Baseball: Fil-Am teen pitcher creates a buzz in US juniors circuit


Jerry Villanueva Murray is considered the “pitching gem” of Southern Nevada. Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — A 17-year-old baseball prodigy is creating a buzz in Southern Nevada, as coaches from different colleges are taking notice.

Jerald “Jerry” Villanueva Murray has been tagged as the “pitching gem” of Southern Nevada. “I was always told that a great pitch is strike one. We always go for that,” he said.

Murray considers the baseball diamond his second home, as he braves the scorching desert sun to aim and train for a perfect pitch.

“Every pitcher is different. If you are good enough, you throw strikes, then you are good enough to just keep on going far in this game,” he said.

Vince Taormina, who plays baseball for University of Nevada, Las Vegas, sees a bright future for Murray.

“He is gonna make it to the pro ball. He’s got a lot of good stuff, a lot of good movement,” Taormina said.

Murray started playing baseball when he was 8. His coach says that pitching talents are rare. In Murrray’s case, his curveball gives batters a hard time adjusting hitting the ball.

Murray wants to play in the majors like other Fil-Ams such as Chris Aguila, Jason Bartlett, and the Chicago Cubs’ Addison Russell.

“Hopefully I get to join a Major League team here in America,” he said. “I really like the Dodgers. It will be sweet to pitch for them.”

Despite getting feelers from interested collegiate coaches from Utah, Arizona, California, East Coast Universities, Alaska and other professional scouts, Murray is committed to play at Glendale Community College in California and will play this summer in the Southern Collegiate League.

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