s Class A Advanced affiliate.
8Players from the Pirates 2017 MLB draft class to be assigned to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Pirates. None have been assigned to Class A Advanced Bradenton.
Murray leads the latest list of signings, which includes five others headed to the Rookie-level Bristol Pirates of the Appalachian League. The group includes three pitchers and two position players, all five of whom have college experience.
Eddie Muhl, a 6-foot-4 right-hander from George Washington, was a 25th-round selection and racked up 11 saves in 24 relief appearances for the Colonials. Mason Ward, a 6-foot-4 lefty from Kennesaw State, posted a 3.26 ERA in nearly 50 innings for the Owls to become a 34th-round pick. And Drew Fischer, a 6-foot-3 righty from Division III Amherst College, was Amherst’s fourth draft pick in the past seven years after putting up a 1.40 ERA.
Kyle Watson, an infielder, leads the two position players as a 37th-round pick out of Mississippi. Outfielder Ryan Peurifoy rounds out the group as a 38th-round pick from Georgia Tech.
As of Friday, the Pirates had signed 25 of their 42 draft picks.