2011 Player Review: Daniel Murphy, IF

We began our review of the 2011 Mets by examining their free agents and players the team will consider tending contracts to. We started evaluating the rest of the roster, beginning with infielder Ruben Tejada and continue today with utility player Daniel Murphy. Saturday: Lucas Duda. Sunday: Justin Turner.

DANIEL MURPHY, IF

THE SKINNY: Murphy is a gritty, aggressive player with a high on-base percentage, but without a position and a propensity for being injured. Murphy, a natural third baseman, can’t play there because of David Wright. He didn’t take to left field, but seeming found a home at first base, but when he was injured it opened the position for Ike Davis. The Mets tried him at second base, but he sustained a knee injury at the position. Through it all, Murphy managed to hit, with a lifetime .292 average.

PRE-SEASON EXPECTATIONS: Coming off an injury, the expectations were limited, but the hope was if healthy he’d play second base and come off the bench as a pinch-hitter.

HOW THE SEASON PLAYED OUT: Murphy was having an outstanding year offensively with a .320 average, six homers and 49 RBI in 109 games before he sustained a torn MCL in August while covering second base on a steal attempt and missed the remainder of the season.

JOHN’S TAKE: GM Sandy Alderson said at the GM meetings in Milwaukee that Murphy was available in a trade, but who would deal for him without knowing of healthy he is. Murphy has a propensity for getting injured and has limited defensive abilities. If every Met played as hard as him the team would be a lot better off. I can’t see the Mets dealing him now because of his baggage, but if he stays healthy and continues to hit, he might be attractive in July. Then again, if he’s healthy and hits, he would be valuable to the Mets. Probably as a second baseman if he finally takes to the position and Jose Reyes leaves.

JOE’S TAKE: I’m a big Daniel Murphy fan. He has a great approach at the plate and is one of the Mets’ most disciplined hitters. Just 26, Murphy has become a doubles hitting machine – collecting 75 of them over 1,030 career at-bats. It’s such a shame that a hitter this good doesn’t have a true defensive position he could call home. He’s a natural third baseman, but with Wright entrenched there, the Mets have tried to squeeze Murphy into a variety of other positions just to get his bat in the lineup. Rumors abound that he could end up being the Mets everyday second baseman in 2012, but I have a huge problem with that. It may very well be that Murphy’s greatest value to the team will ultimately be as component in a trade to a team where he could play third base or DH. Until that happens, enjoy Murphy’s at-bats and hold your breath when he takes the field. I’ll have more on Murphy tomorrow on MetsMerizedOnline.com.

11 thoughts on “2011 Player Review: Daniel Murphy, IF

  1. Instruct him better, stick him at 2B and keep him there—like Jeff Kent. And he hits better than Kent at the same age: Murphy’s OPS+ last year (at age 26) was 125; Kent’s (at that age for the Mets) was 111.

  2. 1. I would agree with steve but Murphy keeps getting hurt there. Maybe he could rotate between 3rd, first and LF. One day a week at first and third two a week in LF. Maybe by 2013 a regular spot will open for him but thats a thought for next year. I definitely dont want to see him traded. That bat is too valueable.

  3. Murphy’s best defensive position is 3rd base. He is less likely to get injured at 3rd and will not have to worry about turning the double play at 2nd. He has a better arm than Wright and played decent there when he filled in for Wright last year. I would rather have Murphy concentrating on getting better at 3rd base and staying at one position than moving around. He will not be a gold glover but I could see him being decent at the spot if allowed to stay at one place.

    If the Mets are not going to sign Reyes than Wright should be traded if the right deal comes along. See if another team will overpay and see if you can get a pitcher, centerfielder, and catcher. If nobody bites on the price you keep him and extend him and let him be the leader of the club going forward.

    I don’t see the Mets trading Wright but it should be considered.

  4. It isn’t murph’s fault he gets hurt he has played every position they stuck him in with no gripes … A guy like that u don’t let go unless he really is terrible and he ain’t terrible ..

  5. I like Murph. I thought he found a position a few years ago in LF, but then the next season proved otherwise.

    He should stay at 2B. Unless Wright gets traded of course. We have Ike at 1B someone at ss, David at 3B and Murph at 2B. He will have to get better of course. Hopefully his hard work will make him more natural at 2B.

  6. Steve C (1): If they are going to go with Murphy at second, then they should leave him there and see how it plays out. The only way he can get better is by getting consistent playing time at the position.-JD

  7. Ray (2): A rotation plan might be something to consider, but I have one reservation about it. Murphy isn’t strong defensively to begin with and I wonder if moving around would impact him offensively. Should they go into a rotation system, they would have to do it the right way and stay with it, much like a pitching rotation. … And, yes, I like his bat.-JD

  8. Glen (3): I don’t want the Mets to trade Wright, but I can see it happening if they decide to go in a full rebuilding mode after Reyes leaves.-JD

  9. Ed that was a good line and it made me laugh. You are 100 percent correct! I was clear though when I said “defensive position.” As much as Murphy would like to bring his bat out into the field with him he needs to spend some more time with the leather.