Local products Michael Ohlman and J.R. Murphy are learning the jump to professional baseball is not easy, but both continue to show promise.
The two catchers started the 2010 season in the Low Class A South Atlantic League, but Ohlman has since moved to the Rookie Appalachian League and is with the Bluefield Orioles in West Virginia.
Murphy, who played his high school ball at IMG Academies, is with the Yankees affiliate, the Charleston (WVa) RiverDogs. Ohlman, a Lakewood Ranch High grad, started with Delmarva in the Baltimore Orioles chain.
Murphy, who was selected in the second round of the 2009 draft, is hitting .242. The 6-0, 190 pounder had a big game recently when he banged out four hits against Augusta and in his last four starts heading into Sunday went 7 for 18 with a double in three RBIs.
Ohlman got off to a slow start and hit .174 with Delmarva. But his bat was coming alive in his final 10 games with that club when he went 10 for 35 (.286 BA) with a homer, seven RBIs and a .390 on base percentage.
Ohlman will resume playing on Tuesday when the Appalachian League begins its season. The righty/righty has struggled against right handers hitting only .148 against them this year. The Appalachian League season runs through August.
The 6-4, 205 pound Ohlman was drafted in the 11th round last year, but signed for $995,000,way above what someone gets in that spot. Murphy signed for a reported $1.25 million.
Both had incredible stats in high school. Murphy batted .627 with 11 homers for the IMG Pendleton School team while Ohlman hit .550 with three homers, 28 RBIs and an astonishing 23 stolen bases.