Cubs’ BJ Murray Finds Triple-A Groove After Slow Start


B.J. Murray’s perseverance in his first taste of Triple-A has not gone unnoticed.

The 24-year-old third baseman overcame a slow start at Iowa, where he hit just .155 with 41 strikeouts through his first 32 games. 

Murray turned the tide in May, when he produced a 1.018 OPS in one 14-game stretch. Through 44 total games, he hit .205/.328/.364 with six home runs.

“It didn’t necessarily start the way he wanted, but for him to make the adjustments that he’s made and actually execute on them and the results that are showing, that’s pretty good,” Cubs farm director Jason Kanzler said.

Murray worked with Iowa hitting coach Rick Strickland and one of the Cubs’ minor league hitting coordinators to shift his weight better and improve his body positioning so that he hit inside pitches with spin.

Murray showed power in a breakout 2023 season at Double-A Tennessee, where he tallied career highs with 16 homers and 34 doubles. He represented the Cubs at the Futures Game.

Kanzler credits Murray’s track record of excellent decision-making and controlling the zone as factors in his ability to do damage when he drives the ball.

“Purely subjectively, he’s got an incredible ability to stay level-headed and calm, almost to the point where you’re wondering if any part of the moment gets to him at all,” Kanzler said.

“And that benefits him greatly, especially in terms of recognizing pitches and commanding the strike zone and never making the moment bigger than it is.”

Murray, who was born in the Bahamas, has risen through the Cubs’ system after they drafted him in the 15th round in 2021 out of Florida Atlantic. The switch-hitter’s status as a late-round pick hasn’t hindered his ability to establish himself as a rising prospect for the organization.

“I honestly don’t really care about when or where a guy was drafted or acquired because that’s in the past,” Kanzler said.

“When we get players who come into our player development system, they’re all our players and our people, and we do everything we can to help them become the best version of themselves.”

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