For the last few years, all we have been hearing out of the Mets farm system is about Fernando Martinez as the next big thing. Somewhere along the way last season, the Mets untouchable prospect Martinez (in the Santana trade negotiations) got passed by a pair of lower level minor league outfielders, who did not show up at the top of all the prospect lists.
In 2008, Danniel Murphy and Nick Evans, shot through the minor leagues and made their Mets debut. Out of the two, Daniel Murphy made the most of the opportunity. Here are Daniel Murphy’s numbers over the past two minor league seasons along with his 49 games with the Mets:
Daniel Murphy , was a 13th round draft pick out of Jacksonville Univerity (JU) in Florida, where he was the Atlantic Sun conference player of the year in 2006. Murphy’s claim to fame is his hitting. His bat is what got him to the show as his defense has still a ways to go. Murphy’s natural position is third base, but played in the outfield some in college.
“He’s got basically one tool, hitting, and everything else is average,” said his father,
Tom Murphy. “The way he runs, throws, plays defense – average. His glove was always a little shaky, but that bat worked.”
Murphy was selected as the everyday left fielder early in spring training and his bat has been on fire ever since. One developemnt was the story about how Murphy keeps track of each at bat in a little binder. Something he began after witnessing Carlos Delgado’s ritual a few springs ago.
If you want to know how hard of a worker Murphy is, see some of the feedback from his former teammates:
“My name is James Murdock and I also played with Daniel Murphy at JU. I was a senior last year and got the priveledge to play with Daniel for 3 years. I can honestly say it was a honor to play with him on and off the field. On the field, you won’t find a harder worker at all aspects of the game. In the club house, he was the most respected for how he acted on and off the field. I was 2 years older than Daniel but I looked up to him for how he respected the game and how he went about his business. I got hurt my junior year and thought about not coming back for my senior season but I can say Daniel Murphy was one of the main reasons I came back and he contributed to the most exciting season of my life. He will have success at every level he plays and I am looking forward to following him throughout his career. He is a great baseball player, friend, and role model.”
This season Murphy is off to a great start batting .348/.400/.522 with an opening day home run which helped Santana go on to an opening day win. It looks as if Manuel made a great decision in making Murphy a starter in spring training. He is providing a good #2 bat following Jose Reyes in the lineup. His numbers he has shown the past few years in something he will definitely be capable of. With Carlos Beltran a fixture in center field, and Sheffield now with Mets, and Ryan Church playing well, I am not sure where Martinez fits with the Mets. Certainly, after a good spring by Nick Evans, he gets a shot in the big leagues again before Fernando Martinez does.