Feb. 4, 2000
Don't miss out on your chance to ask Coach Murphy a question - you may win a free Sun Devil baseball cap!
This Week's Winner of the ASU Baseball Cap: Jerry Keyack
Ken Huffine (Phoenix, AZ)
I am a big fan of ASU baseball and a season ticket holder. I noticed the Devils were picked for sixth in the conference. After the big numbers put up by the team last year (especially by Beinbrink and Bloomquist), I was concerned about the lack of offense this year with the young team, inexperience, etc. But after six games, this team appears to handle the bat as well as any team I have seen this early in the season. How do you feel about the potential of these players and what is a realistic goal of accomplishment for this year?
Coach Murphy: I appreciate your comments. We are not concerned about the preseason conference rankings picked by the coaches. A lot of times they are politically motivated or personality driven. I'd venture to say whoever the coaches pick usually doesn't succeed (remember in '98 - we finished third and USC finished second in the conference - we were the teams in the CWS championship game.)
Realistically, we are a scrappy, inexperienced team. Our offensive approach, to date, has been inconsistent. But as the season progresses, we should improve. Keep supporting us. With a couple of good fortunes, this team could go along way. As always, our goal is the national championship. Go Sun Devils!
Jerry Keyack (Tucson, AZ)
First of all, let me say what a great job you are doing for the ASU baseball program. Much success this year! My question is this: with all of new and younger talent on this year's squad, what will be the key to making this a productive year? So far, I am amazed by the number runs we are scoring and the fighting spirit in this year's squad. Please comment on this. All the best for ASU Baseball 2000
Coach Murphy: Resiliency will be the key for this year's squad. We have a tough schedule and young players can get down on themselves when they experience some losses. Believe it or not, fan support is key. When you believe, the players know it. We appreciate your support. And the fighting spirit? I sense the same thing. These guys love to compete and it shows on the field.
Matt Rachke (Chandler, AZ)
Brooks Conrad steals home against BYU in last Saturday's game...Great Call! Will you keep up that type of agressive base running??
Coach Murphy: Aggressive base running will always be a trademark of this team. But there are two sides to the coin. There will be days that our aggressive base running backfires or runs us out of an inning. Days our aggression might look boneheaded. But keep the faith. There will be days when it wins a game as well. Thanks for writing.
Kim Howard (Stansbury Park, UT)
I've watched catcher Trent Pratt's career through Little League, high school and now college and I know you have 2 or 3 great catchers on the team this year. I was just wondering if you're rotating their starts until you pick a permanant starter or will you continue to rotate them throughout the year? Thanks, Kim
Coach Murphy: Every great program has to have depth at catcher. Casey Myers ability to call a game is a special talent - especially this early in the season. Trent Pratt is considered a starter and has a great career in front of him. He needs to stay positive - he plays an important role on this ball club. Ty Johnson is our backup and is also key to the success of our team.
Dave Kacynski (Phoenix, AZ)
My question has several parts and really revolves around compiling a first rate college baseball program. What do you look for in recruiting high school players? i.e. player profile or characteristics you consider important in ascertaining compatibility with your program. Under what circumstances do you select junior college talent? Given your ability to recruit on a national basis, and with all the young talent out there, other than the limited opportunity for you and your assistants to view talent in-person what do you rely on to assist you?
Coach Murphy: First and foremost, we look for baseball players - players who know the game and know how to make adjustments when warranted. We look for a competitive nature and an athlete. We also look for the kid who is a great person not only on the field, but off it.
J.C. talent is important to the program. We look for players who will adjust to the team concept quickly and bring something to the table. We have found that junior college transfers usually don't reach their full potential until their second year with our program.
Nationally, we have a network of people that we believe in and trust. We talk to a lot of high school coaches as well. They know their players and their abilities - we listen. We also talk with scouts and rely on their knowledge. Almost every day of the summer we are out seeing players ourselves as well.
Thanks for all of your questions. Keep supporting the program and our players. We appreciate it!