Last year David Murphy worked his way to a ho-hum season: 65 R, 15 HR, 61 RBI, 10 SB, and a .304 BA. Despite excelling in just batting average, that fantasy line was good enough for 105th overall in the game. Murphy doesn’t wow anywhere, but he doesn’t disappoint either.
Best of all, he’s been giving us that boring, balanced line for five years now, and his fantasy relevance has come with some noticeable improvements in batting average. His strikeout rate has improved a tick over the last few years, and last year Murphy posted career-bests in both walk rate (10.4%) and line drive rate (21.2%). It shouldn’t be surprising that all of that led to his first .300 season.
At a Glance
Strengths: BA, OBP, OPS
Neutral: R, HR, RBI, SB, SLG
Best-case scenario: Ben Zobrist (TB)
Likely scenario: Nick Markakis (BAL), Howie Kendrick (LAA), Alexei Ramirez (CHW)
Worst-case scenario: Dexter Fowler (COL)
David Murphy 2013 Fantasy Projection
Another .300+ campaign is in play for Murphy, but I’m not sure we should expect a repeat of his .333 BABIP from last year. Even with a repeat in his strikeout, walk, and line drive rates, Murphy is probably more of a .315 BABIP type of player (just like our xBABIP equation suggests) and that probably means we’re looking at a .280-.290 average this season.
With Josh Hamilton gone, Murphy’s left-handed bat becomes more important in the Rangers’ offense. I don’t mean to suggest that Murphy is Hamilton’s replacement, just that the middle of the Texas lineup is pretty right-handed heavy. Apparently the Rangers thought so, too, bringing in both Lance Berkman and A.J. Pierzynski.
Murphy is a safe draft pick this year, and his boring profile might make him a nice draft day value. In OBP and OPS leagues, Murphy is someone I’d be all over.