WHAT can the Mets expect from Daniel Murphy this season?
Having watched him throughout the early days of Spring Training, you can see that Manuel is priming him to play everyday. He is reading the ball well off the bat in left field and taking good routes to flyballs hit his way. His swing looks level and compact and he is running the basepaths well, going first to third when the chance arrives. He’s also looking to shoot it the other way and I can see him being a mini version of a five tool guy because he has average pop and speed and he hits for average.
Let’s see what different sites have to say about his chances of success at Citi Field…
441 ABs, 10HRs, 64rbi, 8SB, 41 BBs, 72Ks, .270 avg
221 ABs, 4HR, 28rbi, 2SB, 29BBs, 45Ks, .287 avg
11HR, 63rbi, 3SB, .283 avg
456 ABs, 14HR, 73rbi, 14SB, 53BBs, 67Ks, .294 avg
The uncertainty surrounding his playing time is perfectly encapsulated here, with projections showing anything from 221 at bats to more than twice that number and 139 games played.
At the top end of the projections is Fan Graphs (Bill James) who sees him as a regular left fielder. With more at bats comes more counting stats, and this site suggests he is right on the cusp of a 15-15 season, something which the ESPN site predicts if he can get regular playing time.
The ESPN report, although not predicting a set amount of plate appearances, suggests similar numbers to the Baseball Projections website but with less speed, while Baseball Guru believes Murphy will be the left-handed bat in a platoon.
So where do I sit within these numbers?
Well unsurprisingly, it’s on the fence, in the middle of them all. I think he will beat out Tatis for the job in left and that his minor league ABs at 3B and 2B will prove to be irrelevant. I think 440 at bats is pretty realistic and 12 home runs isn’t too much of a reach at all considering he has average power.
He is only 23 years old, so there is still room to grow and I expect more contact and fewer whiffs than many expect. I read on Baseball Prospectus that he is not a .300 hitter and I agree with that. But assuming his walk rate is similar to what he has proved at a lower level there is nothing to say he won’t swipe a dozen bags.
Fan Graph’s .294 seems a little high for me, but he’s only a few big league adjustments from that being the back end of his upside. If you scale down Fan Graph’s projections a few games, I don’t think it’s a million miles from the truth.
As for Baseball Guru – well, that seems to be a million miles from everything. As a Mets fan, I hope they’re proved wrong.
WITH 16 Mets at the World Baseball Classic, New York’s second-string team lost 7-5 against the Washington Nationals at Tradition Field in Port St Lucie on Saturday.
Home runs from Leonard Davis and Joel Guzman put the Nationals on top, providing them with a lead which would prove decisive against a plucky Mets lineup that fought back to within a single run.
Dillon Gee pitched a pair of hitless innnings for the Mets, but the Nationals scored in the top of the third, fourth and six innings to give them an advantage they would never relenquish.
The Mets loaded the bases in the 1st inning against left-handed starter Scott Olsen – a man who is guaranteed a spot in the Nationals’ rotation – but 20-year-old Eric Campbell saw his line drive end up in the glove of centre fielder Corey Patterson.
Other than a late rally in the bottom of the 7th inning, this would be the closest the Mets would come to taking the lead.
For the Mets, Gee did the little things right. He looked comfortable covering first base and he pitched well inside to lefties.
He did fall behind hitters 1-0, 2-0 and 2-1, but his changeup looked sharp and his low 70s curveball was good. His fastball didn’t break into the 90s, but it was good to see Gee back on the mound after a rough first outing.
The Mets should be encouraged by Gee and even though he will go back down to AA in a few weeks or so, he showed a lot of promise.
Casey Fossum also showed he was fighting for a spot in the bullpen and Sean Green worked out of a bases loaded jam in a similar position where he could be called upon in the coming season.
With the bat, Daniel Murphy had a pair of walks and a double and Cory Sullivan had three base hits.
Importantly for the Mets, they ran the bases well and were very aggresive – Eric Campbell going first to third on a single and Rob Mackowiak tagging up on a shallow flayball to left field were just two examples.
In Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest, the Nationals’ Ray Gonzalez led off the 3rd inning with a single and he advanced to
third after sidearmer Roy Meritt pulled 1B Green off the bag while fielding
Scott Olsen’s bunt.
Gonzalez then scored on 2B Anderson Hernandez’s single back up the
middle before another sidearm pitcher Darren O’Day walked Ryan
Zimmerman on four straight balls.
Joel Guzman drove in Olsen to make it 2-0 with a base hit to left and
Hernandez crossed the plate for 3-0 on Corey Patterson’s groundout.
The Mets cut the defecit to 3-1 in the bottom of the third inning.
Murphy led off the inning with a ground rule double and advanced to
third on Evans’ groundout to second. Kielty’s double to left scored
Evans and Kielty then beat the throw home from left on Castro’s rbi
Cory Sullivan put men on the corners with a hard-hit ball to right field, but Flores ended the inning with a flyout to centre.
O’Day gave up a solo home run to Leonard Davis to lead off the 4th
inning to make it 4-2 and Alberto Gonzalez’s rbi single in the 6th
inning scored Luke Muntz from third.
Casey Fossum had gone three-up three-down in the top half of the 5th
but fell into a little trouble in his second inning of work, giving up
a pair of hits and walking a batter.
Fossim’s velocity was up in the low 90s and he also gave batters a look
at his curveball and change which both looked effective when he was in
a pitchers’ count.
Andy Green hit a two-out 1-0 fastball into the seats behind the left
field wall to reduce the arrears to 5-3, but Joel Guzman crushed a high
Valerio de los Santos fastball to re-establish a three-run lead.
Pinch-hitting Rob Mackowiak hit a one-out triple off the left field
wall in the bottom of the 7th inning and scored on Robinson Cancel’s
sac fly for the Mets to make it 6-4.
Eric Campbell then reached on 3B Castillo’s error and he went
first-to-third on Sullivan’s single. With runners on the corners,
17-year-old Flores lined an rbi double past the outstretched Castillo
down the third-base line to make it 6-5
But right-handed LF Jorge Padilla led off the 8th inning with a double going the other way against Sean Green and Padilla hustled home for the final run of the game from third when Gustavo Molina’s bloop single dropped in front of Murphy in left field.