By: Matthew Terry
If you’ve been paying attention to the MLB Playoffs at all, there should be one name that has stuck out to you every time you turn on the TV and those boys from Flushing, NY are playing. That name is Daniel Murphy. If you’re like most casual baseball fans, you would remark, “Who the hell is Daniel Murphy?” This postseason, however, has helped one of baseball’s more underrated second basemen get his name out into households.
Daniel Murphy was born on April 1, 1985, but he’s anything but a fool (see what I did there). After attending Jacksonville University, Murphy was drafted by the New York Mets in the 13th round of the 2006 MLB Draft. After a couple of years in the minor leagues, Murphy was called up to the majors and has made an impact with the Mets. In his seasons in the majors, Murphy’s lowest batting average was .266, and for all you sabermetrics out there, his lowest WAR (that’s Wins Above Replacement for all of you with a life) in a single season was 1.3, his debut year in 2008 in which he only played 49 games.
But Daniel Murphy’s not just a man that can get on base. Daniel Murphy is an unbelievable fielder! And by that, I mean you really can’t believe how bad he is in the field. Murphy is primarily a second baseman for the Mets, but can play first or third base if the Mets are in dire need of him to do so. Murphy’s career fielding percentage (at 2nd) is .975, which doesn’t sound too bad until you realize that’s 19th among all active second basemen, which is in the bottom half of the league. In 2012 and 2013, Murphy was second in the National League in errors committed at second base. Not satisfied with his performance, Murphy one upped himself in 2014, leading the National League in errors committed at second base.
Now, I’m not here to bash on Daniel Murphy and the entirety of the New York Mets, despite my love for the Atlanta Braves. Murphy’s being talked about because he’s the main reason why the Mets are currently steamrolling through the Cubs in the NLCS. In the Mets’ 9 postseason games, he has hit 6 home runs (also, he’s hit home runs in FIVE consecutive games. The Cardinals didn’t even PLAY 5 consecutive games this postseason before being eliminated), and those home runs have come off of Zack Greinke (possible NL Cy Young Winner), Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta (possible NL Cy Young Winner), and two off of Clayton freaking Kershaw (reigning NL MVP and perennial Cy Young candidate). What do the top 3 NL Cy Young candidates all have in common? Daniel Murphy made them look like fools in the postseason. Oh, and keep in mind that Daniel Murphy hit a career high in home runs this season, so we really should’ve seen this coming. Except that we shouldn’t have, because he hit 14 home runs in 130 games (a CAREER HIGH mind you), and now he’s hit 6 home runs in 8 games. Because baseball.
Daniel Murphy is playing the best baseball of his life right now, and this run could get him a nice-sized contract if he decides to leave New York after his arbitration years are up at the end of the 2016 season. But right now, Murph is focused on the playoffs, and the world is watching him.