Daniel Murphy
Daniel Murphy
33-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Chicago Cubs
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Surgery to repair the articular cartilage in Murphy's right knee has clouded the second baseman's status for Opening Day; depending on how much the price is depressed, this could make for a nice buying opportunity. Murphy gave a little back in the contact department last season, but he still had a top-20 BB/K and a top-six xBA (min. 150 at-bats). He exceeded 180 runs-plus-RBI for the second straight year despite playing in just 144 games, and Murphy has established a new power baseline in the 20s with the uptick in hard-hit rate and flyball rate in recent seasons. He doesn't run and durability is a growing concern as he enters his age-33 season, but Murphy's core skills are holding steady and what he offers in terms of batting average at the position is tough to find outside of the first three rounds. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a three-year, $37.5 million contract with the Nationals in December of 2015. Traded to the Cubs in August of 2018.
Blasts 12th homer
2BChicago Cubs
September 21, 2018
Murphy went 3-for-5 with a solo home run and two runs scored in Friday's loss to the White Sox.
ANALYSIS
Murphy led off the game with a home run, but the Cubs would lose 10-4 in the series opener. The 33-year-old second baseman is batting .293 with a .794 OPS along with 12 home runs and 39 RBI with nine games remaining in the regular season for Chicago.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+18%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+57%
OPS vs RHP
2017
 
 
+17%
OPS vs RHP
2016
 
 
+9%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016vs Left .812 388 44 11 55 0 .294 .343 .469
Since 2016vs Right .958 1091 169 48 180 9 .336 .388 .570
2018vs Left .547 78 6 1 6 0 .222 .269 .278
2018vs Right .861 226 25 10 32 2 .313 .354 .507
2017vs Left .823 137 20 4 19 0 .291 .343 .480
2017vs Right .960 456 74 19 74 2 .332 .397 .563
2016vs Left .924 173 18 6 30 0 .329 .376 .548
2016vs Right 1.010 409 70 19 74 5 .354 .396 .614
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+12%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+12%
OPS on Road
2017
 
 
+29%
OPS on Road
2016
 
 
+1%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016Home .863 704 91 21 106 5 .319 .365 .498
Since 2016Away .970 774 122 38 129 4 .330 .385 .585
2018Home .729 143 13 5 19 1 .271 .308 .421
2018Away .820 160 18 6 19 1 .302 .350 .470
2017Home .808 284 39 6 37 1 .302 .363 .446
2017Away 1.039 309 55 17 56 1 .341 .405 .634
2016Home .988 277 39 10 50 3 .361 .397 .591
2016Away .982 305 49 15 54 2 .333 .384 .599
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Stat Review
How does Daniel Murphy compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
BB/K
0.51
 
BB Rate
6.0%
 
K Rate
11.6%
 
BABIP
.300
 
ISO
.165
 
AVG
.293
 
OBP
.333
 
SLG
.458
 
OPS
.791
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
The adjustments Murphy made at the plate that turned him into a playoff hero in 2015 with the Mets weren't just a short-sample mirage after all. He continued to hit balls harder (career-high 38.2 percent hard-hit rate), higher (career-high 41.9 percent flyball rate) and farther (career-high average of 280.6 feet on flyballs) than he ever had before, resulting in -- you guessed it -- a career year that landed him in second place in NL MVP voting. Pitchers weren't able to find a hole in his new approach as the season progressed either, as his first half and second half splits were almost identical, right down to the .985 OPS in both halves. The only thing that slowed him down was a leg injury that limited him to 55 games in the second half, but he was still healthy enough to hit .438 in 16 postseason at-bats. Nagging lower-body injuries are definitely a red flag for a 31-year-old second baseman, especially one that didn't really have a step to lose, and the 21 games Murphy played at first base last year may have been a precursor to a more permanent move, especially if Ryan Zimmerman never returns to form. The offense Murphy supplied in 2016 is more than adequate for a shift down the defensive spectrum, though, even if it's taken on faith that he'll have some regression in his performance, despite the strong indications to the contrary.
Murphy's torrid run at the plate during the postseason, which featured a home run in six consecutive games, will be recalled every October for years to come. Hamstring and quad injuries slowed Murphy in the first half and likely factored into his significant reduction in stolen-base attempts, but those injuries may have also masked the byproduct of mechanical adjustments Murphy made at the plate with hitting coach Kevin Long. The power surge in October was preceded by a strong second half (.284/.313/.490, nine homers), and an overall career-best strikeout rate (7.1 percent). In addition to the possibility that his new swing and approach have allowed him to tap into additional pop on a regular basis, getting out of Citi Field for half of his games may lead an increase in overall production, as Murphy has posted a .255/.297/.382 line at home over the past three seasons compared to a .313/.349/.456 line on the road.
The epitome of the non-sexy sexy fantasy baseball player. Over the past two seasons, only two second baseman have hit at least .280 while scoring 75-plus runs and driving in at least 50: Robinson Cano and Daniel Murphy. Murphy is a high-contact batter that uses that ability to get on base more so than walking. His BABIP has been over .315 each of the past four seasons, allowing him to consistently hit for a high average. The steals dropped from 23 to 13 last season, but Murphy is still a double-double threat in that area to go along with the high average and runs. He is a 3.75 category player and the Mets are bringing in the fences in right field, which should give Murphy a boost in the power department. Last season, he out-earned the like of Ben Zobrist, Dustin Pedroia, Matt Carpenter & Chase Utley and was drafted later than all of them in most leagues. Stop undervaluing this guy already.
Murphy set career highs in runs, runs batted in and stolen bases, capped by a big September, and had another solid season at the plate. The main negative was a sharp drop in his walk rate, which adversely impacted his on-base percentage. In addition, his BABIP fell for the second straight year, which caused a slight drop in his batting average. Murphy has become a passable second baseman, but his main value is in his offense and durability. Now arbitration-eligible, there is a growing chance that the Mets will shop Murphy's services.
Murphy finally settled in at a primary position last season, logging 138 games at second base despite grading out as one of the weaker regulars at the keystone (-9.0 UZR). Offensively, little changed in Murphy's numbers as he walked at the same six-percent clip as he did in 2011 while maintaining a steady contact rate (84 percent). Now 28, it is hard to envision significantly more power coming from him as he slugged just .403 last season. Further, Murphy has not shown progress against left-handed pitching, and remains susceptible to being platooned at second base if the Mets can find someone to complement his splits (.294/.341/.419 vs. RHP, .283/.311/.369 vs. LHP).
Murphy, who suffered a "high-grade" MCL tear in his right knee that sidelined him for the year in July 2010, had a brilliant spring training to break camp with the Mets. He opened the year hitting, forcing the Mets to dump Brad Emaus and make him an everyday player. Murphy saw action at first and third, but settled in as the starting second baseman. However, he suffered an MCL tear for the second straight year, this time to his left knee. Murphy still struggles with mental mistakes and a lack of baseball instincts, but he is penciled in as the starting second baseman and occasional leadoff hitter. Don't expect much power, but Murphy should post a solid batting average with lots of doubles and a good on-base percentage if healthy.
Murphy, who failed to meet the hype in 2009, was battling Mike Jacobs to open 2010 as the Mets' first baseman before spraining his right MCL late in camp. Once he returned to action in the minors, Ike Davis was set as the team's first baseman, so Murphy was to be groomed as a utility player. In his first start at second base, Murphy suffered a "high-grade" MCL tear in his right knee that sidelined him for the year. Murphy had a big winter league season playing second base before getting shut down with a slightly strained left hamstring but is expected to be healthy for spring training, where he will contend to open the year as the starter at second.
Murphy, the Mets' Golden Boy entering 2009, got off to a strong start with a home run on Opening Day, but it was mainly downhill from there. His fielding struggles while trying to play left field impacted his confidence at the plate, landing him on the bench. Murphy was shifted to first base with Carlos Delgado out. After bottoming out at .234 in mid-June, Murphy hit .281 to finish at .262 and looked extremely comfortable defensively at first base. His role in 2010 will depend on what the Mets do in free agency; if the team adds a big bat in left, Murphy could remain the starter at first, but the more likely scenario has him platooning with a right-handed bat at the position.
Murphy exploded out of the chute at Double-A Binghamton and made a brief pit stop at Triple-A before being promoted to the Mets in early August. The knock on Murphy in his career has been his defense, as he played third in the minors before seeing time at second and ended up playing left in the majors. His bat looked major league ready in a 131 at-bat trial, so one possible role for him in 2009 is that of a super-utility player similar to Tony Phillips early in his career, enabling the Mets to find a regular position for him over time. Murphy injured his forearm in the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars game and then suffered a Grade 2 strain of the right hamstring, but he is expected to be ready for spring training, where he is slated to platoon in left with Fernando Tatis, though that will depend on what the Mets do in free agency.
More Fantasy News
Smashes 11th home run
2BChicago Cubs
September 19, 2018
Murphy went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run, a walk, three runs scored and a strikeout in Tuesday's win over the Diamondbacks.
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Sits against southpaw
2BChicago Cubs
September 17, 2018
Murphy is not starting Monday against lefty Patrick Corbin and the Diamondbacks.
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On bench vs. left-hander
2BChicago Cubs
September 15, 2018
Murphy is not in the lineup against the Reds on Saturday.
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Hits third vs. Nats
2BChicago Cubs
September 13, 2018
Murphy will bat third in the order and start at second base against Washington on Thursday.
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Heads to bench for Game 2 of twin bill
2BChicago Cubs
September 8, 2018
Murphy is not in the lineup for Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Nationals.
ANALYSIS
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