Daniel Murphy has always been a bit of a perplexing figure to Mets fans, as he has never really been able to settle into a position, but his bat was too good to pass up.
To the naked eye, it appears as though Murphy has been in a slump the last few weeks. He has struggled to make contact and continue to hit for a high average, which is what most people believe is Murph’s source of value.
Would you believe me if I told you he has been bad all season?
What if I told you the only position player to hurt the Mets more this season were Ike Davis and Mike Nickeas?
According to Wins Above Replacement (WAR), Murphy has taken 0.3 wins away from the Mets this season, equaling Jason Bay’s damage to the team. This doesn’t mean that his bat must be the culprit however, as most can agree he is a pretty awful defensive second baseman.
Looking a little closer at his batting statistics, his wRC+ (see explained here) stands at 84. That number puts his offensive abilities below Jamey Carroll and Darwin Barney. This factor combines with his abysmal -18.6 UZR/150 (see stat explained here, which although comes in a small sample size, is still really awful and is supported by the eye test), causes me quite a bit of concern for Murphy.
Obviously one could argue that I am ignoring Murphy’s batting average, but I am not. Murphy has hit for a decent average this year (.271), but that has been rendered mostly useless by his inability to show any plate discipline or power. Murphy has never walked at an exceptional rate, but this year it has really stuck out because his average is 17 points below his career norm.
The second part of my last point was his lack of power this season, which by looking at raw statistics alone one can recognize (I CAN HAZ HOMARS??). The likely cause of this is that Murph has hit the ball on the ground a lot more frequently this season, doing so at a 55.9% clip ( 45.5% career), and in concurrence with this has hit far less fly balls (23.1% this season, 33% career). This is an alarming trend for Murph, as grounders are much easier outs than fly balls.
For everyone jumping on the #imwith28 bandwagon: Remember that he has been no better than Jason Bay.
Sorry I haven’t been around here too much lately, been traveling and whatnot. Promise an Andres Torres post later this week/weekend, and some other good stuff I have in the works. Hope you haven’t missed my awesome recapz lately, as baseball has interfered with that.