Spare us the old cliche about Rodney Daingerfield, but David Murphy gets no respect. From the day he was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Texas Rangers in 2007, he’s been penciled in at the bottom of the scorecard as a guy everyone often refers to with something like “Oh yeah, I forgot about him.” He’s never been a starter for Texas, but every year since his first full one with the Rangers in 2008, Murphy has played in at least 108 games and posted at least a .269 batting average with double-digit home runs. Murphy is finally going to get the respect he deserves in 2013 as a full-time starter in left field from day one.
Even when he was technically a backup, Murphy was superb during the Rangers’ 2011 World Series run, batting .317 and coming up big in clutch moments for Texas. For the past half-decade, Murphy has been a vital part of the Rangers’ lineup, but no one ever acknowledged it because he technically wasn’t a starter. That’s all changed now.
Of course, with the title of a starter, Murphy now is under some pressure to keep performing at a high level on a consistent basis. But the one thing Murphy has been throughout his career is consistent, so Texas has nothing to worry about.
Murphy is the ideal player for the Rangers, especially now that stars like Michael Young, Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli are gone. Murphy is a Texas native, where he played his high school and college ball, so he belongs with a Texas team. In addition, he’s a blue-collar player in that he’s talented, but his success is a product of hard work and a good attitude; it’s got to be tough to basically be a starter (and a good one at that) but still be considered a backup for so long.
Not only do the Rangers not have to worry about their left field production, but Murphy is likely to break out in 2013. He’s always come up big when Texas needed him the most and now they need him on a larger scale to help fill the voids left by the three sluggers above. If you’re looking for a breakout player to bet on in 2013, put your money on Murphy.