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|Jim Bowden joins Ben and Skin to talk about Rangers spring training and some interesting trade scenarios.
I’d take Murphy over Moreland in standard fantasy drafts, mainly because I’m more confident that he’ll see the proper playing time to reach his projections. Murphy is annually underrated by fantasy owners worried about opportunity, but he’s averaged 476 plate appearances the past five seasons, including 521 in 2012, and he’s a safe contributor in batting average, home runs and stolen bases. He plays outfield, which considering the position needs for a standard roster, is certainly not as deep as Moreland’s first base spot. But ultimately it comes down to the fact he’s more likely to see the playing time needed to stick on a fantasy roster.
The Rangers already have a question mark in center field, so it seems likely Murphy’s playing time against right-handed pitching, at the least, is set. Plus, Murphy hit .347 against southpaw pitching in 2012, so he doesn’t need to be platooned. At first base, however, the Rangers already compromised Moreland’s opportunity last season, when Michael Young, now the Philadelphia Phillies’ problem, started a quarter of the games there. Moreland saw enough time but he hit well only in home games (.318 home, .229 road) and was awfully inconsistent from month to month.
What happens this season if uber-prospect Jurickson Profar forces his way into the lineup? Assuming he handles second base, is Ian Kinsler more likely to move to first base or left field? I’d say he remains in the infield. Plus, newcomer Lance Berkman can certainly play first base, and should see some action there, as long as he’s healthy enough, to free up others to get designated hitter at-bats. The younger Moreland has a bit more power potential than Murphy, but there’s hardly a guarantee he gets the chance to achieve it.