Daniel Murphy Quietly Establishes Himself As A Future Piece

By Michael Mandelkern

The Mets revived some of their two-out potion in their August 17 series opener against the Washington Nationals. With Ruben Tejada and Andres Torres retired in the first inning, David Wright came through with a single followed by a double from Scott Hairston. Daniel Murphy sent the runners on second and third home with a soft floater to shallow center field. 2-0, 2 outs and Murphy advances his single to second base on a wild throw by Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper.

Even though the Mets ultimately lost 6-4 and Murphy failed to drive in Hairston’s doubles in the third and sixth innings, starting the game with an early lead and taking advantage of two-out opportunities renewed optimism in a team that has been sinking fast. It is a relief if they win at least one game in a series these days.

Some prominent players that management has its eyes on for next season are Wright, Tejada and Ike Davis. But Murphy’s name seldom comes up in that conversation and, instead, is continually spun around the trade rumor mill.

Murphy is a crucial piece to the puzzle who should not be brought up in any trade conversation. He has slumped over his last ten games, going 6 for 39 and watching his average slip from .304 to .293., but overall he is a productive and consistent everyday player. He is batting .293 against both lefties and righties and hit .305 over the past 30 days. Although Murphy has only hit four home runs this season, he has amassed 33 doubles (only two less than Wright) and 125 hits (12 under Wright). He is patient at the plate and doesn’t try to do too much. Murphy has about half the amount of Davis’ strikeouts; 53 compared to 108.

Tejada shines under the spotlight of filling Jose Reyes’ void. Davis is a first-round draft pick. Wright is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner and six-time All-Star. Murphy is underrated. He is consistent, hard working, humble, has remained loyal to the Mets for four seasons and wants to stay for the long haul. He can put himself on base as a two-spot hitter. As fifth in the lineup and with 51 RBIs on the season, he is one of the most reliable players in the lineup to drive in runs; only Wright and Davis surpass his RBI count. He can play multiple in-field positions, and outfield if necessary.

Murphy is not to blame for the Mets woes this season, and without him the Mets will only take a step in reverse.

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5 thoughts on “Daniel Murphy Quietly Establishes Himself As A Future Piece

  1. While I don’t dispute any of the claims you’ve made about Murphy I have to disagree with the conclusion you’ve drawn from them. Murphy has been a Met for long enough that we’ve seen what he is made of. He’s shown that he’s capable, but not the future starting second baseman of the Mets (in the organizations eyes). As much as I may personally like Murph and pull for him, his below average defense at 2nd and solid but powerless batting at the plate don’t speak of starting player on a champion team TO THE METS ORGANIZATION. They seem to think of Valdespin (with a few more years in the majors working on fielding, plate discipline, and maturity) as the future of the Mets 2nd base position. With that in mind, Murphy is an enticing pick up for teams lacking a 5 spot hitter or looking for someone to platoon in the infield and hit for avg or even an AL team for a DH with his ability to hit those clutch doubles. That trade can possibly bring the boost that the mets need in another area (rh hitting or bullpen as I’m sure you know). While I personally like Muprhy a lot and want to see him stay a Met, I can’t fault the organization for considering him a tradable player with the condition of the team and the prospect of Valdespin becoming a strong 2nd baseman who has speed, hits for avg and power, and can field equally well if not better (with some work).

  2. The fact of the matter is, baseball sucks. And since baseball sucks, the mets have to suck. Now, why does baseball suck? For many reasons. Let’s start with the first one- NO PHYSICAL CONTACT. What’s a sport without a little blood and bruises? BORING! Exactly. Another reason- it lasts FOREVER. I can’t get through the first five pitches without wanting to throw myself out of the window of a building.

    Now I understand you are saying Murphy is not the reason the Mets suck, and I agree! The Mets suck because they are A BASEBALL TEAM! AND BASEBALL SUCKS! WHICH IMPLIES THEY SUCK!

    Now, why don’t you start blogging about a real sport… like hockey? Or basketball? Even football? Manly sports. K, thanks!

  3. Noah, you do bring up a good point about Valdespin that I did not consider when writing this article. Daniel Murphy has practically played every game this season and only has four home runs, while in just 69 games Valdespin hit twice as many. And, given the amount of games he has played this year Valdesppin is on pace to come close to Murphy’s 51 RBIs on the season. He is faster than Murphy too, but as a rookie he lacks the plate discipline that makes Murphy valuable to the Mets. And he has not played second base enough for me to assess whether he is a good fit for that position. For now, our outfield lacks power (Scott Hairston may or may not be a Met in 2013, and Jason Bay just can’t get it together), so I think that, unless we make some big changes in the offseason, the roster is big enough for both Valdespin and Murphy, with Valdespin remaining in the outfield.

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