2012 Season Preview: 2nd Base

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It’s season preview time! Each Saturday I will analyze each position, looking at the quality, as well as the depth of the Met roster, and how players at each position could perform this season. Enjoy.

The Mets will be praying for the successful return of second baseman Daniel Murphy in 2012 as he tries to build off a fantastic season in 2011. Murphy had arguably the best breakout year in the National League, improving his batting average from 2009, the last season he played with the Mets, by 54 points.

Daniel Murphy lines a single

(Photo Courtesy of Michael Baron)

In 2008, the Mets called up a 23 year-old outfielder/third baseman named Daniel Murphy. He surprised many Met fans and put hisname into the future stardom conversation. Murphy played 49 games in 2008, hitting .313 with two home runs and 17 RBI. The next year when the Mets needed a first baseman, Murphy, who is awful on defense at just about every position, stepped into the role. He played a full season in 2009 in the big leagues, hitting .266 with 12 home runs (a team high) in 155 games.

In spring of 2010, Murphy was the starting first baseman going into camp. Then, a catastrophic injury at the end of camp ended his season. Murphy had to fight for a job in the spring of 2011 after the injury, which he did.

Daniel Murphy, only 25, played 109 of the first 113 games for the Mets before yet again, suffering a season-ending injury. However, he will be healthy for the start of Spring Training.

Murphy surprised everybody with his bat. I have said that if Murphy had stayed healthy for the remainder of the season, he would have given Jose Reyes a run for his money in the batting race. Instead, Murphy went down with a greusome left knee injury, which you can see below:

This season, after Murph’s incredible season at the plate, Murphy will be the starting second baseman. Here, his bad defense will be minimized, and it will be worth having him on the field. Hopefully Murphy will be able to play an entire season so we can see if last year was just a fluke, or if he really is one of the National League’s best up and coming hitters like he showed us all he was last year.

Backups:

Luckily for the Mets, if Daniel Murphy somehow goes down with another injury in 2012, they will have a solid backup to full in. Youngster Justin Turner stepped up when the Mets needed him and hit 30 doubles in 117 games. That’s an average of over 40 per 162 games played. He really played well, showing grit and passion during the season. Sadly, there won’t be a starting position for Turner in 2012, despite his great play in ’11, but he will be a big contributor off the bench for the Mets in pinch hitting situations, as well as if Daniel Murphy goes down.

Overall Grade: B+

Murphy played very well last year, showing glimpses of a future batting champion. However, I didn’t give a grade of “A+,” “A,” or even “A-” ┬ábecause of the fact that the season for Murph last year only consisted of 391 at-bats. If he continues raking in 2011, the grade next year will be higher, likely the highest grade possible.

Also, you have to take into account Murphy’s defense. He isn’t exactly Bill Mazeroski at second. He needs time to adjust to second and needs work with coaches, much like he did when he moved to first base in 2009.

Other Previews:

2012 Season Preview: 1st Base

2012 Season Preview: Catcher

Remember, you can follow me on Twitter @UpAlongFirst and you can visit our Facebook Fan page here.

Come back next Saturday for the season preview on the shortstop position!

About Connor O'Brien
I'm a 17 year-old blogger, high school student, and lifelong Mets fan. I've been blogging about the Mets in some form or another for about four years. I embrace the new age, sabermetric way of thinking, but also recognize the importance of scouting and player devlopment.

24 Comments on 2012 Season Preview: 2nd Base

  1. KennyandtheMets // January 29, 2012 at 11:03 am // Reply

    I don’t see how you can call Murphy a second baseman yet. Just because the team plans to start him there doesn’t mean that he belongs there. I love his bat, but 2B is the 3rd or 4th most important defensive position on the field. After SS, C, and possibly CF. Even if Daniel can stay healthy (a big if) playing the pivot, he would have to hit about 350 to make up for his lack of range and defensive skill at that position.

    • He doesn’t need the range or pure fielding talent that he would at say, third. I don’t want to say second is an easier position but it will be easier for him. He commits more errors at other positions than he does at second. This means that his d.W.A.R. isn’t as bad, so it won’t negatively affect his overall value (total W.A.R.). Get what I’m saying?

      • 2B is one of the more demanding positions. Saying someone can handle 2B easier than 3B is ignoring reality. Think about it. Murphy’s bat is not good enough for 3B so if he could handle 2B don’t you think somebody in the minors or college would have moved him there? Or em if you think the Mets were incompetent then what about the other 29 teams? If any of them saw him as a 2Bman they cOuld have gotten him cheaply because he was a light hitting 3Bman. So all of baseball is wrong. Is that what you’re really saying? There has been exactly one successful corner infield to middle infield transition in the history of the sport. And Ripkin was a very good 3Bman to start with.

        • I never said he is a second baseman. He isn’t. Personally, I don’t think he fits at ANY position. I meant that his bad defense will be MINIMALIZED at second compared to the other positions that are open to him on the Mets.

          • Again, how does that make any sense? On one hand you say he lacks range but then you say his lack of range will be hidden at 2B. Do you not see how this makes no sense? How, also does his poor footwork at 1B also get hidden at 2B? He’s often out of position at 2B. He has no speed and his base running is poor. Layer on that he’s not a HR threat. How on God’s green Earth does that translate to a B+ and not a C-?

      • And one of the major components of dWAR is range. Get what I’m saying?

  2. Yogis is absolutely insane

  3. If healthy, Havens should take over by the end of the season.

    • I’m not so sure about that. Haves hasn’t played a single game in Triple-A. He’s going to be there most of the season. Plus, if Murphy hits like he did last year, why in the world would they replace him?

      • AAA can effectively be skipped, just look at Davis. Havens can hit with power and can field. If he has a good May wherever he is then he’s starting at 2B in June.

        • Well then are you going to take a player, who if he had had I think 9 more at-bats, would have been the NL’s 4th leading hitter?

          • You cant argue with Sylow59 as he never liked Murphy. Murphy will work at 2nd base and be serviceable. He does have range if you check out his videos and he is very aggresive at any base. You are a very good writer for 14 yrs old. Take it from a 76 year old man who reads other blogs. I am following you on twitter also..

            • No. Wht I don’t like is the lunacy of the compareison to Boggs and Williams and Rose and … And I don’t like the making believe that he’s a capable fielder. And I don’t like the lemmingesque mentality that he will be the first ever successful 1B to 2B transition at the major league level in the history if the game. For the record I do like him but that doesn’t mean I can buy into his superstar myth. I do see that you believe he will be a good 2Bman. Care to offer why? Is it his bad footwork at 1B? His lack of range? Or his being frequently out of position on relays?

              • At Mets 360 today he’s being compared to Lou Pinella.See that post.

                • Point = ?

                • I’m not comparing him to any great player. We still have to wait and see. All we know for sure is that the guy can hit. Nobody can just erase his .320 season last year. You can say he isn’t great because he probably is not. But honestly, who else in the Met organization at second can hit like Murph? No one. He is by no means a SUPERSTAR, and no one has said that he is. We are just excited because he is a young guy who hits for a high batting average…

                • Actually many have said he’s great. The Boggs, Williams, Rose, … coparisons were all made over at Metsblog. Many compared his fielding to Hernandez. Lots of HOF talk there too. Look here, a B+? Really.

                • Maybe it was a little generous. Maybe I like being a optimistic. I think he is going to have a good season.

                • B+ makes him an All Star and, coming as a 2Bman, a borderline MVP candidate.

                • Maybe I need to change the grading system a little…

          • Put him on the bench where he can’t hurt himself. He has no power, no speed, bad base running skills, and doesn’t draw a lot of walks.

            Assuming Havens is not injured and hits well you improve the team by trading some singles for HRs and defense. It’s not a real hard choice.

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