"Yeah, we've watched hours and hours of video on all those guys," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He's a tremendous player, he always has been. He's an MVP-caliber-type guy when he's healthy. He looks completely healthy now. He's a veteran guy and he's a very, very nice player."
And a dangerous player. Just how the Royals will combat Murphy remains to be seen, but Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland offered a hint.
"He stands very close to the plate," Eiland said. "I'll leave it at that."
Actually, the Royals do have some history with Murphy. Nine of the pitchers who should make their World Series roster have faced him. Collectively, he is 18-for-78 (.231) against those pitchers with no home runs.
Murphy has had his most success against Game 1 starter Edinson Volquez, batting .400 (6-for-15).
"He's been really good," Volquez said. "He's a great hitter. He's been a great hitter his entire career.
Johnny Cueto, the Royals' Game 2 starter, has held Murphy in check -- .176 average (3-for-17).
"He's been taking advantage of getting good pitches to hit," Royals hitting coach Dale Sveum said. "The only way to stop him is to stop giving him good pitches to hit. It's that simple. He's a good hitter who's really hot right now."
Perhaps fortunately for the Royals, they also are coming off a series in which they had to beat power hitters such as Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.
Asked if facing Murphy might be like facing Bautista, Kansas City reliever Wade Davis shook his head and said, "God, I hope not. We'll just be aggressive like we normally are. That's how you get guys out.
"But I do think having faced a lineup like Toronto's and survived it will help us against guys like him."