I got this question about a week ago and never got a chance to respond. It comes from one of our longtime readers, Hitman, who asks;
During the Mets/Phillies game (05/08), Gary & Keith pointed out the progression of Daniel Murphy’s defense at 2nd base. Has Murphy changed your outlook of him holding it down defensively at 2nd or does he still need to prove something a little more to make you more of a believer?
I’ve always been a big believer in Daniel Murphy from the word go. I had a chance to speak to him back in 2009 and when he told me he would play anywhere the team wanted him to he wasn’t kidding.
Back then we were talking about his transition to first base and left field, and regardless of the results, Murphy took one for the team and did the best he could.
In addition to his great prowess at the plate, Murphy has shown an uncanny ability to evolve defensively at whatever position the Mets throw at him. And he does it without complaining and all while he gets picked on by his many detractors in the fanbase and the media.
Fast forward to May 2012 and it’s hard to believe that the Daniel Murphy we see now at second base, is the same bumbling player we all worried about during spring training. Murphy has evolved into a decent second baseman and we can all breather a little easier now.
Murph’s footwork has vastly improved and he is no longer the clunky second baseman that had us holding our collective breaths whenever a ball was hit in his direction. Additionally, his ability to turn a doubleplay is no longer the challenge it once was, and he’s even entertained us with some great highlight reel plays and his surprisingly increased range, especially to his left.
Last night’s play to gun down Joey Votto at home plate, was a game saver by Murphy.
So to answer your question, yes, I’m convinced Murphy is no longer a problem at second base and I’m a big believer that he can succeed at anything he sets his mind to.
Imagine that… About 300 words on Murphy and I didn’t even mention that he’s hitting .330 at the plate and is a big reason the Mets are playing good, solid baseball.
Add to that the fact that Murphy’s aggressive and passionate play has become infectious and that he’s become one of the more vocal leaders in the clubhouse.