Tom Murphy Drafted in the Third Round of MLB Draft
BUFFALO, NY - Capping off a career that saw him leave his name all over the Buffalo baseball record books, junior catcher Tom Murphy was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the third round of the 2012 Major League Baseball first-year player draft, 105 overall. He is the highest of the three players taken in the draft since the program's reinstatement, and in the program's history, he was the earliest drafted player since Peter Grimm went 56 overall in 1983.
The most recent Bull to go in the draft was pitcher Zach Anderson, who was taken by Toronto in the 29th round in 2009. Murphy becomes now the third player drafted under current head coach Ron Torgalski.
"I'm happy for Tom, he deserves everything he gets. To be taken this high and get the opportunity to play at the next level is great for Tom," said Torgalski. "Colorado had seven different guys in the last month come in to see him so you knew they were serious."
Murphy recently became the first player in program history to make the MAC All-Conference First Team twice in a career after hitting a program record 13 home runs and driving in 51 runs, which also is a team record for a single season. More imporantly, he also led the team to its first appearance ever in the Mid-American Conference tournament, where the team won two games.
"For Murph, it wasn't about stats, it was about the team and getting to where we wanted to be," Torgalski said. "Our goal was to make the MAC tournament and now he is able to move on having met that goal."
After being named to the USA Collegiate National team in the summer of 2011 and receiving national attention from many major publications, Murphy was named to Golden Spikes watch list and was Johnny Bench award nominee as one of the nation's top catchers.
He will leave Buffalo as its career leader in slugging percentage (.588), passing Ron Couche's record from the 1978-79 season. In the program's career record lists, Murphy ranks second in home runs, third in doubles, fourth in total bases, and fifth in runs batted in. His 182 hits are the ninth most, and all these records will stand despite the fact that he will be forgoing his senior season. For the program's single-season records, he ranks in the top three for doubles and total bases to go with his home run and RBI records.
Though his percentages were lower from 2011, he set new career highs in every statistic, with notable jumps in triples, walks and runs scored. Defensively, he led the team with 333 putouts and committed only three errors.
MLB.com's website put him as the 63rd best prospect prior to the draft, saying the following about him:
"Murphy's best offensive tool is his power. He has very good bat speed with an ability to hit the ball out anywhere. Murphy has a good approach, but there is some concern about his ability to make consisent enough contact to tap into that pop. He's strong, durable and athletic behind the plate with a solid and accurate arm and good hands. He's the kind of leader you look for in the position.
If Murphy can hit consistently, he has the chance to be a solid everyday catcher at the highest level. Worst-case, he'll be a very good backup with some serious right-handed power."
Tom was the first player from the MAC taken in the 2012 draft. He will now likely report to the Colorado's rookie league team with the Grand Junction Rockies of the Pioneer League.