By Scott Hoffman, http://www.profantasybaseball.com/
Think of all the great spots you could be right now: On a beach in the Caribbean, on top of a snow covered mountain, a poker room in Vegas, visiting any costal city on the Mediterranean, pretty much anywhere but your office or your couch.
When we talk Fantasy Baseball, spot in the order is very important, and I cannot think of a much better spot than sandwiched between two top five picks. To make it even better, the guy three spots behind you is a second round pick, and the guy three spots behind you drove in 115 runs last year. If you haven’t figured it out, I am talking about batting second for the Mets.
With Jose Reyes (.358 OBP in ’08) leading off, David Wright (124 RBI in’08) hitting third, Carlos Beltran (112 RBI in ‘08) hitting fourth, and Carlos Delgado (115 RBI in ‘08) hitting fifth, the second spot there is a dream spot. A sack of potatoes could score 100 runs with those hitters as protection. With the off-season retirement of Moises Alou this spot falls to the new leftfielder, Daniel Murphy.
Murphy received a vote of confidence from Jerry Manuel and will be in the two-hole to start the season. Manuel has praised the youngster for his plate discipline and once the season starts, and the games have more meaning, Murphy will see a steady diet of good pitches to hit. Pitchers cannot pitch around him and put him on base with the mashers behind him, so he will be challenged from day one.
His minor league stats don’t show a ton of power or speed, but that is not what he is being asked to do. In 99 minor league games last year he hit .315 and had an OBP of .379. If he keeps that up, or anything close to that, he should easily be a cheap source of runs and average. He may lose some AB’s early to Fernando Tatis against lefty hurlers, but if he can prove he can hit lefties this ideal spot will be his all year. Grab in him in all NL-Only leagues and take a late flier on this undrafted gem in mixed leagues.
Hoffy’s Ballpark Figures:
Daniel Murphy – 475 AB / .303 AVG / 13 HR / 60 RBI / 14 SB / 89 R