Cale Iorg’s signing with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday takes much of the mystery out of who will be coming to play baseball at Arizona State after the signing deadline for major-league draftees comes and goes tonight.
However, that is not much consolation for Sun Devils coach Pat Murphy, who wanted Iorg to be his starting shortstop in 2008.
“I’d rather have the mystery going into (today),” Murphy said. “Iorg would have been a big piece of the puzzle. He is an impact player. But I’m happy for the kid. He stuck to his guns and got what he wanted.”
Iorg, a former Alabama standout who signed with ASU after returning from a Mormon mission, agreed to a deal with the Tigers for a reported $1.5-million signing bonus, a record for a sixth-round draft pick.
His going pro, combined with infielder Matt Hall’s decision to transfer, leaves a hole in the infield. Incoming players Jake Elmore, Marcel Champagnie and Mike Murphy can play both middle infield positions, Murphy said, and both are open.
Kyle Williams, currently playing receiver on the football team, and Mike Leake, a starting pitcher last season who wants to play in the field, will also get a look.
Other incoming players that Murphy feels can contribute right away include outfielder Matt Newman and pitchers Seth Blair and Devin Fuller.
The team is expected to gain two transfers — Kentucky outfielder Jason Kipnis (.337, six home runs and 27 RBIs in 2007) and Winthrop pitcher Jason Franzblau (8-4, 3.13 ERA).
Brett Zawacki, a pitcher who ASU was hoping would attend school, recently signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, who drafted him in the 12th round.