Yesterday on WFAN, Sandy Alderson had the following to say about 2B Daniel Murphy:
“I think we’re happy with what we got from Murph. He developed into an acceptable, probably average defensive second baseman. I think there’s more offense there. I’m little disappointed with his power production, which we think he has. He can be better on base. I hope going in to 2013 that he’s more comfortable at second base now and can focus again on his approach at the plate. He’s an outstanding hitter and we know that, but he can be even more productive and I hope he will be.”
In 156 games for the Mets last season, Murphy hit .291 with a .332 OBP, 6 HR, 40 doubles and 65 RBI.
Sandy paints a pretty fair assessment of Murphy’s 2012 season. Offensively, I think the Mets need to decide where he is best suited in the lineup and keep him there. For a two hitter, I don’t think the lack of power is that big of a deal. If Murphy is going to bat there, I’m not worried about him hitting home runs. I’d much rather see another 40 double season with a strong line drive rate. But if Terry decides to place him lower, then yes, I’d love to see Murphy improve on the six homers he hit last year. I know where he hits will be largely dictated by if the Mets acquire a lead off hitter and drop Ruben Tejada to the two hole, but I think the issue is worth evaluating provided they don’t.
In the field, I think to call Murphy serviceable would be fair. Would any other team use him as a second baseman? Probably not. And I think if the Mets were constructed differently, they would prefer him elsewhere, too. But with Ike Davis cutting down the ground Murphy has to cover on the right side, I think the Mets can get away with continuing to use Murphy there. The one aspect of his defense that impressed me was his foot work. For a player that had been injured on a take out slide two years prior, he didn’t show any trepidation turning it over. I’ll be interested to see if Murphy continues to play such a deep second base in his second full season there, and provided he does, if opposing hitters try to take advantage of that more often.