|Bradenton's J.R. Murphy is on his way to his second professional All-Star Game.|
photo by Grant Jefferies
J.R. MURPHY: A Bradenton native and IMG alum, Murphy has been picked for the Florida State League All-Star Game. He was a second-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2009 and is currently playing with the team's high-A affiliate in Tampa, where Murphy is hitting .237 with two home runs and 14 RBIs. Murphy's work behind the plate has improved - he has thrown out 21 of 61 runners trying to steal (34 percent) after he threw out 18 percent last year. Murphy was picked for last year's South Atlantic League All-Star game while playing for the Yankees' low-A team in Charleston.
RYAN POPE: After struggling last year with the Yankees' Triple-A team in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pope, a reliever, has posted a 4.66 ERA in 19 appearances with the franchise's Double-A squad in Trenton. Pope is 3-5 and has struck out 30 and walked nine in 29 innings. Pope is a Bayshore graduate who the Yankees picked during the third round of the 2007 draft. He is the first player ever picked from the Savannah College of Arts and Design.
JONATHAN GRIFFIN: A three-time draft pick, Griffin, a product of Lakewood Ranch and State College of Florida, is continuing his power surge with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Griffin has 10 home runs and is slugging .495 with the Diamondbacks' high-A team in Visalia, Ca. He has 36 RBIs in 57 games and has committed two errors in 52 games at first base. Griffin, who is batting .300, slugged 18 home runs in 71 games last year with Arizona's Rookie League team in Missoula.
GRANDEN GOETZMAN: The Palmetto native was a second-round pick last year with the Tampa Bay Rays and hit .173 in 25 games with the Gulf Coast League Rays after suffering a groin injury. Goetzman took part in the Rays' winter development program, which included a workout at Tropicana Field, and he will probably return to the GCL team this year.