FANTASY 40/40: COMING OF AGE: 2010 FANTASY BASEBALL SLEEPERS: Daniel Murphy
New York Mets, 1B/OF, 25-Years-Old
.266AVG- 12HR- 63RBI- 60RUNS- 4SB in 508 AB
2010 PROJECTED STATS:
CHONE: .274-12-63-58-5 in 468 AB
CBS: .275-10-50-50-2 in 375 AB
BILL JAMES: .284-7-39-38-4 in 271 AB
BASEBALL HQ: .277-15-62-59-5 in 451 AB
2010 OUTLOOK: .277-11-54-53-4 in 391 AB are the averages from the four projections. Anyone can be safe. Let’s be bold. These projections, to a degree, were projected three months ago with the possibility of 1) a healthy Carlos Delgado joining the lineup this year 2) the idea that the New York Mets were going to bring in a RH or a defensive-minded player to platoon with the LH Murphy at 1B. They did that with the re-signing of Fernando Tatis. While I don’t hate it, I thought a guy like DeRosa or Nady would have been perfect, also helping the Mets in the LF/RF (no longer needed with acquisitions of Catalanatto and Matthews Jr.). Hopefully, Jerry Manuel does not plan on platooning the players with even playing time like previously stated by G.M. Omar Minaya. Tatis is 35-years-old and a Minaya favorite (also grounded into 13 DP in 340 AB in ‘09). He deserves to be more of a bench player, subbing on off days, at this point of his career. Murphy, not really viewed as the answer or future at 1B for the Mets by many media outlets, should get most of the playing time this year; he’s the better player, has more upside and talent. This would allow for his game to develop, both at the plate and in the field. There’s a possibility that he is holding the spot warm for prospect and former ASU SunDevil, Ike Davis. Either way, Murphy’s maturity and willingness to learn will play a huge role in 2010 if given the AB and opportunity.
Last year, he was thrown out into LF (a career 3B) for a dizzying 27-game stretch (which gives him OF eligibility in ‘10 by the way) before being given a firstbaseman’s glove after Carlos Delgado’s hip injury. He was miserable in LF, but he adapted pretty well defensively I thought at 1B, with a few mistakes and hiccups here and there. He was also involved in one of the best plays I’ve ever seen live. This year, he starts at 1B and doesn’t have to stress about switching positions which should allow him to concentrate on hitting.
Bottom line, this kid gets baseball. He is young, athletic and has a good baseball IQ. If given the AB and PT at 1B, I think Murphy can put up similar numbers to James Loney or Nick Johnson. He had 38 doubles in’09 (Tied 7th among 1B), showing gap power in cavernous CitiField and has a well above-average eye for a player his age which always helps.
Season splits suggest he was starting to come around as well:
1st HALF: .242-5-24-28-1 in 215 AB
2nd HALF: .293-7-39-32-3 in 293 AB
I could see: .284-18-78-70-8 in 2010. When 40/40 goes sleeper, we go sleeper. Eventually, maybe a 20HR/90RBI in the future. Think about it. Last year, that Met lineup was so battered and injured, he batted 3rd in that lineup sometimes. 3rd! And he put up, let me remind you: .266-12-63-60-4 in 508 AB as a 24-year-old rookie switching positions and roles on the fly. This year, he might see time in the 2-hole or bat 6th or 7th depending on pitching matchups and Luis Castillo. If I were Jerry Manuel, Murphy would see the most time batting sixth after Bay and before Francouer, to split up the RH bats. Now, add a healthy Jose Reyes, a healthy David Wright, the addition of Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran sometime in May and Murphy has some run production opportunity.
1. Reyes S
2. Castillo S
3. Wright R
4. Beltran S
5. Bay R
6. Murphy L
7. Francouer R
8. Santos/Blanco R
Not a bad lineup if everyone’s healthy. An NL-Only option to begin the season, monitor his progress in April and possibly grab a steal off the waiver wire in mixed leagues if the Mets can find their groove sometime during the season.