Solana Beach resident Taylor Murphy drafted by the Padres
Torrey Pines senior shortstop Taylor Murphy was selected in the Major League Baseball 2011 first year player draft by the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, June 8. The 6’1” 185-pound Murphy hit .345 for the Falcons this year with 10 doubles, two homeruns and a team leading 24 RBIs. Last year he also accepted a scholarship offer to play baseball for the University of Pacific in Northern California.
“I was absolutely thrilled last summer to receive a call from Pacific and learn they wanted to offer me a scholarship,” Murphy said. “It’s a great school with an amazing baseball program and to play Division 1 baseball in the Big West was a dream come true. Of all the schools that were talking to me, Pacific was definitely my first choice. I really clicked with the coaching staff and loved the campus.”
The excitement of last year’s call from Pacific was overshadowed a bit last week when Murphy received a most unusual text from his dad which read: “You have been drafted by the Padres!”
“I was sitting in my video film class when I got the text from my dad; I was so excited I couldn’t stand it,” Murphy said. His phone began to vibrate non-stop as numerous text messages came in from former teammates, friends and family, all tracking the draft and congratulating him. “It seemed like word spread like wildfire,” Murphy said, “my phone didn’t stop buzzing for a couple days.”
Like most boys, Murphy has long dreamed of playing in the MLB. He started his baseball career in the Solana Beach Little League program at age 7 and has fond memories of playing baseball at the Solana Vista fields. He moved on to travel ball where he played for the Del Mar Powerhouse Baseball Team and ultimately the Torrey Pines baseball program. He has balanced the rigors of playing baseball year around with gym workouts, hitting and fielding work, a little bit of surfing now and then, of course homework, and also his summer job as a Del Mar Lifeguard.
The Padres began to scout Murphy after seeing him play last fall for the Orioles Scout Team. Padre’s scouts regularly came out to watch him play and film him throughout his senior season. “At first, it was a bit nerve-racking knowing I was being filmed while at the plate, but after a while I just put it out of my mind and decided the looser I played the better. I concentrated on helping our team win, instead of the outcome of my at-bat.”
And win they did: the Falcons came within one out of the CIF Division 1 championship game at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
Murphy is currently faced with a tough decision: sign with the Padres and immediately get assigned to their rookie ball team in Peoria, Ariz., or continue on his course at Pacific, starting school and baseball practice in the fall. “The Padres organization has been really good to me through this process. They have spent the time explaining exactly what the minor leagues look like and what to expect. I couldn’t ask for a more professional club to deal with. We will continue to chat over the summer and I will ultimately make my decision no later than mid-August.”
Aside from his mom and dad, Taylor will receive some great counsel from his cousin Geoff Blum, an ex-Padre who is currently playing with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and close family friend Morgan Ensberg, a Solana Beach resident and former MLB player who spent a year with the Padres himself. “Geoff and Morgan really provide me with great insights and share more of a behind-the-scenes look at the minors. It’s so great to get the inside scoop and advice from a couple of guys who have been there,” Murphy said.
If Murphy chooses Pacific, he will again be eligible for the MLB draft after his junior year. “I feel so fortunate to be in such a win-win situation,” Murphy said. “Getting drafted by the Padres is a dream come true; I have to decide if this dream makes sense now or possibly three years from now. I feel so grateful to be in this position and able to continue playing the game I love so much.”
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