Throughout this offseason, we’re going over all the players to appear somewhere in the Astros system in 2022.
Jayden Murray is a six-foot-one, 190 lb. right-handed starting pitcher from Vernal, UT. Born on April 11, 1997, Murray was initially chosen in the 23rd round of the 2019 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays out of Dixie State University, with the 698th overall pick. Five players have made the majors after being chosen at that spot, most notable amongst them Scott Fletcher.
Murray worked his way from the rookie level all the way through Triple-A while playing in Tampa Bay’s system, ranking 30th on MLB’s preseason Tampa Bay prospect pipeline. On August 1, 2022, the Astros sent Jose Siri (12/25), Chayce McDermott (1/5), and Seth Johnson out in exchange for Murray and Trey Mancini (1/1). Upon his acquisition, the Astros assigned Murray to the Double-A level with the Corpus Christi Hooks, where he immediately joined the rotation.
On August 10, Murray started against the Wichita Wind Surge, and struck out five over 3 2⁄3 shutout innings. He gave up one hit and a pair of walks as the Hooks cruised, 3-0. He started six times through the end of the season for Corpus Christi, racking up a .235/.339/.382 opposing slash line, 26 strikeouts in 27 1⁄3 innings, and a 1.280 WHIP, going 0-2 with a 4.28 ERA.
Luke Berryhill is a six-foot-one, 227 lb. catcher from Atlanta, GA, although he also plays a good deal of first base. Born on May 28, 1998, he was chosen in the 2019 draft in the 13th round by the Cincinnati Reds with the 384th overall pick out of the University of South Carolina for $149,500. Four players have risen to the major league level after being taken 384th overall, most notably Dave Stewart. He went six-for-25 in his first look as a pro with the Rookie-level Greeneville Reds, with one homer and five RBI.
On January 23, 2021, Berryhill joined the Astros when the Reds sent him over for Cionel Pérez. Berryhill split his 2021 campaign between the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers, the High-A Asheville Tourists, and the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks. Overall, he played in 73 games, slashing .295/.413/.562 with 15 long-balls and 54 RBI.
For Berryhill’s efforts, he entered the 2022 season back with the Hooks, ranked 27th in Houston’s preseason MLB Prospect Pipeline. Aside from a short bout of rehab at the rookie level, Berryhill spent the entire campaign with Corpus Christi.
Twenty-one times through his 96 appearances at Double-A did Berryhill turn in multi-hit games, including seven three-hit affairs. On June 1, Berryhill went three-for-four with a homer and two RBI in a 6-2 win against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. On September 10, in a 5-1 win against the Midland Rockhounds, he went three-for-four with a solo home run.
Overall while with Corpus this season, Berryhill slashed out a .256/.380/.409 line at the plate. Defensively, he fielded 344 1⁄3 innings at the backstop, registering a .972 fielding percentage and throwing out nine-of-70 base stealers. In 271 frames at first base, he fielded at a .986 clip, and in 36 innings in left field, he handled five chances without an error. Berryhill should start the 2023 season at the Triple-A level, with a good chance at seeing some major league action at some point through the year.