Does Daniel Murphy’s bat make up for his defense?

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Dan Murphy has been fantastic for the Mets this season… at least with his bat. Murphy is hitting a stellar .319 this season, which is fifth in the National League. Originally competing for the starting second base job in Spring Training, Murphy showed promise with his bat, but his awful defense at second forced Terry Collins to give the starting job to Brad Emaus.

Murphy has struggled throughout his career to find a position he can call home. A 2009 left field experiment turned out horribly, with Murphy looking absolutely lost out there, constantly tripping and falling, and occasionally standing still in the outfield, losing the ball, only to have is drop 20 feet behind him. Yeah, I know, it’s not something I want to re-live either.Anyway, Murphy has made dumb play after dumb play, costing the Mets a few games. Right now, he is alternating between third and first base. Naturally, Murphy is a third baseman, but has made four errors in 28 games this season. His play has been brutal at every position he has played.

Here are Dan’s career stats at each position:

Daniel Murphy's career fielding stats at each position
Yes, his defensive numbers look like those of a Little Leaguer, but look at his career defensive wins above replacement. Murph has a 0.0 career dWAR. Theoretically, his defense has been that of a replacement level player, a player who is regularly easily available on the free agent market. It’s not like the Mets are getting defense worse than what they can get on the market, soI think I’m going to give him a pass on that. As I said earlier, Murph is fifth in the league in hitting. He is clearly a very talented hitter. I would like him to hit a few more home runs, but nobody can deny that he is a productive hitter. In fact if you compare his OWn% (the percentage of games a team nine of the player would win) to some other NL East stars this season, they are remarkably better.

Daniel Murphy: .594

Hanley Ramirez: .495

Jayson Werth: .508

Jason Heyward: .496

So, I’ve made my point. Overall, Murphy’s defense is made up for by his bat  because his bat is jut THAT good. He has outperformed other top NL East players this season, and it doesn’t look like he is going to stop anytime soon. Yeah, I wish he would just find a position already, but honestly, in baseball, defense doesn’t win championships, hitting does and Daniel Murphy is one heck of a hitter. Plain and simple.

 

Oh, and sorry the graphic is awful. Still workin’ on it…

About Connor O'Brien
I'm a 17 year-old blogger, high school student, and lifelong Mets fan. I've been blogging about the Mets in some form or another for about four years. I embrace the new age, sabermetric way of thinking, but also recognize the importance of scouting and player devlopment.

2 Comments on Does Daniel Murphy’s bat make up for his defense?

  1. Hey, this is Zack from the Jackals. Thanks for coming to the ceremony the other night. I really appreciate it. Anyway, I agree… Murphy should be in the lineup at all times.

    • No problem. We really wanted to be there. That was actually our first Jackal game in three years. You had a really good career as a Jackal and we realy wanted to be there.

      About Murphy, well the numbers just speak for themselves. He is an awful fielder, but a great bat is more valuable than a great glove.

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