Meet the 17-year-old baseball prodigy and high schooler from Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS — This is Jerald “Jerry” Villanueva Murray. At 17, he is tagged as the ‘pitching gem’ of Southern Nevada. Currently, he ranks number 7 in the state among the best high school pitchers.
“A great pitch, I was always told that a great pitch is strike one,” Murray said. “We always go for that. See how the game goes, and if you are doing well enough, you shot guys up and have a good game.”
Every day, the ball field is Jerry’s second home, as he braves the scorching desert sun to train and aim for a perfect pitch.
“The speed for the fastball and theres the break for the curve ball, but every pitcher is different. That stuff is really pin point on what you do if you are good enough, you throw strikes then you are good enough to just keep on going far in this game.”
“He is gonna make it to the pro ball,” said UNLV college baseball player Vince Taormina. “He got a lot of good stuff a lot of good movement, which as a hitter its very tough when a ball is moving…”
Murray, a native of Batangas, started playing baseball when he was 8.
His coach Brian Whitaker from Silverado High School says that a talent in pitching is a skill that is rare to find.
In Murrray’s case, his curveball gives every batter a hard time to adjust to hitting the ball.
“He is not a big guy at this point he is gonna continue to gain more arm strength and throw even harder,” said Whitaker. “He throws a really good change up, and he throws a really good shaking ball, that he has become more and more consistent…”
Murray wants to be on the Major League roster like other Fil-Ams such as Chris Aguila, Jason Bartlett, and Chicago Cubs’ Addison Russell.
“Hopefully in a Major League baseball team here in America… I really like the Dodgers; that will be sweet to pitch for them.”
In spite of the number of interested coaches from universities across the country, and other scouts, Jerry is committed to play at Glendale Community College in California, and will play this summer with the Southern Collegiate league.