Reese Kaplan -- Murphy Time for the Mets?


No, not THAT Murphy.  That Irish ship has sailed.

After reading an interesting article on the Top 10 catching prospects in baseball, the one name that stuck out to me was actually the person at the bottom of the list, the Colorado Rockies’ prospect, Tom Murphy.  Currently listed third in the depth chart behind Nick Hundley and Tony Wolters, he may be someone that can be pried loose for the right price.

Why would the Mets want him?  After all, he’s 25 years old and missed significant time in the minors due to injury (reminiscent of some other catcher whose name begins with a lower case “d”).   Well, for one thing he’s turned himself from an offense-only catcher to one now rated above average by the scouts.  Even his Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “We’ve seen some good things from him. Not only in catching a very good pitching performance, but thinking along with the pitcher, receiving the ball and blocking the ball. He’s an impressive kid, and physically, he certainly passes the eye test back there.”

His pitch framing numbers were favorable (actually better than starter Nick Hundley’s) and his arm is above average as well.  He’s a little awkward in his footwork behind the plate but he looks to have the tools to be a major league regular.

Remember when I said an offense-first catcher?  How good is he with the bat?

Well, in just 79 major league ABs he has 12 HRs and 22 RBIs over parts of two seasons.  Don’t do the math to extrapolate without remembering the Coors Field factor, but consider his minor league numbers as well.  In 2013 over two levels in just 357 ABs he slugged 22 HRs and drove in 83 while hitting .289.  Injuries derailed part of that season and most of 2014, but as he worked his way back in 2015 the power returned.  In 2016 he spent most of the year in Albuquerque (where your mileage may vary being part of the PCL), but .327/19/59 in just 303 ABs is nothing to sneeze at. 

Considering he’s a bit old to still be a prospect and the Rockies still seem committed to starter Nick Hundley and defensive specialist Tony Wolters, he may be expendable.  The always pitching-starved Rockies would probably not hang up the phone if you talked about helping improve their starting rotation.  Would Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman net you Murphy?  If so, would you do it?


Thomas Brennan said...

If he is a real major league caliber guy, and it appears he is, trade for him. Good scouting, Reese.

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

It's obvious you have become the top scout for this web site. I have some thoughts on scouting in my next 'stuff' post that I'm still working on.

I posted my top prospect list on the right side of the site...

Let's not forget the league leading hitter... catcher Tomas Nido.

Ernest Dove said...

Im a big Nido fan. Hes a free swinger/hacker and I love that. Hes like the catching position version of TJ Rivera.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

I really like him too but I want to see two years in a row punching out these kind of numbers.

Trust me folks... if you want to know what a player can do at the A-Level, ask Ernest.

Ernest Dove said...

Thanks Mack

2017 Nido should be interesting. Not sure about his true power but he's a contact hitter, swings at stuff outside the strike zone. Better catcher with better arm than TDA and Plaw.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

Frankly, I've given up on both d'A and Plaw...

I'll keep playing Travis until I can trade for someone else, but Plawecki (who I'm still pissed at since he stiffed me on an interview in Savannah) will now be a permanent fixture in my Vegas roster.

bill metsiac said...

Since Murphy's PCL #s ate brought into the equation,how do they compare with those of Plaw and Travis?

I'm disappointed in what both have done to date, but I'm not ready to give up on them. Yet.

Reese Kaplan said...

His first positive offensive numbers were in the low minors, not the PCL. Then he hit for power in the majors. The power seems real.

Reese Kaplan said...

Also, unlike Nido, he's ready to play NOW.

Mack Ade said...

Reese -


Would you trade for Murphy one-to-one, prospect for prospect?



Thomas Brennan said...

Liked his .647 slug % in AAA this year. Lots of mashing.

Reese Kaplan said...

I'd offer Lugo and up it to Gsellman instead but would not do Conforto because he is a regular when Cespedes departs. They have more depth at pitcher. I wonder if you'd consider Flores for him?

Mack Ade said...

Reese - Definitely.

I lke Flores, but I've always considered him, first, trade bait... especially now after the Mets have told Jon Heyman that they will tender Duda.

Tenda Duda... is that like a tuna melt?

Thomas Brennan said...

Tuna Melt instead of Duda Dump.

Reese Kaplan said...

The only hesitation for me in dealing away Flores is that with the imminent departure of Cespedes, the Mets' power comes from Granderson, Bruce, Conforto and Duda -- all lefties. I'm not counting on David Wright for anything (which is how the Mets should be planning for 2017).

Even so, they have the opportunity to find playing time for Reyes, Flores and Rivera. Flores could provide some HR/RBI production -- probably more than you could reasonably expect from Wright at this point. Giving it up could hurt since you're trying to make up what's lost from Cespedes, Wright and Walker.

I seem to be alone in this thinking, but if they balked at Murphy's price, I can't see them doing a multi-year deal with Walker, and at $17.3 million for the QO they can pretty much write his name in ink for the 2017 season. No one is likely going to offer him that big money contract until they know his back is OK. He's probably looking at a 3/$36 to 3/$39 type of deal similar to what Murphy got AT BEST. Considering $17.3 is almost halfway there to that amount of money, w

hy wouldn't you take it and then go out as a FA again after 2017 at just age 32?

eraff said...

Count me Out on Walker---love his game/HATE His Back!!!!

Team collects on Wright's Back and Signs another Patient???? No Thanks!

Grandy--Duda--Walker---Bruce..... that's about $50 million of Combined prospective 2017 Salary. I'd actually like to see Grandy stay as an OF "wanderer"....he's a good baseball player! Any of those 4 guys can leave and not kill 2017.

I'd vote for Losing all 4 and their $50 million...and taking my chances with $25-30 million of Yo, plus the balance in other players.

The Mets will sign Cespedes to a Huge 5 year deal, including opt out provisions that will lock him in for 3 years and provide him with an opt out at his age 33/34 season---it will build on the philosophy and the Rich Reward of his present Contract. I have posted details before, but Ces will see a $140-150 over 5 years....

...30-30-30...Ces OpOut/25in 4th year.... Met's 10 million optout/25 million.... if the Mets opt out at the beginning of year 5, Ces will have received 30/30/30/25/10=125 over 4 years. if he stays through the contract, he'd get $140. I anticipate something along these lines. Possible that the specifics would be tweaked to provide for a $150 package.

Mack's Mets © 2012