The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

June 7, 2014

WVU’s Musgrave, Boyd taken in 8th round of MLB draft

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University outfielder Bobby Boyd and left-handed pitcher Harrison Musgrave were selected in the eighth round of the major league baseball draft on Friday.

Boyd, the leading hitter in the Big 12 as a junior, was selected by the Houston Astros with the 226th pick of the draft, while Musgrave was picked by the Colorado Rockies seven picks later, at No. 233.

Musgrave, a senior, was drafted last season in the 33rd round by the Philadelphia Phillies with the 991st pick but he immediately let it be known that he would not sign.

He tweeted: Proud to be drafted by the Phillies but we have unfinished business and I will be back for next year #roadtoomaha #wvubaseball.

Then, earlier this year, Musgrave explained why he opted to come back to WVU.

“I felt like I needed to get another year under my belt after having had Tommy John surgery and to get closer to graduating. I was quite a few credits away from graduating, and I wasn’t sure if I’d come back to school to finish it,” Musgrave explained.

This year he will not turn down the offer.

“I would like to thank the Rockies organization,” Musgrave said. “It’s a great honor and a new challenge that I look forward to.”

Last season Musgrave was the Big 12’s Pitcher of the Year with a 9-1 record and 2.17 ERA. This year he slid back a bit, finishing at 5-3 with a 2.62 ERA.

The won-lost record fell mostly because his bullpen let him down for much of the year and, as the season wore on, he seemed to wear down some.

Now, though, he has to go out and begin earning a living to support his soon-to-be 6-year-old son.

He claimed one of the reasons he didn’t sign last year was because of him.

“He’s at an age where he’s doing a lot of things. Being able to see him as much as possible was definitely a plus. It will be hard when the time comes for me to spend the summers away from him,” he said.

Boyd, 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, was an interesting draft pick, proof once again that professional talent evaluators, no matter what the sport, understand that you can’t teach speed.

One of the fastest players in the Big 12, Boyd’s .356 average was bolstered by numerous bunts and infield hits, and he also stole 18 of 20 bases.

His game is much like the game played by former major leaguer Lenny Dykstra in his pre-steroid days. He is a fleet outfielder who runs a lot of balls down in the gap but doesn’t possess a strong arm.

It’s expected that Boyd also will sign with the Astros and pass up his senior season.

“It just all feels like a dream. I can’t believe this day has come,” Boyd says. “I want to thank everyone with the Astros for giving me this opportunity.”

The underclassmen have until Friday, July 18, to decide whether they wish to pursue professional careers or return to WVU. The final day of the draft (rounds 11-40) begins at 1 p.m. today, and it’s expected that first baseman Ryan McBroom and pitchers John Means and Sean Carley will be drafted.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

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