Five Torero Baseball Players Selected in MLB Amateur Draft

Five Torero Baseball Players Selected in MLB Amateur Draft

Five players on the 2019 University of San Diego baseball team were selected by professional teams in the annual Major League Baseball Amateur Draft June 3-5.

USD Baseball's 2019 MLB Draftees

Left-handed starting pitcher Chris Murphy, a junior, was the first Torero picked, going to the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox as a sixth-round pick (197th overall) on Tuesday. Senior shortstop Jeff Houghtby was also drafted Tuesday as the San Francisco Giants picked him in the 10th round (296th).

“I’m extremely happy and proud of both Chris and Jeff,” USD Baseball Head Coach Rich Hill said Tuesday. “Chris came in as a high-profile guy and was able to fulfill his dream of being a Top 10-round pick. Jeff is a picture of perseverance. After not being drafted to being a 10th-round guy is amazing. It’s been fun to watch him grow as a person and as a player.”

On Wednesday, the final day of the draft, one in which the draft sees a flurry of selections for rounds 11 through 40, three additional USD players were chosen: Travis Kuhn, a redshirt sophomore right-handed relief pitcher, was drafted in the 19th round (576th overall) by the Seattle Mariners; Ripken Reyes, a senior second baseman, was taken in the 30th round (893rd) by the San Diego Padres; and junior left-handed pitcher Josh Hendrickson was a 38th-round selection (1,140th) by the Philadelphia Phillies.

“We are extremely happy for those guys. Hearing your name called by a Major League team is what you dream about when you’re a kid,” Hill said. “Travis and Ripken are ready to start their careers and will be departing to mini-camp. Josh is currently in negotiations and being a 38th-rounder, it has to make sense to forego his senior year. His education is paramount so the Phillies are going to have to step up.”

The five drafted players were among 13 Toreros who were eligible for the 2019 draft: Outfielders Chris Colarossi, Kevin Collard, Chris McCready and Tora Otsuka, infielders Paul Kunst and Adam Lopez and pitchers Louie Crow and Nathan Walker were the others.

In addition to players already at USD, Coach Hill and his staff always know it will be a difficult time of year. On one hand, you're losing current players to the draft but you can also lose high school and community college players you’ve recruited who opt to sign with the team that drafts them.

One player Hill and his staff were watching closely this week was right-handed pitcher Carter Rustad from Missouri’s Staley High School. Rustad, a prized recruit for USD’s incoming class, was a 23rd-round selection (703rd overall) by the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.

“Carter showed a lot of courage and maturity throughout the draft,” Hill said. “He received numerous calls starting around the third round. He is adamant, though, about the path to MLB running through Linda Vista.”

With the draft in the rear-view mirror, Hill is already eager to get back to work and prepare for 2019 fall ball and the 2020 regular season. “We will huddle up as a staff and assess everything. We are continually focused on the development of young people and winning a championship!”

— Ryan T. Blystone

Drafted players' photo-graphics courtesy of USD Athletics

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