Yep, Matt Harvey was the biggest positive story of 2013 in Metsland – until he became the worst headline of the season. Sure, David Wright had a nice partial season and played a slick third base besides at age 31 in year one of his mega deal. But your Mets MVP is Daniel Murphy. Yes, #imwith28.
The 28-year-old hit .286 with a
.311 .319 on base percentage – not much to put on the Cooperstown plaque. But he played in 161 games and was the only regular to play the whole year. He finished second in the National League in hits with 188, seventh in doubles with 38, and eighth in runs with 82 92. He led the league in stolen base percentage, swiping 23 in 26 attempts. He was eighth in total bases and second in at bats.
And he played a decent, if not sparkling, second based – a position the Mets somehow don’t consider properly filled (as Shannon Shark at MetsPolice, originator of the #imwith28 Twitter tag, reminded us all season long, Murphy is the Amazins’ Rodney Dangerfield).
In short, in the season plagued by injuries and a lack of general talent in Flushing, Murphy was a compiler, a veteran and somewhat gritty presence in the lineup day in, and day out. He was the lone everyday New York Met.
Wright got hurt. Ike flopped. Duda got sent down. Tejada failed. Byrd and Buck were dealt. D’Arnaud finally came up and was not up to the hype. Quintanilla was a fine back up playing too many innings. Eric Young came on to swipe some bases. Lagares came up to field like Joe DiMaggio and hit like Mike Baxter, who also got some innings. Turner has red hair. Recker is big. Satin rocks the unibrow. Flores could barely walk but Terry played him. There were others who came and went.
Yet day in and day out, there was Murphy – clearly a major leaguer when so many weren’t. He had 55 extra base hits and was second in the league in double plays turned (also 3rd most errors by a 2B, but hey, no quibbling). He was the Mets’ best everyday player, and based on their shorter stints, no Mets pitcher deserves the nod over Murph (though the first-half Harvey fest was exciting while it lasted).
But of course, the Mets say they will “listen to offers” for Murphy this off-season. As Joe D. said, “whenever the Mets say they aren’t trading anyone and only listening to offers, that player may as well pack their bags.” In part it’s because Murphy is indeed valuable – teams will ask about him, particularly those who are clearly contenders. He helps many lineups, and he made himself a decent defender. He’s a value too, even at his arbitration number.
He’s the ultimate lunchpail Met. The advanced stats don’t favor him. And he turns up in every off-season trade discussion. But Daniel Murphy was the Mets MVP in 2013. Maybe that says something about the depth and quality of the roster fielded by Sandy Alderson, but it doesn’t change the fact that Murph was the best contributor on team.