Samuel Benjamin, Zachary Murray earn MLB Draft League monthly honors

Benjamin, Murray named Draft League Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively
Draft League Player of the Month Graphic June

NEW YORK -- The MLB Draft League announced that State College’s Samuel Benjamin and Williamsport’s Zachary Murray were named Hitter and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for June.

Benjamin earned Hitter of the Month honors after he led all Draft League hitters during June in batting average (.443), OBP (.560), slugging (.696), OPS (1.256), runs (23), hits (35), home runs (5), extra-base hits (10), total bases (55) and RBI (23) while playing in 23 games for the Spikes. His 14 stolen bases (16 attempts) were the second-most in the circuit.

Benjamin, 22, was named the Draft League’s Hitter of the Week for June 24-30 after batting .588 (10-for-17) with eight runs scored, two home runs, six RBI and six stolen bases in six games for the Spikes. He led all MLB Draft League hitters during the period in average, OBP (.708), slugging (.941), OPS (1.649), runs, hits, total bases (16) and stolen bases. He also tied for the lead in home runs and second in RBIs.

Benjamin recorded 12 multi-hit games and hit safely in 20 of 23 games for the Spikes in June after opening the season with a 13-game hit streak. During the streak, he batted .458 with a 1.309 OPS and 15 RBIs. Benjamin had five games in June with multiple RBI, highlighted by a pair of three- (June 4, June 15) and four-RBI (June 8, June 29) performances. He had a .400 average (6-for-15) and 17 RBI with runners in scoring position, including nine RBI when batting with runners in scoring position and two outs.

The Katy, Texas native tallied at least one extra-base hit in four consecutive games (June 14-18), had eight extra-base hits during a 10-game stretch (June 7-18) and homered twice within a three-game span on two occasions (June 7-9, June 27-29). Facing West Virginia on June 29, Benjamin hit a first-inning grand slam in a 2-for-3 performance, reaching base four times for a second straight game to punctuate his Player of the Week-winning performance. Benjamin had multiple steals in a single game on three occasions and had a season-high three stolen bases against Williamsport on June 18.

Benjamin was a first-team all-Southland Conference selection as a Houston Christian University senior this past spring after batting .309 with a team-leading 48 runs scored and 15 home runs, a Huskies single-season record. He had 17 multi-hit games in 2024, including seven with three-plus hits. Benjamin’s 26 home runs in two seasons at Houston Christian is tied for third-most in program history and the Huskies’ largest two-season total.

Murray garnered Pitcher of the Month honors after going 4-1 with a 2.86 ERA in five starts for the Crosscutters in June. He led all Draft League pitchers in wins, innings (28 1/3) and strikeouts (27) and paced all starters in the circuit (12 2/3 IP min.) in ERA, WHIP (1.09) and BAA (.178).

Murray, 22, made his mark on Opening Day by pitching six scoreless innings in a win over Mahoning Valley. He racked up a season-high eight strikeouts in the outing, allowing three hits and one walk. Murray did not allow more than four hits in four of five starts in June (4-0), completing at least five innings in each outing. He finished six innings in back-to-back starts to open the season, earning victories against the Scrappers on Opening Day and at Trenton (2 H, 1 ER, 6 BB, 3 K) on June 9. Murray completed a season-high seven innings at West Virginia on June 27, when he held the Black Bears to two runs (one earned) on four hits while registering six strikeouts.

A Cleveland, Ga., native, Murray was 9-2 with a 3.21 ERA in 101.0 innings across 16 appearances, including 15 starts, while tossing four complete games as a senior at Young Harris College in 2024. Murray earned several accolades, including D2CCA Pitcher of the Year, D2CCA All-Region First Team, Conference Carolinas Pitcher of the Year, Conference Carolinas First Team, NCBWA Southeast Region Pitcher of the Year and NCBWA Southeast Region First Team. Before joining the Mountain Lions, Murray pitched at Georgia Highlands College (2023) and LSU (‘22).

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