The Milwaukee Brewers love players who are versatile defensively, and it appears that the organization may have found someone who fits that profile in round 5 of the 2021 MLB Draft. With the 147th overall pick, the Brewers selected Ethan Murray, a junior who had been playing shortstop at Duke University.
Murray, who turned 21 in May, spent three years playing shortstop everyday at Duke while posting solid numbers across the board, finishing with a .292/.392/.432 slash line with nine home runs and 18 steals across 559 plate appearances. Like many others, Murray struggled during the shortened COVID-19 season before bouncing back this year, hitting .297/.397/.440 in 249 plate appearances in 2021 with three homers and 10 steals.
Murray was rated as the #174 prospect heading into the draft by Baseball America:
(174) SS Ethan Murray
BA Grade: 40 | Risk: High
Hit: 45 | Power: 40 | Run: 45 | Field: 50 | Arm: 55
While Murray has exclusively played shortstop with Duke, scouts wonder if he will be an everyday shortstop at the next level. He has solid hands and above-average arm strength for the position, but he’s a below-average runner and some scouts think his defensive actions are just light enough that he’d be better served playing all over the infield and outfield as a super-utility type. Listed at 6 feet, 200 pounds, Murray has below-average power but he swings with intent and takes massive hacks trying to do damage. That has led to some swing and miss in his game and an 18% whiff rate this spring.
The slot value for pick #147 is $367,900.