Athletics

Athletics

With the ninth overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, the A's selected a quarterback.

To be fair, he's a pretty good outfielder too.

Oakland surprised much of the baseball world by drafting 20-year-old Kyler Murray, a dual-sport athlete from of the University of Oklahoma.

On a conference call Monday night, Murray announced that he intends to play football for the Sooners this season, something he has discussed with the A's.

“Yeah, it's confirmed,” he said. “I will be playing football this season.”

Murray could sign with the A's and still  play football at Oklahoma this season, under NCAA rules. The assigned value for the ninth pick is $4,761,500.

"I'm just grateful to be drafted by the Oakland A's,” Murray said. “I'm thankful for everybody who has helped me get this far."

The A's selection has to be described as high-risk, high-reward. On one hand, Murray is considered by many experts to be the most talented player in the entire draft. He has drawn comparisons to major league outfielders Andrew McCutchen and Jackie Bradley Jr.

On the other hand, Murray will spend the next several months taking hits on the football field. But the A's are confident he will turn his full attention to professional baseball beginning next spring.

"We were comfortable with the fact that he'll miss this summer and miss Instructional League, but he'll be ready to go in Spring Training," said Director of Scouting Eric Kubota.

The 5-foot-11, 195 pound right-hander slashed .296/.398/.556 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI in 51 games as a redshirt sophomore at Oklahoma in 2018. He also recorded 13 doubles and three triples, stealing 10 bases in 14 attempts.

"We just felt that Kyler was a unique talent, and it's something that you come across rarely in what we do," Kubota said. "The risk of the football was, in our opinion, outweighed by the upside on the baseball field."

Murray backed up Heisman trophy winner Baker Mayfield last season at Oklahoma, appearing in seven games and throwing for 359 yards and three touchdowns, as well as rushing for 142 yards on 14 carries. He is projected as the Sooners' starting QB this year.

"I've been doing both since I was four years old,” Murray said of playing both baseball and football. “I do a pretty good job of staying cool, calm, and collected from football practice to baseball games and vice versa. I'm just grateful to play both at this level.”

Murray comes from an athletic family. His father Kevin played quarterback for Texas A&M in the 1980s and was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. Murray's uncle Calvin played five seasons in Major League Baseball, including three with the San Francisco Giants.