New York Mets manager Jerry Manuel recently announced that rather than platoon INF/OF Fernando Tatis with Daniel Murphy in left field, he would be using Tatis in a platoon with right fielder Ryan Church.
"I don't want him to get into a strictly platoon situation," Manuel said of Murphy, who produced four hits in 10 at-bats off lefties last year. "I think he's a little better player than that. Also, with Church being left-handed, I kind of see Murphy being a better hitter right now."
Murphy is a natural third baseman in an organization with a young superstar at the position. The Mets had Murphy working out at second base in the Arizona Fall League. He shows the potential to be a solid contributor at the position. That the Mets did not manage to trade incumbent second baseman Luis Castillo to clear the position is the reason Murphy will spend 2009 in left field.
Murphy is an excellent contact hitter who had strong line drive rates. He does not draw a ton of walks but he draws enough to maintain a decent on-base percentage. He should regularly bat around .300 and may challenge for batting titles if his skills continue to develop. His homerun power is middling at best. At this point in his development 15 or so homers is about the most you can expect. Murphy has decent speed and is a fair base stealer. In full-time at-bats ten stolen bases is very possible with 15-20 not outside the realm of possibilities.
At three minor league levels, Murphy batted .305/.363/.481 with four homeruns in 131 at-bats against lefties and .320/.385/.502 with nine homeruns in 241 at-bats against right-handers. This seems to indicate that Manuel knows what he is talking about concerning Murphy's ability.
Murphy looks like a solid addition in NL-only leagues and a useful player in shallower mixed leagues. I would not hesitate to add him to my rosters
More on Dan Murphy:
Minor League Splits
The Baseball Cube
Diamond Draft - The Official Draft Software of Advanced Fantasy Baseball
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