Matt Murton DFA

Without stealing Caron’s shtick, let me say that if you enjoy undervalued players stuck in baseball purgatory, you probably have a soft spot for Matt Murton. For whatever reasons Murton has been stuck in Triple-A two years running and yesterday was designated for assignment to make room for Juan Rincon of all people.

This could be a blessing in disguise though, as you have to figure some team will give Murton a chance for no cost.

Murton is 27-years-old and has hit well in Triple-A 954 plate appearances and counting. A .312/.388/.469 line is impressive and Murton isn’t someone proven incapable of hitting major league pitching either. Murton hit .287/.353/.438 in 1,051 plate appearances split between the Cubs, Athletics, and Rockies. He can play on a daily basis or platoon as a lefty masher.

Defensively he’s graded out above average in each of the seasons in which we have data. At absolute worst he’s an average player who only plays against lefties and plays in the corners. He’s not a superstar and won’t move jerseys by the pound, but some team should absolutely jump on this chance to acquire him for a 40-man roster spot.

Which leads me to the best part, in that Murton can be optioned to the minors for the remainder of this season. That means a team can store him away for an off-season and reconsider whether they have a lineup slot for him next spring. Of course that’s essentially what happens at this point anyway.

Matt Murton has major league baseball player talent, some team should give him the label, jersey, and roster spot and reap the benefits.

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13 years ago

Since I’m an idiot and I can’t figure out if your email address is available on the site, I’ll suggest a topic for another piece here:

Pujols’ BABIP is .290 right now, which would be the lowest total of his career. This looks like it’s due to the lowest LD% of his career (15%) and the highest FB% of his career (46.6%). Interestingly, even in light of this, he’s posting the highest ISO of his career (.348). That’s surprising, and you’d think that it was due to an increased HR/FB%. But that number (21.9%) is only 1.5% higher than his career average.

So what gives? Pujols is having a great year as usual. But the peripheral stats reveal that it is an outlier in terms of his career lines. (The most comparable year appears to be 2006, which was also a great year.) I don’t know exactly what to make of this. Perhaps nothing. But maybe you guys – who are savvier with these numbers than I – have something interesting to say about what these numbers mean? Maybe 2009 is just an outlier. Or maybe these results have something to tell us about Pujols in the future?

James C-B
13 years ago
Reply to  Dai

I’m not sure I understand how 2009 is an outlier. It seems to me that more fly balls and fewer line drives would lead to exactly what we see for Pujols this year: higher ISO than career and and lower BABIP and BA than career (because more FB, more of his contact leaves the park, and more of his contact are caught FB, while there are fewer uncatchable LD to raise the BA). The fact that his HR/FB% is slightly higher doesn’t seem to be particularly relevant: if he’s hitting more FB with a similar HR/FB% percentage, of course he’s going to have a higher ISO because more FB will be HR.

I can’t explain this of course (maybe Pujols is swinging with more of an uppercut?), I just don’t see how this is a statistical outlier. I’m not trying to be snarky, but am I missing something here?

13 years ago
Reply to  James C-B

Good point. I guess I was thinking that it would be hard to sustain such a high ISO with such a low LD% – at least, not without significantly increasing one’s HR/FB%

But I take your point that an increase in FB% of that magnitude causes a lot more HRs, and the corresponding bump in ISO is understandable – esp. because HRs count for so much in SLG%.