After finishing 2017 75-87, their best record in three seasons, the Athletics had to wait for eight other teams before their first-round selection in the 2018 MLB Draft. With their pick, Oakland nabbed outfielder Kyler Murray.
Murray, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound Sooner from Allen, Texas, is a dual-sport athlete and plans to play football in the fall for the University of Oklahoma. According to MLB.com, Murray, 20, was the No. 36 overall prospect entering the draft.
Viewed as an elite athlete, Murray slashed .296/.398/.556 with 10 home runs, 47 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 51 games with the Sooners. On the football, he ran an unofficial 4.38-second 40-yard sprint and was named Mr. Texas Football Player of the Year and Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2014.
Murray, who bats and throws right-handed, played 16 games in the Cape Cod League, for the Harwich Mariners, in 2017, hitting two doubles and one homer while stealing four bases. On the baseball field, he was named a Perfect Game Second Team All-American in 2014 and became the first player ever to play in the Under Armour All-American Game in both football and baseball.
The A’s last held the ninth overall pick in 1999 when they used that selection to draft Barry Zito out of the University of Southern California. Ztio won 102 games along with a Cy Young Award while being selected to three All-Star games in eight seasons in Oakland.