Daniel Murphy: All-Star Second Baseman?
A few days ago, Mike Francesa spouted one of his typical diatribes of the New York Mets on WFAN. The team was in the midst of its six-game skid, and, if not for the Miami Marlins, they would have been tumbling further to the bottom of the National League East. Francesa had this to say:
“This is not for David Wright. This is not for Matt Harvey. It’s not for [Bobby] Parnell, either. But, for any other Met, this is for you: You stink. That’s basically it. The rest of you, forget it. It’s just absolutely awful. … There’s about 20 guys (on the roster), get them out of here.”
It’s been quite obvious to Mets fans that Harvey and Wright have been playing All-Star and perhaps even award-winning caliber baseball thus far. Even Parnell has looked like the rock of Gibraltar compared to previous seasons. Still, it seems as though the Mets may have one unsung hero that Francesa passed over, and that is second baseman Daniel Murphy.
Granted, at the time, Murphy was sporting a .258 batting average with an OBP shy of .300. This is hardly the performance of an All-Star, but after a hot streak Murphy ignited the day after Francesa’s rant, his average has climbed to .296, and he has a wOBA of .341, an offensive on par with two-time All-Star Brandon Phillips. Murphy has put his name on a sh0rt list of very productive offensive second basemen.
A year ago, mentioning Murphy as an All-Star candidate at any position would have been far-fetched at best. His bat was light for a first baseman or corner outfielder, and his defense at second was questionable, to say the least. Even mentioning it five days ago would have warranted some odd looks.
Today, however, it looks like a possibility. Murphy’s offensive performance has him as one of the National League’s Top 5 second basemen, good enough to make voting for him feasible at least. Defensively, Murph has made only two errors, UZR has him as a positive defender at second base, and most fans would agree with the assessment
Matt Carpenter has topped the list in overall performance for NL second basemen, but compared to other positions the bar isn’t set so high. A few more good weeks out of Murphy and the Mets may have an All-Star on their hands.