Daniel Murphy
Daniel Murphy
36-Year-Old First Baseman1B
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Remember how excited people were to have Murphy hit half the season in Coors Field thinking he could potentially be a perennial winner of the batting title? Pepperidge Farms remembers, but the rest of us would like to forget ever believing in the possibilities of Murphy in Denver. He was a major disappointment, and the Rockies agreed by declining his 2021 option and making him a free agent. Murphy's plate discipline skills held up in Coors, but his power has continued to decline as quickly as his defense at first base. Health is always a factor with him as he has not played in more than 145 games since the 2013 season. He turns 36 at the projected start of the 2021 season, so any hope for one last run from him would be on a one-year deal with a second-division team that will let him hit every day. That, or he takes on a bench role on a contender as an experienced pinch hitter. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#600
ADP
$Signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Rockies in December of 2018. Rockies declined $12 million team option for 2021 in October of 2020.
Announces retirement
1BFree Agent  
January 29, 2021
Murphy announced his retirement from baseball Friday, Andy Martino of SNY.tv reports.
ANALYSIS
Murphy closed the books on a 12-year major-league career spent with the Mets, Nationals, Cubs and Rockies. His lasting legacy may be his role at the forefront of the flyball revolution that changed hitters' approaches around the league, transforming him from a low-power contact hitter into someone who hit .347/.390/.595 with 25 homers at his peak in 2016. He'll retire with 138 homers, 1,572 hits and a .296 average. While he never managed to win a World Series, he did earn gold with Team USA at the 2017 World Baseball Classic and earned an NLCS MVP with the pennant-winning Mets in 2015.
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Batting Stats
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2020
2019
2018
2017
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+8%
OPS vs LHP
2021
No Stats
2020
 
 
+58%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+19%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019vs Left .783 169 19 3 20 0 .293 .343 .439
Since 2019vs Right .727 438 47 13 74 1 .260 .306 .421
2021vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Left .429 35 3 0 3 0 .200 .200 .229
2020vs Right .677 96 7 3 13 0 .250 .302 .375
2019vs Left .881 134 16 3 17 0 .320 .381 .500
2019vs Right .741 342 40 10 61 1 .263 .307 .434
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+17%
OPS at Home
2021
No Stats
2020
 
 
+47%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+11%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019Home .798 316 34 5 54 1 .309 .351 .447
Since 2019Away .682 291 32 11 40 0 .226 .278 .404
2021Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Home .720 67 7 2 8 0 .281 .313 .406
2020Away .489 64 3 1 8 0 .186 .234 .254
2019Home .820 249 27 3 46 1 .317 .361 .458
2019Away .736 227 29 10 32 0 .237 .291 .445
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Daniel Murphy
The Z Files: The Fallacy of Stabilization and an Early Look at Home Runs
6 days ago
Todd Zola offers some thoughts on early-season trends, including the home run surge led by Nick Castellanos and the Reds.
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49 days ago
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127 days ago
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217 days ago
Chris Morgan likes St. Louis pitcher Adam Wainwright’s chances against Cincinnati tonight, as the team has the lowest team batting average in the majors.
Dream11 Fantasy Baseball: Rockies at Padres
221 days ago
Juan Pablo Aravena breaks down Monday's Rockies at Padres game for Dream11 contests.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
In theory, Coors Field would lift Murphy -- a .300 career hitter prior to last season -- back into contention for a batting title. Things worked out a bit differently in practice. Murphy's K-rate jumped four percentage points (to 15.5%), as did his groundball rate. His barrel rate of 2.4% was half of his previous low-water mark, and his hard-hit rate was in the bottom 16th percentile among 478 hitters with at least 50 batted-ball events, per Statcast. Murphy hit just .237/.291/.445 away from Colorado and was below league average overall by wRC+ for the first time since 2009. He missed most of April with a finger injury and wore down late. Murphy is getting up there in age and the Rockies have younger, better players who deserve a shot. However, with $12 million due to him in 2020, he will still probably get more than his fair share of plate appearances, making him a fallback option in the middle rounds.
Those that rostered Murphy and waited out his lengthy recovery from offseason right knee surgery were undoubtedly frustrated when he flopped upon debuting in mid-June, as he submitted a woeful .643 OPS with only one homer and six runs in 28 games prior to the break. Just when shallow-league managers probably wanted to cut bait, Murphy rediscovered his vintage form, slashing .315/.346/.498 in the second half while enjoying a bump in run production after settling in as the Cubs' leadoff man following an August trade. Murphy is now in Colorado and proved last season that his stellar bat-to-ball skills remain intact, affording him a high batting-average floor, but the durability issues and the stark downturn in power he experienced last season are blights on his fantasy profile that should be taken into account. After carrying a .235 ISO and 36.9% hard-hit rate between 2016 and 2017, Murphy tailed off all the way to .155 and 26.1% in 2018.
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.
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
Bought out by Colorado
1BFree Agent  
October 28, 2020
Murphy became a free agent Wednesday after the Rockies declined his $12 million team option for 2020.
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Transitioning to bench role
1BColorado Rockies  
September 16, 2020
Murphy remains out of the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Athletics, Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post reports.
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Remains on bench
1BColorado Rockies  
September 15, 2020
Murphy is not starting Tuesday against the Athletics, Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post reports.
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Returns to bench
1BColorado Rockies  
September 13, 2020
Murphy is out of the lineup Sunday against the Angels, Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post reports.
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Sits for third straight
1BColorado Rockies  
September 11, 2020
Murphy remains on the bench for the third straight game Friday against the Angels.
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