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Murphy Detractors Should Look to Bernie Williams

By Mike Silva ~ February 11th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets.

Murphy Detractors Should Look to Bernie Williams

Take a look at this young player’s line:

HR - 5

RBI - 34

BA- . 238

OPS - .686

That player was none other than beloved Yankees centerfielder Bernie Williams in 1991. Suffice to say Bernie was a below league average offensive player his age 22 rookie season. Why am I bringing up Williams? Because after that rookie campaign how many sports experts (looking at you Mike Francesa) would have predicted a career that lasted 16 seasons, accumulated over 2,300 hits, and put up an OPS+ of 125. You could argue that Williams had 8 seasons that are Hall of Fame worthy.

Many are writing Daniel Murphy off at the age of 24. Sure, he doesn’t have an established name like Carlos Delgado, but at age 24 he put up a decent season (.741 OPS) learning two new positions. At age 24, his third season in the big leagues, Bernie Williams had a very similar stat line to Murphy hitting 12 homers, driving in 68 RBI, and an OPS of .734. Almost a mirror campaign to Murphy.

The thing is Bernie Williams didn’t wow anybody statistically in the minor leagues, as a matter of fact, his numbers are quite similar to Murphy’s.

I, just like everyone, have my doubts about Murphy’s ability to be an everyday player in the big leagues. What he has going for him is the desire, work ethic, and attitude that should lead to success. That counts for a lot and makes me want to bet on him. There will be stiff competition with Mike Jacobs and Ike Davis vying for a job, but you have to give Murphy the edge today. Instead of trashing him, or calling him a failure (Mike Francesa), how about we see what 2010 brings. If progress isn’t made then perhaps it’s time to go to Plan B. Eventually Ike Davis may take the job from him and force Murphy to learn, yet again, another position (second base?), but let’s talk about that when and if the time comes.

As for Bernie Williams, his age 25 season produced a line of .289/.384/.453 - by the 95′ season he was well on his way to being one of the best offensive outfielders in the game. Imagine if the Yankees treat him like some sports talk show hosts are treating Murphy.

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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9 Responses to Murphy Detractors Should Look to Bernie Williams

  1. john

    After this fantasy comparison, are you prepared to make the same comparison with the dozens of players who’ve put up stats like Murphys and gone on to short or unimpressive major league careers?

    Or you can just admit that this was an exercise the conclusion of which is just, “well we can hope.”

  2. Dermot

    I’m not a listener of WFAN but I read your columns regularly and I have to admit to you the continual Mike Francesa references are a little weird.

    Are you on his show a lot or something?

  3. Chris

    I always enjoy reading your posts Mike. We’re always on the same page. This one is one of the best I’ve read on any site. Writing off a 24 yr. old kid with one major league season under his belt pisses me off like no other. I certainly wouldn’t mind Bernie numbers in the Mets lineup, for that price….If anything he will have some great trade value to pick up some pitching.

  4. Paul Catalano

    Interesting point. Guys who write off players who start a little rough in the big leagues, would have written off Johan Santana, Tony Perez, Jim Thome and Tom Glavine. Sometimes, you have to let the kid takes some lumps before he learns how to play in the bigs.

  5. Stu Baron

    …not to mention Matt Williams, Chipper Jones, and Ron Darling, among many others…

  6. birtelcom

    Interesting post, Mike. Murphy’s career OPS+ through age is 103, and his OPS+ during his age 24 season was 95. I checked b-ref’s Play Index for all OFers or first baseman who had at least 502 PAs in their age 24 seasons and an OPS+ that year of between 93 and 95. 16 names come up, a number of whom had or are having excellent careers. The best futures among these 16: Justin Morneau (93 OPS+ in his age season, 100 career OPS+ through his age 24 season), Magglio Ordonez (93 OPS+ in his age 24 season, 99 career OPS+ through his age 24 season), Ray Lankford (94 OPS+ in his age 24 season, 99 career OPS+ through his age 24 season, Andruw Jones (94 OPS+ at age 24, 108 career OPS+ through age 24) and interestingly, Casey Stengel. Maybe Murf will manage the Mets in 2060 or so. Other names on my list of 16 you may recognize: Marquis Grissom, Chad Curtis, Ken Harrelson.

  7. Steve

    “stiff competition with Mike Jacobs and Ike Davis”
    - the Mets are certainly in trouble if that’s the best they have…

  8. kill.schill(ing)

    Mike, let no one ever accuse you of letting your allegiances impair your commentary’s objectivity or your analyses’ integrity.

    David Murphy a incipient Bernie Williams? Why not Angel Pagan? Then again, Pagan always struck me as more comparable to Mickey Manltel. Or how about Oliver Perez as a burgeoning Ron Guidry?

    What I really look forward to is the following column however: “Jeff Wilpon: The Boss’ Heir?”

    Now, there’s a a Mets-Yankees compelling parallel and irony. Gives the lie to that old Mets’ mantra “We’re not the Yankees, doesn’t it?”

    Ah, for the revenge of the subconscious!

    May you all you blue and orange miserables reap what you sow. I wish your franchise ill.

  9. Mike Silva

    Kill Schill

    Your name and email says it all! Love it. Why are you still so angry about me playing that Doors song after the Yanks were eliminated in 2008? It was all in fun, you should know I am very fair to the Yankees. Ask any Mets fan- I don’t give them a pass on this site.

    Be fair now!

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