“Take a look at the best batting averages over the last three years at this position, only Robbie Cano is higher than Murphy’s .302," MLB Network's Brian Kenny says of Murphy. “OPS+ over the last two seasons, now that takes into account park effects, and Murphy is there behind Cano, Pedroia, Kendrick and that’s it.”
The network's editorial staff and on-air talent - including John Hart and Harold Reynolds - determined the rankings of the top ten second basemen using a number of factors, including offense, defense, upside and leadership.
In addition, renowned author Bill James gives his personal list of the top ten second basemen in the game.
Murphy is still a work-in-progress at second base. However, he was better than I expected he would be there last year, and he clearly became more and more comfortable turning two and with his footwork and positioning around the bag. He also showed more range than I expected as well. Murphy is athletic, determined and dedicated - he worked very hard during Spring Training last year to improve and become effective at the position, and I think the work showed. For now, he is the answer at the position; other than Reese Havens (who is a question mark) and maybe Wilmer Flores, there's nobody else coming from the inside. And so, I am looking forward to seeing him take more steps to improve this Spring and this season.
The Top 10 Right Now series continues each Friday with the top 10 at two new positions, leading up to the ‘Top 100 Right Now’ on February 15.