Murphy is a 30 year old native of Houston, Texas. He was selected in the 1st round of the 2003 Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox. His selection was the 17th overall selection of the draft and he became a professional out of Baylor University. Murphy stands 6’4” 205 and is a pure left handed player.
His career spans 6 seasons in the majors, the five in Texas and one in Boston. During this time he has put up rather descent offensive numbers at.280/.339/.447. He also has 58 doubles and 10 triples during his time. Murphy has the tendency that is seen in a lot of Texas Rangers to be aggressive at the plate with 169 walks to 332 strikeouts.
Defensively he has been solid. Each year he has spent time at each of the outfield positions and accompanies a .989 fielding percentage. In the 6 seasons he played he has been accountable for 10 errors.
2011 was a down year for David Murphy. It was also the year of his first big contract, in which he made $2 million more than he did in 2010. Offensively his numbers were lower in many measureable categories. He hit .275/.328/.401. The 120 games he played was the fewest in which he appeared since 2008.
Murphy’s home runs were down to 11, the lowest in any of his full seasons in Texas. The same is true for hits, triples, and doubles. While he was able to reduce the number of strikeouts he had, he also lost ground in the number of walks.
Defensively he also had a down season, being charged with 4 errors, nearly half of his entire career total. His fielding percentage also failed to meet expectations, down to a .980.
In 2012 David Murphy is one of the players in the running for the centerfield position. As of yet Ron Washington has not decided on the way that centerfield will be handled, if by one person or by platoon.
It is my opinion that Murphy will be the master of his destiny in 2012. If he does not significantly increase his offensive production and repair his defensive prowess he will likely find himself as trade material. The payroll amount that is being spent on him cannot afford to have him playing under his ability.
I do not think that he will or should be considered for the centerfield job either by himself or by platoon. I think he will do better for the Rangers as being the ready-made backup for Josh Hamilton in left and Nelson Cruz in right field, with the occasional day at the DH.
This is my prediction, what’s yours?