Washington Nationals Editorial: Where Does Daniel Murphy Rank Among Second Basemen in the NL East?
Daniel Murphy – Washington Nationals
Murphy appeared in 130 games in 2015, hitting .281/.322/.449 with 140 hits, 38 doubles, two triples, 14 home runs, 56 runs, 73 RBIs, two stolen bases (four attempts), 31 walks, and 38 strikeouts with an OPS+ of 113 over 538 plate appearances.
Murphy wrapped up his free agent year with the New York Mets after spending his entire career with the club by helping lead them to their first National League Pennant in fifteen years. He made national headlines after homering in six straight playoff games and winning MVP in the NLCS against the Cubs. Two months in to free agency, Murphy chose to sign with the division rival Nats after New York could not make a better offer.
The left-handed hitting infielder has an extremely low strikeout rate and averages almost 40 doubles per season. He boasts World Series experience and had a slugging percentage last season more than 40 points higher than his All-Star campaign in 2014. While his defense does have a bad reputation, he still remains one of the more consistent second basemen across baseball.
So how does a guy like Murphy land at third on this list? He defense is still a major concern, as it obviously depreciated his value as a free agent this winter. In addition, he has never managed to finish a season with a WAR above 3.0, and has only one over 2.0. However, the fact remains that the Nationals gained a valuable player that fills a need for Washington. He should be expected to have a very productive year at the plate.
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