Daniel Murphy, 2B
Murphy is the kind of hard-nosed, face-first ballplayer Mets fans love. But it’s that same penchant to rush in where angels fear to tread that makes him an injury risk, even more so now that he has been all but handed the second base job. He has blown out his knee in consecutive years, both times while manning second base. The Mets need him curb his high-wire act long enough to stay healthy in 2012. Until his injury, he was the team’s most productive bat in the second half – even more than Jose Reyes, who wasn’t quite himself since returning from his hamstring injury.
If Murphy improves his footwork at second base, he will be able to avoid the dangerous collisions with baserunners that all middle infielders have to handle.
At the plate, Murphy hit .320/.362/.448 in 2011. But as ESPN’s Eric Simon pointed out, 32 of his hits came on pitches outside the strike zone. Since his name isn’t “Vlad,” one would expect that he won’t be as proficient a bad-ball hitter this year. He’ll have a good year at the plate, but expect his numbers to drop a bit.
Projection: .287, 11 HR, 68 RBI
FanGraphs: .296, 10 HR, 68 RBI
Up next: Ruben Tejada