With the 9th overall pick in the draft, the Oakland Athletics have selected outfielder Kyler Murray from the University of Oklahoma. Murray went unmocked in ESPN and Baseball America’s mock drafts due to signability concerns stemming from his status as the starting quarterback at OU.
Murray is considered to be an elite athlete with the skills to play a stellar defensive center field at the major-league level while making a strong impact on the basepaths. While he’s still a work in progress as a hitter, he had a very strong season at the plate with the Sooners this spring, posting a .296/.398/.556 slash line with 10 homers and 10 steals in 189 at-bats.
There are obvious question marks about whether Murray will be willing to join the A’s, seeing as he has the chance to be the top QB for one of the top college football programs in the country — and eventually to pursue an NFL career. But by taking Murray this early, the Athletics are signaling that they believe they can sign him.