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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Mets may have just discovered their next Daniel Murphy

Daniel Murphy wasn’t really very good during hit Mets days. His poor defense siphoned off a lot of the value of his bat. Hopefully McNeil will be a better fielder.

“He reminds me of Daniel Murphy,’’ a scout who has followed McNeil in the minors told The Post on Wednesday.

That is some high praise.

“He puts the bat on the ball and he leaves the bat in the hitting zone a long time,’’ the scout said. “He makes solid contact and now that he has gotten a little stronger, he is starting to drive the ball. He is just a late bloomer because I have seen him through the years.

“You know how they say a player in the field has a nose for the ball,’’ the scout added. “Well, he has a nose for the ball at the plate.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2018 at 01:15 PM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: daniel murphy, jeff mcneil, mets

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   1. Hank Gillette Posted: August 23, 2018 at 09:08 PM (#5732627)
Which version of Murphy? Murphy really didn’t become a good hitter until sometime during the 2015 season. He had that amazing postseason, at least through the league championship series. The Mets apparently thought it was a fluke, and let him go to free agency. The Nats lost out on Ben Zobrist, and “settled” for Murphy, who had the best season of his career in 2016, and equaled his next best in 2017. Even with the injury that kept him out of half of the 2018 season, and being traded, Murphy gave the Nats about the same value as Zobrist has provided for the Cubs.
   2. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: August 23, 2018 at 10:04 PM (#5732665)
Murphy was a good hitter for his position even before he became an excellent one for the Nats. He was a poor fielder but he was an average starter with the Mets.

They guy who has been even more amazing than Murphy is Justin Turner.
   3. formerly dp Posted: August 24, 2018 at 09:15 AM (#5732802)
McNeil's power sort of came out if nowhere this year. If it's for real, and he can hack 2b, that's a big development in a season without very many positives (though in spite of the terrible seasons, there have been a few pleasant surprises: Nimmo, Wheeler, Gsellman, Lugo, Matz).

Turner bums me out, because there was no compelling reason to cut him loose at the time. TJ Rivera kind of reminded me of Turner, before he got hurt.
   4. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 24, 2018 at 11:23 AM (#5732925)
I think Murphy's problem was that he brought his defense with him to the plate. Notice, he was always a good hitter, but didn't become a very good hitter until he solidified himself at second base.
   5. bobm Posted: August 24, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5732995)
[4] BAbip differences by position are interesting.


                                                           
I   Split   G   PA   AB    BA   OBP   SLG   OPS BAbip tOPS+
    as 1B 214  859  793  .289  .331  .444  .775  .309    93
    as 2B 794 3398 3139  .308  .353  .473  .826  .330   106
    as 3B  85  360  338  .275  .309  .388  .697  .289    74
    as LF  60  249  219  .279  .351  .416  .766  .310    93
    as DH   5   21   19  .211  .286  .368  .654  .214    63
    as PH 121  121  110  .255  .306  .436  .742  .276    84
    Other   1    1    1 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000 1.000   408


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/24/2018.
   6. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 24, 2018 at 12:03 PM (#5732996)
They guy who has been even more amazing than Murphy is Justin Turner.


Or going back a couple more years, Melvin Mora.
   7. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 24, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5732997)
On the pitching side, you can add Heath Bell. As soon as the Padres gave him regular innings, he did fine.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: August 24, 2018 at 02:06 PM (#5733115)
McNeil looked terrible defensively when he first came up, but somehow he's now turning DPs like a real 2B. I might attribute to good coaching, but Mets - so dumb luck could be the better bet.
   9. formerly dp Posted: August 24, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5733213)
McNeil looked terrible defensively when he first came up, but somehow he's now turning DPs like a real 2B. I might attribute to good coaching, but Mets - so dumb luck could be the better bet.
Well--he's played primarily 2B, but also been moved around all over the infield and even the OF during his minor league career. So some settling might be expected.

Fun fact: with Cabrera gone and Nimmo on the DL, McNeil is now third among active Met position players in WAR (which obv says more about the Mets than it does about McNeil, but still...that .330/.387/.485 line looks like what the optimists among us were expecting from Wilmer bitd).

Mesoraco to the DL, Smith & Reinheimer to AAA; Bruce and Nido recalled. Poor Dom just cannot catch a break.
   10. Banta Posted: August 25, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5733538)
Bwa ha ha, finally got my password reset.

Probably too late now, but Matz is a bright spot? He of the ERA+ of 81?

At least Vargas will likely beat his ERA+ mark of 37 from his first turn with the Mets. It might still be pretty close though... I think that's amusing, can amusing be a bright spot?

The Mets literally do not have a single position player that I can see developing into a consistent All Star type player. That's horrific. Going into the offseason, there's no one I would consider untouchable... Hell, there's barely any valuable... You get one Nimmo forward, two Conforto Rosarios back.

I'd be more depressed but until there's new ownership, I have zero optimism.
   11. Adam Starblind Posted: August 25, 2018 at 06:50 PM (#5733651)
Turner bums me out, because there was no compelling reason to cut him loose at the time. TJ Rivera kind of reminded me of Turner, before he got hurt.


Turner had just hit .280/.319/.385 with average defense and was going to cost $1 million.

Eric Campbell had just hit .314/.435/.475 for Las Vegas (don't remember any reputation for defense) and would cost the league minimum.

Neither of them was supposed to be a starter. Not even Turner's mother would have predicted he'd go on to do what he did. I don't think there was anything more to it than that.
   12. Buck Coats Posted: August 25, 2018 at 07:14 PM (#5733655)
Well - that 280/319/385 was a 100 OPS+, 0.8 bWAR, 0.1 bWAA. So he was an average player. For a million bucks. That seems like a pretty good price to me?

That nobody could predict he'd become this, I agree with you.
   13. Stormy JE Posted: August 25, 2018 at 08:35 PM (#5733682)
Which version of Murphy? Murphy really didn’t become a good hitter until sometime during the 2015 season. He had that amazing postseason, at least through the league championship series. The Mets apparently thought it was a fluke, and let him go to free agency. The Nats lost out on Ben Zobrist, and “settled” for Murphy, who had the best season of his career in 2016, and equaled his next best in 2017. Even with the injury that kept him out of half of the 2018 season, and being traded, Murphy gave the Nats about the same value as Zobrist has provided for the Cubs.
Regarding the Nats, Rizzo had gotten the Reds to deal him Brandon Phillips but the deal was nixed when Phillips demanded a contract extension.
   14. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5733770)
I recall awhile back a player leaking to the press that he played with a MLB player that had a cocaine and drug problem. Based on the clues that were left it seemed pretty obvious that they were talking about Daniel Murphy. Tried finding the thread here but the search engines sucks. When not surprise me if Murphy either kicked the habit or the steroids kicked in in the mid 2010's.
   15. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5733772)
Here is the article.

The rookie was Jordany Valdespin and the "current all star" can be either Daniel Murphy or Justin Turner. The other two players would appear to have to be David Wright and Ronny Cedeno as both were retired by 2017 and they add up to 23 combined seasons. It also works because they were all infielders.
   16. formerly dp Posted: August 26, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5733777)
Well - that 280/319/385 was a 100 OPS+, 0.8 bWAR, 0.1 bWAA. So he was an average player. For a million bucks. That seems like a pretty good price to me?

That nobody could predict he'd become this, I agree with you.


Yeah--this is the same as with pre-transformation Bautista. The Mets had Turner, he was useful to them, there was enough to suggest he'd continue to be be useful, and they cut him over a paltry amount of money. Because Mets.

Banta: re Matz--I'll take that at the back end of the rotation. Matz's pre-injury numbers look a bit better, it was obvious something was still wrong when he came back.

If Wheeler's growth is real, he, deGrom & Syndergard give them as solid front 3. Matz is ok as a #4--the big thing is he's actually pitched most of a season.
   17. Stormy JE Posted: August 26, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5733782)
When not surprise me if Murphy either dropkicked the habit or the steroids kicked in in the mid 2010's.
FTFY.
   18. Adam Starblind Posted: August 26, 2018 at 11:41 AM (#5733788)
Anyway, McNeil has sustained a very high level of production over three levels this year, including .337/.395/.481 in the majors. I'm in the "believer" camp.

And forget Murphy. Believe in Jeff "Kent" McNeil.
   19. Stormy JE Posted: August 26, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5733790)
McNeil's success and the increasing likelihood that Bruce will be a near-regular at first base next season raises the question once more about Flores' future with the club. Interestingly, the supposed lefty masher has performed far better against righties this season, both in terms of reaching base and hitting home runs.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 26, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5733791)
McNeil's success and the increasing likelihood that Bruce will be a near-regular at first base next season raises the question once more about Flores' future with the club. Interestingly, this supposed lefty masher has performed far better against righties this season, both in terms of reaching base and hitting home runs.

If the infield is Frazier, Rosario, McNeill, Bruce, aren't there enough PAs for Flores backing up at 1B, 2B, and 3B? McNeill and Bruce are both LHB, and Frazier is getting older.
   21. Stormy JE Posted: August 26, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5733799)
If the infield is Frazier, Rosario, McNeill, Bruce, aren't there enough PAs for Flores backing up at 1B, 2B, and 3B? McNeill and Bruce are both LHB, and Frazier is getting older.
Maybe, although the only place his defense doesn't majorly suck is at 1B.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 26, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5733808)
Maybe, although the only place his defense doesn't majorly suck is at 1B.

He doesn't have the bat to be just a 1B.
   23. formerly dp Posted: August 26, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5733840)
If the infield is Frazier, Rosario, McNeill, Bruce, aren't there enough PAs for Flores backing up at 1B, 2B, and 3B? McNeill and Bruce are both LHB, and Frazier is getting older.

There should be--and Bruce has a bad hip, apparently (and another 2 years left on his contract after this so yay!). But this the Mets, and I suspect Flores will be too expensive for them in that role. Cecchini can step in to the utility infielder spot, or Rivera as the corner dude. I'd keep him--he's been useful this year, and they'd have to spend to get comparable production...

The other guy that gets (more) expensive next year is Lagares: $9M for 2019, and no real spot for him, given that you can't count on him to be healthy.
   24. formerly dp Posted: August 26, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5733841)
He doesn't have the bat to be just a 1B.
Neither does Jay Bruce, but they're about to hand him the position.
   25. Adam Starblind Posted: August 26, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5733842)

He doesn't have the bat to be just a 1B.


As usual, it depends on the alternative. There's no reason to expect Jay Bruce to outhit him, for example. I'd like to see Peter Alonso at some point.
   26. Stormy JE Posted: August 26, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5733846)
Neither does Jay Bruce, but they're about to hand him the position.
I'd like to see Peter Alonso at some point.
Increasingly, I hear Alonso being talked about as a trade chip with an American League club. To which I keep responding: WHY? It's clear the Amazins need better production at the position.
   27. formerly dp Posted: August 26, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5733854)
Increasingly, I hear Alonso being talked about as a trade chip with an American League club. To which I keep responding: WHY? It's clear the Amazins need better production at the position.
Because he's a hulking immobile giant and they want someone who can field the position? At least, that's what's coming out of the org right now.
   28. Stormy JE Posted: August 26, 2018 at 03:52 PM (#5733882)
Because he's a hulking immobile giant and they want someone who can field the position?
Well, they seemed fine having a hulking immobile giant named Duda at the position from the end of 2010 until mid-2017. BTW, Alonso is listed at 6'3," which, if accurate, is the same height as Wilmer.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 26, 2018 at 04:03 PM (#5733888)

As usual, it depends on the alternative. There's no reason to expect Jay Bruce to outhit him, for example.


True. Zips (RoS) has Bruce at a 107 wRC+, Flores at 110.

But, they're paying Bruce anyway. Absolutely no reason to pay somebody to give you Bruce's production, when you already have Bruce.
   30. Banta Posted: August 26, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5733890)
Bruce was just an uncreative signing at the time that looks worse now.

Even presuming continued production from deGrom, Thor, and Wheeler, they aren't deep enough pitching wise to offset their offense. I again struggle to see any consistent All Star type position players. This is where being unable to count on Cespedes really hurts in multiple ways.

Barring Nimmo/Conforto being legit, McNeil becoming a latter day Murphy, Rosario taking a big step forward, and Bruce/Alonso/Smith becoming at least Duda competent, there's not a lot of room for improvement and not any real money until 2020.

Also, is it illegal for the Mets to ever have a good bullpen? It's supposed to be pretty random but I feel I've been looking for a good bullpen since Duaner Sanchez got hit by that taxi...
   31. formerly dp Posted: August 26, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5733918)
Well, they seemed fine having a hulking immobile giant named Duda at the position from the end of 2010 until mid-2017. BTW, Alonso is listed at 6'3," which, if accurate, is the same height as Wilmer.
Alonso's got 40 pounds on Wilmer.

I don't have an opinion on the matter--I'm just going by all the reports coming out about their concerns with Alonso. Maybe this is all smoke to justify keeping him down for a bit. But it doesn't make sense to have your org trash talk its own prospects, so I'm assuming there's something to it. Not to say that his size precludes him from playing a good 1B, but that's repeatedly being cited as a factor in why his defense is unpassable at the major league level right now.
   32. Adam Starblind Posted: August 26, 2018 at 08:48 PM (#5733993)
I haven't read that.
   33. formerly dp Posted: August 26, 2018 at 08:59 PM (#5733998)
This is from BA back in May:
As remarkable as Peter Alonso's offensive numbers were at Double-A Binghamton, it's his defense that has Mets officials raving.

The 23-year-old first baseman was a defensive liability last season, when he committed 19 errors in 83 games, as the organization pondered whether he had a future in the infield. But by the time spring training concluded this year, it became clear that Alonso was improving dramatically.

"It's very noticeable—the kid is working his tail off," a Mets executive said. "Even talking to (him), his confidence is high. He's come a long way because he's worked real hard at it."


Ricco last week:
"First and foremost it’s about his development. Coming into the year, the offense was something we felt pretty confident about. The defense he had to work on and continues to be something he needs to be working on," Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said regarding why Alonso is in the minors. "Right now, it’s as much about his development as anything to keep working on the defense. It’s a lot harder to do it here. In theory, the speed of the game, it’s harder to work on things. You have to perform.”


Errors might be sort of a garbage stat, but 19 errors in 83 games at 1B suggest he had some real issue. 9 in 103 so far this year though. I dunno. Keith & Gary, sight unseen, granted credence to those concerns, but they could be just parroting what "those who believe" have said: "One scout who saw Alonso earlier in the year regarded his defense as OK, but there are those who believe Alonso is best suited as a designated hitter."
   34. Adam Starblind Posted: August 26, 2018 at 10:14 PM (#5734027)
Not nearly as dire as you were remembering.
   35. formerly dp Posted: August 27, 2018 at 11:39 AM (#5734175)
Well, the Mets don't think he's currently ready to play defense in the major leagues. He's not particularly young, or playing a particularly challenging position. They're sending him to work on his defense again this fall. The Met broadcasters multiple times this week speculated that he'd be best suited to DH. Those are significant issues for your team's top prospect.

I'm perfectly willing to accept that this is all just noise, that there's no real spot for him in the lineup during September, given the questions they have to sort out (namely Bruce & Dom Smith), and the sour memory of perhaps promoting Rosario when he still had a glaring hole in his game. His numbers at Vegas, given that environment, aren't so overwhelming that he's making a clear case for promotion.
   36. Banta Posted: August 27, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5734197)
Dp,

Whereas you might be right that Alonso may not have broken down the doors, all the Mets are doing here is kicking the can down the road, mostly because they don't have a GM. In a season that's been over since June, they should be evaluating whatever assets that could be seen to have a future. Playing Flores is useless as I highly doubt he's retained. I think Smith is a bit of a joke and with their outfield health issues and his reluctance, I don't know why Bruce should be option one.

I don't tend to think you can hurt a player by bringing them up "too early" either, I'm skeptical Rosario would be any different.

Basically, I don't think the Mets really know what they're doing as an organization right now (hah) and its possible that the next GM could come in and deem several players sunk costs. Therefore give me as much youth playing now as possible. However, I'm sure the order of the day is relative status quo and after the way this year has played out, it's very frustrating.
   37. formerly dp Posted: August 27, 2018 at 12:51 PM (#5734214)
Banta, I agree in general but not in the particular cases we're discussing. WRT Rosario: playing at Vegas rewards making contact. The Mets reportedly were holding off on promoting him until he improved his pitch recognition. But he hit a ridiculous .433 at AA and .377 at AAA on balls in play--so had no real incentive to learn to be selective at the plate. His walk rate this year is essentially the same as it was at Vegas (better this year than last in the majors), and a bit worse than it was at AA. At the time of his call-up last year, he was the best option at SS in the organization--especially with the team struggling to find anyone who could competently field the position for the first half of 2017. The Mets could only fight the pressure to bring him up--some of it applied by Rosario himself--for so long. But it looks like their instincts were right: Rosario gets eaten alive by mediocre pitching, because he swings at everything (or rather: he takes pitches in the zone, and swings at pitches out of it). Maybe he wouldn't get any better at this in the minors--but his numbers in Vegas last year suggest he wasn't terribly well-equipped for the majors.

Agree that they're prob not bringing back Flores, for all of the reasons discussed above. The Mets are still giving lip service to liking Smith, but not willing to hand him the job for the next 5 weeks to back up their talk. Better than giving Bruce the time there IMO. And it's weird that there's this talk about a lack of PT for everyone, yet somehow Bautista works his way into the lineup 5-6 times a week...

Alonso I don't think is the answer right now. He's been up and down at Vegas, he's hitting for power but striking out a ton, and they don't lose anything by letting him play in a normal AAA hitting environment for the first month of 2019. And if the defensive issues aren't just a smokescreen for keeping him at AAA right now, that's another check in the 'against' column.

I have no faith in them, esp given the talk of wanting to find an 'old-school' GM, to hire anyone competent to sort out this current mess. But I don't think the situation is so dire as to be hopeless--not with a top 3 as strong as they have on-hand.
   38. Banta Posted: August 27, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5734219)
You have valid points about Rosario, I'm just not sure that I put a lot of stock in development having to occur in the Minors or the Majors even being more necessarily difficult to learn in, even a NY team. As I get older, I tend to lean more towards athletes have it or they don't or at least you can't really tell who needs more seasoning and who doesn't, regardless of what your eyes and stats may be telling you at the time. And when the performance is close enough, as it was for Rosario then and Alonso now, I would rather have the major league evaluation because that is what it is all about at the end of the day.

Or I'm bored and want some different players to watch. Haha.

I also do not think it is hopeless, it is frustrating that it feels like even with the talent in the starting rotation that being good in the short to mid term will be about how lucky they can get, as I don't see much residue accumulating from their design.
   39. formerly dp Posted: August 27, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5734280)
I def came around to wanting Rosario called up last year--but watching him struggle this year with precisely the issues that the team cited for keeping him down made me rethink that.

You ask for different players to watch: are Jose Bautista, Devin Mesoraco, and Austin Jackson not 'different' enough for you? I swear, you could give some people the moon and they'd still want more...
   40. Banta Posted: August 27, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5734444)
With Rosario, I think of Reyes. Mets gave him a full year of horrificness in '05 (like Amed, his age 22 year). BP, I think, writes how he's the worst starting position player... Next year, he talks to Rickey Henderson in the spring, is gifted 20% of his plate discipline, and he's off to the races. Granted he had limited MLB success at 20, but his batting eye improved at 23 with no remedial Minor League coaching required.

I was actually excited about Mesoraco for a minute, but that says more about my expectations and surprise that Harvey was worth more than a bag of used balls. It's amazing that every catcher the Mets get profiles the same. Mediocre defense/arm, low average, decent eye/power. Is that a prototypical replacement level catcher in 2018?

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