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Sunday, March 3, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: DANIEL MURPHY 1B/2B COLORADO ROCKIES

Already facing an initial stint on the DL to begin the 2018 season as he recovered from very scary micro fracture knee surgery, aging second baseman Daniel Murphy was stamped firmly on our "DO NOT DRAFT" list in these pages last spring.  As it turned out, Murphy didn't return to the Washington Nationals until mid-June and it wasn't until the second half of the season where the All-Star finally began to show the smooth-hitting skills that made him a mid-career renaissance story.  Having been traded to the Cubs once the Nats waved the white flag in August, Murphy finished with another solid average (.299) and still managed 12 home runs in 351 at-bats after working off the rust coming back from the surgery.  As he entered into free agency in his age-34 season, there are valid questions about whether Murphy is now into the decline phase of his career.  What we can say is that perennial .300 hitters like Murphy tend to hold onto this skill as they begin to age and so we have no qualms saying the guy should post another good number there in 2019.  Also, with walk and strikeout rate that remain right along career norms, Murphy is not really showing outward signs of dropping off as a hitter.  The real question mark centers on health and this is where things may get dicey as Murphy has long had knee trouble which took a rougher turn when he had the micro fracture surgery.  It is imperative that the threat of more health trouble is factored into whatever draft price Murphy comes attached with this spring but on the flip side, an expected drop in ADP also makes him somewhat of a bargain as well.  Adding some more optimism to the bottom line here, Murphy’s signing with the Colorado Rockies as a free agent last December puts him into one of the best hitting ballparks in the major leagues which will likely boost Murphy’s offensive numbers some and placing a prop bet on him to win the batting title this season would not be the worst idea in the world.  Finally, Murphy is expected to play first base for the Rockies which will give him eligibility at both infield positions on the right side as an added bonus.  So as long as you can get Murphy in the middle rounds and not any earlier, we are willing to sign off on one more season of usage.
2019 PROJECTION:  .294 20 HR 88 RBI 89 R 2 SB  

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