Murphy’s (Daniel) Law

Oh god.  Not another article on Daniel Murphy.  Too bad.  It’s my turn.

Mets fans are obsessed with Daniel Murphy.

Every Mets fan has an opinion on Daniel Murphy.  In an ideal world, many fans would like to see Daniel complete his home grown development and become a star in New York.  Unfortunately, patience is not a virtue of most Mets fans.  Those fans feel that after the disastrous 2009 season, something must be done quickly to turn this team around.  The quickest ways to do that are by spending money on free agents or trading top prospects for established highly paid stars.

I am one of those who say that we should keep Murphy and give him a fair shot at being our everyday 1st baseman in 2010.   I say that because I think that Daniel will improve significantly.  He will within a few years be a burgeoning star in this league, whether for the Mets or some other team.

Daniel had an admirable rookie season in 2009.  When Reyes, Delgado and Beltran went down with injuries, Murphy was elevated to a much larger role than had been anticipated.  He was just a rookie at age 24, suddenly batting third or cleanup, with all eyes on him to be one of the main offensive producers of the team.   Murphy’s fielding woes made it even more difficult for him to succeed offensively.

It was an extremely trying year for Daniel.  I’m sure he would be the first one to admit that he was embarrassed by his performance in left field.  Then he moved to 1st base, a position which he had never played before.  Considering his total inexperience, he played more than competently as our 1st baseman.  Murphy will work relentlessly to become a better 1st baseman and I have no doubts of his ability to improve significantly.

Daniel’s fielding problems had to have adversely affected his batting.  His head must have been spinning during every at bat.  Despite these issues, he hit a respectable .266 with 38 doubles, 4 triples, 12 home runs, scored 60 runs and had 63 RBI.  My money is on Murphy to easily improve on each of these stats next year.

A  .300 batting average, .360 OBP, 40 doubles, 18 home runs, 80 RBI.  I think he can do this in 2010 and even better in 2011.  If not with the Mets, he will do it for some other team.  How frustrating for Mets fans would that be?

Let’s compare Murphy to two Yankee greats who early in their careers struggled mightily:  Bernie Williams and Tino Martinez.

Bernie Williams had a below average start to his career.  As a rookie in 1991, in 85 games he batted .238 with 3 homers and 34 RBI.  In 1992 in 62 games he hit .280 with 5 homers and 26 RBI.  The reason he only played half  seasons or less is because he was sent down to the minors each year.  In 1993 and 1994 his first two full seasons, he hit under .300 with only 12 homers each year and 68 and 57 RBI respectively.  Bernie didn’t have a real impact until 1995 when he was already 27 years old.

Tino Martinez had mediocre numbers early in his career too.  In his first full season, 1992, he hit .257 with 16 HR and 66 RBI.  In ’93 he hit .265 with 17 HR and 60 RBI.  It wasn’t until 1995, his 4th year in the majors that he hit 30 HR and drove in over 100 runs.

It’s easy to discount this comparison between Murphy to Williams and Martinez.  It’s simple to say that  Murphy will never be that good.  Of course, nothing is guaranteed, and I’m not arguing that he will be that good.  He was not a top prospect.  Expectations are not high for him.  It’s just my opinion that Murphy has the physical ability and mental makeup to get better and better each year.  And that’s what makes great players.

“Murphy’s Law” – Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.  As it pertains to the Mets – Any promising prospect will succeed only after he is traded away from the Mets.

Let’s begin a new decade with a new law, (Daniel) Murphy’s Law, where the Mets and their fans show patience so their young players can develop and excel as Mets.  For many years to come.