Last week’s question was: Is Daniel Murphy the Mets’ answer at first base for years to come?
Here are the results:
Yes, he’s a solid player who will only get better with time.—2 percent
He’ll do until someone better comes along. – 25 percent
No, the Mets need to go out and get a veteran first baseman. —29 percent
He doesn’t hit for enough power to be a prototypical first baseman. —38 percent
Most of you say Murphy’s power is the issue and you’re probably right. Although he’s fourth on the team in homers, it’s not saying much when your top home run guy in Gary Sheffield has hit only 10. Murphy’s seven is one behind David Wright’s total and two in back of Jeff Francoeur’s.
Here are some of the telling stats and rankings for this season. Granted, some of these numbers came when he was playing the outfield and not first base. In 333 at-bats, Murphy has:
Batting average: .252—10th among active Mets players with at least 100 at-bats.
Slugging percentage: .378—7th among active Mets players with at least 100 at-bats.
On-base percentage: .316—7th among active Mets players with at least 100 at-bats.
RBI: 38—3rd among active Mets players.
Doubles: 19—2nd among active Mets players.
While Murphy has produced a good amount of RBI for someone who hadn’t played every day until he took over first base, his batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage aren’t the kind of numbers you’d like to see from a prototypical first baseman.
How much of that do you contribute to inexperience? This is Murphy’s first full season in the Majors, so he still has a lot of learning to do, at both first base and home plate. The one thing that helps his chances at staying at first base is his defense. Aside from a couple of dropped balls and improper positioning, he’s afforded himself quite well in the position. He’s becoming more and more comfortable in that position and almost every day impresses with a fine play.
Unless the Mets are willing to spend big money to bring someone with more power to that position, I think Murphy is going to be the man. Though, who knows what might happen in the off-season? The Mets management could be grooming Murphy to be part of trade for a more established first baseman.
If that’s not the case, the Mets could go the free agent route.
This week’s question is: Which first baseman who will be an eligible free agent in 2010 would you like to see on the team?