Murray, Walker Selected on First Day of MLB Draft
NORMAN – Oklahoma baseball's Kyler Murray and Steele Walker were both selected Monday in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Murray was selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in Monday's MLB Draft, becoming the first Sooner drafted in the first round since 2013. Walker was picked in the second round at 46th overall by the Chicago White Sox.
Murray and Walker become the first OU duo to be picked in the top 50 of the June MLB Draft in school history.
Murray was the only Big 12 player picked in the first round of the 2018 Draft. As the No. 9 overall pick, he joins Jonathan Gray (2013, No. 3), Bobby Witt (1985, No. 3) and Ray Hayward (1983, No. 10) as the only four Sooners to go in the top 10 of the MLB Draft in the last 35 years. Murray becomes the 11th first-round pick in school history and is the first OU outfielder to go in the first round of the MLB Draft since Paul Williams in 1983.
As the Sooners returned to Norman from the NCAA Regional in Tallahassee, Fla., Murray learned of his selection as the plane landed in Oklahoma City.
“I found out on the plane and I was blindsided with the news, but I feel blessed, thankful and grateful for the Oakland Athletics selecting me as the ninth pick,” Murray said. “It's a great opportunity and it's something I've looked forward to my entire life to have a chance to play professional sports.”
Murray hit .296 with 10 home runs, 13 doubles and 47 RBI in 51 games and 50 starts. The Allen, Texas, native also stole 10 bases and earned an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection in 2018. Murray finished with a slash line of .296/.398/.556 in his first season patrolling center field for the Sooners.
A semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, Walker led the Sooners with 13 home runs, 53 RBI and 76 hits to along with a team-best .352 average.
The Prosper, Texas, native started 54 games this season for OU, and also ranked first on the team with a .441 on-base percentage and .606 slugging percentage. Walker earned All-Big 12 First Team honors in 2017 and 2018, while recently being named a second-team All-American by Baseball America.
A total of 265 players have been drafted into Major League Baseball out of Oklahoma since 1967 and at least one player has been drafted every year since 1970.
This year's draft concludes with rounds 3-10 taking place on Tuesday, followed by rounds 11-40 on Wednesday. Coverage resumes at 11:30 a.m. CT and can be streamed at MLB.com.