Daniel Murphy is your second baseman of today and tomorrow

Daniel MurphyWith the calling up of highly touted prospect Wilmer Flores and the recent emergence of Ike Davis’ plate presence, Met fans might be contemplating how this team will be configured going forward in the next few months and into next season.  It’s been clearly evident in the Sandy Alderson regime that the organizational backbone is to be built around the strength and depth of young starting pitching.  The offensive strategic plan, however, has been a work in process.   After some recent upgrades, Alderson’s roster has started to yield productivity and translate into wins for this 2013 Mets team. Yet many questions still need to be answered. One is:  Is Daniel Murphy the second Baseman of the future?

Since 2008, Murphy has always been a player with a seemingly undefined role.   What position does he play?  Can we play him in the outfield? Can he hit for more power?  These are just a few of many questions swirling around Murphy’s presence on the roster.   To each, I must say, he has come through exceeding expectations.  Yet why do Mets fans always seem hesitant to declare him a cemented part of this team going forward.

One reason, obviously, is the common fan’s obsession with the home run and the lack of them in Murphy’s column.  If you look closer, it’s fair to say he hits for more power than most second baseman in the league.  For second baseman, he currently resides in MLB’s top five in runs, hits, doubles, and extra base hits, while still cracking the top 10 in RBIs, SLG., and OPS. All while hitting predominantly out of the number two slot in the batting order. Considering these statistics are partly associated to power hitting, Murphy’s home run total of 9 through 111 games could be more revealing of how productive he actually is.  19 HR and 53 RBIs looks better than 9 HR and 53 RBIs going across the bottom of your TV screen during an at-bat, but is it really indicative of better run production?

Another reason is the looming presence of Wilmer Flores. Since he was signed as a 16 year old, Flores has flourished at every level in the minor leagues. Every pre-season, Flores has been listed on Baseball America or MLB.com’s  top organizational prospect rankings.  This year, he has filled out completely and has managed to lead the Pacific Coast League in RBIs.  The injury to David Wright last weekend has now prompted Flores’ call up. When, the captain returns after his DL stint, Alderson and his underlings will have to map out a plan for Flores’ development. Murphy’s constant presence at second base could indeed hinder that process.

I believe Alderson and Terry Collins like Murphy and value his role with this team as a leader and productive player.  On Tuesday, they witnessed the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association  award Murphy with the 2013 Heart and Hustle Award.  This honor is bestowed on a player from each team, who demonstrate a passion for baseball and best embody the values, spirit, and tradition of the game.  Any fan who watches the Mets on a daily basis can see why such an award would be granted to Murphy.  The intangibles he brings to the field, the love from his teammates, and his overall presence seem to exude a competitive factor this team will need going forward.

This coming offseason should answer some of the long term answers Mets fans are asking these days.  Alderson has said 2014 would be the converging year of the short-term and long-term plans.  Is Ike Davis the first baseman of the future?  Is Wilmer Flores a first base option or second base option?  What about Josh Satin, Rubin Tejada, and Lucas Duda? To these questions I have no definitive answer. There is one question I do though.

Is Daniel Murphy the second baseman of the future? YES

14 comments for “Daniel Murphy is your second baseman of today and tomorrow

  1. blastingzone
    August 9, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I agree Murphy is the mets 2nd baseman in 2014 and beyond which leaves only one spot for Flores first base! As for people who say he doesn’t have enough power to play there I say BS he is an rbi machine who will hit 20 hrs or more and drive in 100 rbis a year and hit over 300 which is fine for first as long as he plays an ok to good defense he will be fine and hopefully the mets send him to the instructional league and winter ball to play first! Flores has knocked in more runs and I believe has hit as many hrs as Davis and Duda combined this year so far? Keith Hernandez did not hit for power but drove in 90-100 rbis a year and everybody was happy with that! I know Flores will never be close to Keith in defense but if he plays a decent first base the mets will take it just look at Davis and Duda! Murphy is
    a good hitter and a good fielder and at the moment one of our few left hand batters in the line up so leave him at 2nd base!!

  2. Marcus
    August 9, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I agree. Put Flores at first, and hr doesn’t pan out then try Dykstra or Boyd. Let’s focus on an outfielder and shortstop. Time to move from Ike and Duda.

  3. Mets forever
    August 9, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    In my opinion I think we should trade Daniel Murphy and let the kid Wilmer Flores be the second baseman of the future because he is still young and he is a power hitter that we need in the lineup. Some people compare him to another Miguel Cabrera and as a Met fan, I don’t want him to be traded to another team and make his new carrer with that team.

    • Fanfrom62
      August 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      I must comment on this here and now since many forget Kieth Hernandez was never a real power hitter and Murphy reminds of him and would be well suited as a 3 slot hitter. he has proven himself as such and we need middle of the order hitters. Sure HRs are a wonderful stat, but current park is not meant for power, it is a pitchers park where defense and hitting for avg matter. Yes I do not want another bad trade made by my team ( Remember Amos Otis trade). we have many open positions and perhaps outfield will be an option for Flores. we have much open there as well. This is a team that needs speed,contact hitting,and strong pitching so it can start winning in it’s own house.

  4. Metsense
    August 9, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    I agree about everything you said regarding Daniel Murphy but he is not a core player. The Mets have 5 second baseman on the roster Murphy, Flores, Young, Turner and Satin. Murphy is the best of the group.The Mets surplus at second base should be used to fill some of their needs and Murphy just might be the asset they trade.

  5. ed
    August 10, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Leave Murphy alone…they have SS, FB and RF to fix. The big problem is TC gotta go

  6. August 11, 2013 at 12:06 am

    You seemed to have skipped over Murphy’s achilles’ heel. I do want to note that it helps when you have David Wright batting third behind you. oh yes almost forgot his weakness. Building a team with young pitchers who primarily have opposing players put the ball in play means you need to have an above average defense. I don’t think Daniel Murphy is top ten when you compare his defense with other second baseman in the national league. Probably bottom 5 my guess. So I don’t believe he is a “core” member that is so valuable that he is indispensable. If Wilmer Flores is given the opportunity to compete for the job at second base in 2014 I do believe he can outplay Murphy. Package Murphy and a young pitcher for an established right fielder who can bat behind Wright and force opposing pitchers to have to pitch to him.

    • August 11, 2013 at 12:35 am

      Last year Murphy was not very good defensively but this year has been a giant step forward. He shows great range – regularly making plays where he takes seven or more steps in order to reach the ball. His glove has been solid and he looks very comfortable turning the DP. His only weakness is knowing when he should eat the ball rather than trying to make a spectacular throw.

      Honestly, I don’t know if anyone could have envisioned the transformation going as well as it has.

  7. August 11, 2013 at 12:38 am

    So do you consider Murphy to be a “core” player for the Mets?

    • August 11, 2013 at 12:43 am

      What’s a core player?

      I’m happy to have Murphy be on the 2014 Mets. But I wouldn’t let him hold up a good deal. If Murphy goes in a deal to get Carlos Gonzalez or a top-notch shortstop — I have no problem with that.

  8. August 11, 2013 at 12:53 am

    I guess core means you don’t trade him because he’s too valuable to the team. I wouldn’t hesitate to make the same kind of move you wrote as I have written in other blogs a trade for CarGo would vastly improve the Mets offense and their left field production. Not to mention that Gonzalez would help to peotect David Wright and force pitchers to pitch to him.

  9. August 11, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Cargo is overvalued right now; you’ll never get deal put together for a corner OFer that is going to close this season close to 6WAR and has only $62MM owed over the next four seasons.

    That’s just ridiculous value/production. Better to start your search elsewhere.
    ~Jerry Grote

  10. Rocky Balboa
    August 17, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    I agree with Peters question, Is Daniel Murphy a core of the Mets? There may be a lot to like from his clubhouse presence to his consistent production. Lets be realistic about his ability, he is not a core player and is rewarded by batting in front of of David Wright. His greatest value would be a package with another prospect so the Mets could become an offensive threat day in and day out. There young pitching is terrific, so get better defensively and find a player to pit the ball in the seats more often.

    • David
      August 30, 2013 at 12:38 am

      Murph is a leader on the team and that accounts for something. Plus he won the Heart and Hustle Award a few weeks ago – so you have to consider the intangibles. You’ll notice the best teams have that instinct to win unlike say the LA Angels.

      I’m willing to give Ike another go and see how he does the first half of next summer. So him at 1st, Murph on 2nd, and Flores no need to rush you can get him plenty of bats coming off the bench and have him spell Wright, Murphy, and Ike. He’s still young – no rush. Also, remember Miguel Cabrera first came up he played LF, 1st, and 3rd. Good teams have depth. Worst case Ike stinks and you dump him and take your loss and insert Flores at 1st. Done. Besides we don’t need to trade Murph for other spots. We have trade chips and money to spend to get a big bat or two. I love the fact that we have so much pitching. Alderson has done a decent job I think. So far a B.

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