Revisiting The Daniel Murphy Debate

By Michael Lecolant

As the 2013 regular season draws to a close, here’s my latest scouting report on Daniel Murphy.  In the two years Murphy failed to achieve 500 plate appearances in a season (2008, 2011), he finished the year batting above .300 each time.  In his three full seasons with over 500 trips to the plate (2013, 2012 and 2009) he failed to finish above .300 each time.  It is probably  premature to speak of this season like that, considering Murphy is currently batting .284 and up-ticking with seven games left on the schedule.  Can he break the batting trend he set for himself?  Daniel is batting .317 (14 for 45) over his last ten games, so to be fair, why not?

Sep 21, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy (28) hits a home run during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

With well over 100 more at-bats this year than he had in 2009, Daniel Murphy has only recently tied his career mark for home runs in a season with 12 after 627 times up.  He previously hit 12 in 508 at-bats during the 2009 season.  They represent the only seasons he finished in double-digits.  To Murphy’s credit, he doubled his output this year over his previous two seasons combined.  I often wondered if Daniel Murphy sacrificed a measure of power in exchange for more agility to play a better second base.

To date, Daniel Murphy leads the Mets with 73 runs batted in, which also happens to be his new career high, and with 90 runs scored, he is still adding to that new career mark as well.  He additionally continues to be a doubles hitting machine, and is presently four away from tying his high of 40 set last season.  This was also the first time Daniel Murphy ever stole as many as 20 bases in a season.  He established his previous high last season with ten.  In fact, SNY threw out a stat Saturday night that Murphy is currently one of only three players with at least ten home runs, 35 doubles and 20 stolen bases.

However, Daniel Murphy still does not draw many walks.  Considering his career .289  batting average, his career .333 OBP is not all that impressive.  He has drawn only 31 bases on balls this season, so his current .318 OBP similarly is not that great next to his .284 average.

Daniel Murphy is 28 years old now, but still two years away from free agency.  He has obvious value to the Mets if they choose to retain him.  But the club could probably maximize his value on the trading market this coming offseason rather than wait too long.  With two years of control, a receiving team might find acquiring him worth their while and for a worthy price.

What should the Mets do with Daniel Murphy now?

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