PBR Illinois Player of the Week: RHP/3B Owen Murphy

By: Diego Solares
Associate Scout, Staff Writer

This is the first time in the storied history of the ‘PBR Illinois Player of the Week’ award that an athlete has received these honors more than once in the same season. Several high-end prospects have earned our ‘Player of the Week’ award multiple times in their careers, yet none until now can say they’ve won it twice in the same year.

It’s a testament to the unbelievable season that RHP/INF Owen Murphy (Riverside-Brookfield, 2022; Notre Dame) is having right now, especially when you consider the multitude of upper-echelon prospects on a national scale have come through Illinois since Prep Baseball Report’s inception. Murphy, who’s jaw-dropping performance in week five secured that week’s award, is rapidly etching his name into the history books, slotting himself right next to several Illinois’ prep stars of the past with the season he’s currently having.

Murphy’s been the guiding force behind Riverside-Brookfield’s success this spring, as the Bulldogs currently boast a 20-2 record and sit atop the Metro Suburban conference standings. He helped propel them to four wins last week and the Bulldogs actually haven’t lost a game since March 29th.

He started the week off strong, launching a solo shot in Riverside-Brookfield’s 5-1 win last Monday. Three more hits, including a double, popped off Murphy’s barrel on Tuesday. He brought two runs home and scored twice on his own, en route to a 14-1 victory for his squad.

Wednesday was, hands down, one of the most impressive single game showings we’ve seen all season from an individual player. Murphy drew the start against a highly competitive Joliet Catholic Academy team and was flawless, hurling seven perfect innings for his second perfect game of the season. He struck out 18 batters on 88 pitches, throwing 78% of them for strikes and landing a first pitch strike to 14-of-21 batters. Only three balls were put in play all game; two ground balls and a flyout. On top of that, Murphy tripled and drove in two, adding two more hits to his total. He finished the week 6-for-13 with a double, triple, home run, and five RBIs, as well as scoring five times of his own.

What Murphy’s doing right now each time he takes the field is absolutely remarkable. The dominance he exuberates on a game-to-game basis is starting to approach ridiculous levels of success, and the fact that he’s sustaining this absurd production on both sides of the ball adds icing onto the cake. Through 21 games played this spring, and 61 official at-bats, Murphy is slashing .525/.635/1.311 with 36 runs scored, 49 RBIs, 20 walks, and four stolen bases. He’s racked up 32 hits, including six doubles and three triples, and he’s blasted 12 home runs as well. Across six starts on the mound, Murphy’s yet to allow an earned run in 34 innings, punching out 88 of the 107 batters he’s faced, walking just one and he’s only allowed four hits, too. Murphy isn’t just the runaway favorite for his second Illinois Player of the Year award, but he’s absolutely making a serious case for the PBR National Player of the Year award as things stand right now.

For his efforts, Murphy has been named the PBR Illinois Player of the Week, for the week of Monday, April 25 through Sunday, May 1. Still, we're thankful for the POTW submissions we received from the coaches across the state. The players who garnered POTW consideration will earn a place within Friday's Diamond Notes story, so be on the lookout for that by the end of this week.