It's official: 2009 IMG Academy baseball program graduate J.R. Murphy will join the New York Yankees' organization.
The No. 76 player chosen in the 2009 MLB Draft, Murphy will receive a $1.25 million signing bonus -- the largest amount yet given to a second-rounder in this year's draft.
"I don't think it puts more pressure on me," said Murphy, a Bradenton native. "The Yankees know what I can do, and I just want to go out there and show that I can play. We had to wait this process out, but obviously they made an offer that I couldn't pass up. It's a lot off my shoulders knowing that everything's finally done."
Murphy will report to the Gulf Coast League Yankees and play for the team through the regular season and any playoff games. He'll then return home before reporting to Instructional League in the middle of September. After a few weeks in the league, he'll travel with some other recent signees of the Yankees to a winter league in the Dominican Republic.
"I can't wait for that," Murphy said. "I've always liked the Latin culture and really want to see some of the competition."
Originally signed with the University of Miami, Murphy thanked the university for giving him a chance and IMG Academy baseball program director Ken Bolek for his guidance.
"I wouldn't be where I am today without Ken," he said.
Murphy exploded onto the baseball scene this year when he won four MVP awards at all four tournaments the IMG Academy team played in 2009. He batted .629 with 60 RBI, 11 home runs, 16 doubles and five triples and only four strikeouts.