By: Niko Goutakolis
There have been a lot of things to cheer about when it comes to the Mets lately.
In fact, there have been so many things to celebrate, that good performances have gone completely under the radar.
Take Michael Cuddyer for example, no one was thinking about him before the Mets visited Philadelphia, then he hits a shot into the second deck, and upon review of Cuddyer’s recent numbers, the fans start to commemorate his recent success. This is in no way a “bad” thing. In fact, this is probably the best predicament I’ve ever written about, but let me remind you of another player, a player that is the second longest tenured Met, a player that played at Shea as a Met.
He’s Daniel Murphy.
Murphy probably, well, definitely had the worst start to a season that anyone could have. He missed the overwhelming majority of Spring Training, and was very weak to start the season, both offensively and defensively. Dilson Herrera came up, and the media started to explore the possibility of trading Murphy.
Murphy got a little better when the Mets ventured into Yankee Stadium, but then got injured once again, in Arizona, trying to beat out a ground ball. This time, Murphy spent more time rehabbing, and made sure he was at 100%. When he came back, his average slowly increased (and still is), as did his power numbers. Even his defense, which is his achilles heel,has improved.
Murphy has been known for his consistent bat, and hitting the ball to all fields. But this year, he has become even more of a contact hitter. While there is still a full month of a season left, Murphy will need to strike out 55 times if he is going to tie the amount of strikeouts he had last year. With a long stint on the disabled list behind him, he is only three RBI’s away from last years total.
Before I continue, let’s remember that Murphy’s performance last year wasn’t bad at all, in fact, it was so good it landed him a spot on the NL All-Star roster.
The most interesting thing about Murph this year is his power increase. Murphy is three home runs away from his all time high (thirteen in 2013), and he is in no way “swinging for the fences”. His strikeout totals prove that. If Murphy can get his average up by about 5-10 points, then he would roughly have his best average in his career in a full season of play.
Murphy has handled the constant change of position with praise, and his ability to preform without any peace of mind is astounding.
I think the Mets need to extend Daniel Murphy’s contract. He’s the only player that I’ve watched preform with honors in the face of adversity in the history of Citi Field. Sure he might not be gifted defensively, but what you get on the offensive side is way more than the price it takes to land him.