One bright spot amidst a disappointing first half of 2014 for the New York Mets: Daniel Murphy has been selected to the All-Star game. The 29-year old second baseman is making his first All-Star appearance and will be a reserve for the National League in Minnesota next week, serving as the team’s lone representative.
It’s a well-deserved accomplishment for Murphy, who’s had an impressive season anchoring the two-hole for the offensively challenged Mets. He leads the team in average (for anyone with above 100 at-bats) at .294 to go with a .344 on-base percentage and eleven steals. He’s been the most consistent bat in the New York lineup, even more so than star third-baseman David Wright. Without receiving as much protection as he would like from the rest of the batting order Murph has continued to hit and get on base, proving an integral part of a lineup that would be far worse off without him.
So where do some of Murphy’s stats stack up outside of the Mets clubhouse? (STATS AS OF 7/6/13) He entered the final week of play before the All-Star break tied for second in the league with 106 hits and accumulated 52 runs scored (tied-10th in NL). Both are good enough for first among NL second baseman and while he’s a power hitter by no means (7 HR, 35 RBI), Murphy certainly deserved to be in the game when comparing him to the other candidates coupled with the fact that each team needs a representative. When looking at the lineup around him and position in the batting Mets batting order, it’s easy to see
Ironically enough, Murphy originally thought he might have been traded when manager Terry Collins went to give him the news. If Murphy was on the trade market, he would certainly be of some value as one of the better pure hitters in the National League. This was a player without a position in New York for an extended period of time and has finally found a home at second base and near the top of the order.
While Murphy is no world-beater defensively, the fielding is something you can live with when his bat continues to produce hits. He’s a likeable and max-effort guy that the fans in Queens are grateful to have on a club that’s defined mediocrity for basically his entire career. It was the right move by Cardinals manager Mike Matheny giving one of the reserve spots to Murphy and hopefully he gets in the game so the Mets faithful get to watch him proudly as he represents the club at Target Field on July 15th.