Inside Mr. Met's Head

May 1, 2010 10:19 PM

Mets May Finally Get Full Value from Murphy

daniel-murphy1.jpgThere's no doubt that I've always been one of Daniel Murphy's biggest critics. I've written numerous articles questioning his offensive and defensive abilities and pondered how he has acquired such a strong Mets following. I can understand that in his 48 game, 151 at bat sample from his breakout 2008 he was a 1 WAR player with an excellent .871 OPS. At the same time, though, he benefited from a .382 BABIP. There was very little doubt that he would have difficulties putting up those kind of numbers.

As we are all aware, he regressed pretty significantly in 2009. His BABIP normalized (actually maybe a tad low at .284) and his walks decreased, perhaps a product of Jerry Manuel's emphasis on free swinging that off season. His OPS dropped over 130 points. He was a well documented defensive mess in LF. After Delgado went down, he moved to first where he did an excellent job. His UZR at first was one of the highest in the league.

With his injury and Ike Davis' surge into the major leagues, it seemed as though Murphy was done for. A 24 year old with a limited offensive skill set isn't necessarily an attractive option with Davis raking in the majors. Murphy's trade value right now is nill especially when you consider his injury. The only options left to him is converting him to another position such as LF again or even 2B.

It seems as though the Mets will do exactly that. According to an article on the Mets will send Murphy down to AAA to work on converting him to LF or 2B. LF is obviously locked up with Jason Bay. The only reason why they would do that would be to trade him but a showcase in AAA after a disappointing 2009 campaign the Mets would never get full value. Plus he has all ready shown that he does not have the awareness to play the outfield.

On the other hand, a Murphy move to 2B might be exactly what the Mets need. There's no doubt that the Mets need a young 2B especially after watching Castillo struggle with his strychnine knees. While Murphy's overall statistics aren't very good for a 1B, for a 2B he would actually be very good especially if he's as good defensively there as he was at 1B. It's a different position obviously and it's harder to play than first but he has the body to play 2B and could, in a 90th percentile projection, end up as a poor man's Chase Utley.

I'm glad to see that the Mets have recognized Murphy's biggest issues and will work to fix those problems. Obviously the kid needed more time. He's only 24 and it is a rare player that can come up at such a young age and slip right into the starting lineup without a hiccup. With a full year or so of development in AAA, Murphy could be an above average to excellent 2B, slotting into an all-Mets developed infield.

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