Is Daniel Murphy The Answer At Second Base?
It seems that there is a portion of the fan base that still doesn’t think that Daniel Murphy is the second baseman of the future for the New York Mets. Maybe it’s because it looks as if Murphy is an extra outfielder at times, based on where he positions himself (short right field), but I can assure you he does play second base. And yes Mets fans, he has done enough in 2012 to be considered the everyday second baseman.
I wrote a piece about a month ago regarding how well Murphy has done this year at second base for the Mets (you can refer to it here). I will be the first to admit, I didn’t think Murphy was going to be able to adjust to second base. I thought it was a joke… another Met player playing out of position…this will never work…yadda yadda yadda.
Defensively, he still has some work to do. But offensively, he is a prototypical second baseman. He ranked in the top ten in almost every major offensive category for second baseman – in some categories he was in the top five. So why are there still some Mets fans that are not happy with Murphy? Is it his power? Is it his below average defensive skills? What is it?
I know what it is. There are Mets fans out there that won’t be happy no matter who is playing second base. They made up their mind two years ago that they didn’t like Murphy. How well he plays won’t make a difference. Fans don’t like admitting that they’re wrong. It doesn’t matter that he was one of the most consistent offensive players for the Mets this year. It doesn’t matter that this guy has worked his butt off to try and learn a new position in order to try and turn the Mets into a winning team. No, these fans won’t be happy unless there is a superstar at every position. The problem with that thinking is that it isn’t logical.
I’ve heard the argument that the Mets should trade Murphy. I reply to that question with another question – why would you trade him? What do you expect to get back in return? You aren’t going to lure any top prospects from other organizations in the league, and in the process, you are giving away a very good ball player. Stop the madness, and be happy that Murphy has progressed defensively to the point where he could actually become one of the top second baseman in the game based on his offensive output. Yes, I went there – and I believe it. I didn’t think that pre-2012, but I believe it now.
Everyone wants Robinson Cano at second base, but players of his caliber don’t come around very often. No matter what some people believe, at this point, there is no better option for the Mets at second base. In fact, offensively we will be downgrading at the position if they shift away from Murphy. Murphy will never hit 20 homeruns, but that doesn’t mean he still can’t be one of the more productive offensive second baseman in the game. He was ranked third amongst second baseman in batting average in 2012, and ranked in the top five in doubles. That is outstanding offensive production from a guy hitting in the two- hole. Again, I ask the Mets fans that are Murphy doubters – what more do you want from your second baseman?
Murphy will continue to progress defensively, and before long, everyone will forget that we had these discussions questioning whether or not Murphy can be an everyday second baseman. Because the truth of the matter is, he already is an everyday second baseman. If the nay-sayers would take off their blinders, accept that statement, and reflect on the season Murphy had in 2012, they will see that the future is pretty bright with Murphy at second base.
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About the Author: Mitch Petanick
MMO Player Analyst and prospect guru. Still lacing them up and flattening baseballs in the HVNABA. You can check out some more of my personal thoughts regarding Mets' Prospects at my personal blog www.metsprospects.com (but most of my stuff can be found right here on MMO). Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FirstPitchMitch
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