Indians 2014 preview and predictions: David Murphy

David Murphy against the Reds earlier in spring training - Rob Tringali

Next up is one of our offseason acquisitions, David Murphy.

This post is part of a contest in which you could win a free Let's Go Tribe t-shirt. In order to enter, just copy and paste the template at the bottom of this post into the comments, then fill in each category with your own prediction for how this player will do in 2014. Position players and pitchers will be featured as two separate contests. You need not submit predictions for every single player in either contest in order to win, but doing so will increase your chances, as points will be awarded separately for each player.

For position players, you'll be asked to predict each player's plate appearances (PA), home runs (HR), stolen bases (SB), batting average (BA), on-base percentage (OBP), and slugging percentage (SLG).

Find every previous entry in the series here.

The comments on each post in this series will remain open through Saturday, March 29.

David Murphy

Career/2013 Recap

Murphy is a former first round pick of the Red Sox from 2003, who landed with the Rangers at the 2007 trade deadline for Eric Gagne. Since then he has been just about league average while averaging just over 400 plate appearances a year. His outstanding 2012 (126 OPS+) was negated by his worst season as a pro in 2013 at age 31. A typical left handed hitter that struggles against lefties (816 RH vs 657 LH OPS career), Murphy opened 2013 with a terrible April (176/227/297). He rebounded nicely in May, hitting 286/322/524 with 5 homers, but it was all downhill from there, finishing on a 215/288/352 clip over 289 plate appearances. He did not appear in the Wild Card play in game against the Rays. He did pitch one shutout inning against Boston last June 4, striking out Mike Carp in a 17-5 blowout loss. So I guess he and Ryan Raburn can tag team in blowouts this year as well.

Recent Stats

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos
2010 28 TEX AL 138 471 419 54 122 26 2 12 65 14 2 45 71 .291 .358 .449 .806 111 188 6 0 0 3 2 *798/D
2011 29 TEX AL 120 440 404 46 111 14 2 11 46 11 6 33 61 .275 .328 .401 .729 92 162 11 0 1 2 3 *798/D
2012 30 TEX AL 147 521 457 65 139 29 3 15 61 10 5 54 74 .304 .380 .479 .859 126 219 7 4 0 4 7 *79/D8
2013 31 TEX AL 142 476 436 51 96 26 1 13 45 1 4 37 59 .220 .282 .374 .656 77 163 11 1 0 1 2 *7D/19
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/10/2014.

2014 Preview and Projections

As the left handed batter in the platoon with Raburn in right, Murphy should get the bulk of the playing duties (usually two-thirds), except perhaps in the AL Central games where there are more left handed starters. However, I also suspect Swisher might get some play in right field when Santana is playing first. But that may not happen either depending on the DH outcome. In any case, the hope for a player to rebound in his age 32 season is not usually a good one. Although he was pretty consistent in each of the six previous seasons before that. So the big question is, was 2013 an anomaly, or the start of a downward trend. He is signed through 2015, with a team option in 2016.

Here are a variety of projections for Murphy's 2014 season, all of which are available on his player page at FanGraphs, where you can find more detail, if you're so inclined:

System

PA

HR

SB

BA

OBP

SLG

Steamer

463

12

6

263

327

411

Oliver

600

15

4

245

309

389

ZIPS

457

11

7

257

317

403

My Two Cents

Oliver normalizes everything to 600 plate appearances so Steamer and ZIPS should be more likely results. I think he'll have at least one DL stint, so I will be even more conservative: 410 plate appearances, with 11 home runs, 2 stolen bases, and a line of .261/.332/.408.

Your Turn

You're welcome just to pull numbers out of thin air, but if you want to commute the rate stats more scientifically, here are some easy to use links that will help you with batting average, with on-base percentage, and with slugging percentage.

To submit your entry, simply copy-and-paste the text below into a new comment, then fill in your predictions:

  • PA:
  • HR:
  • SB:
  • BA:
  • OBP:
  • SLG:
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