Can Daniel Murphy Win the Batting Title?
After going 1-for-4 with a homer in Thursday’s contest, Daniel Murphy enters play today hitting .374. The former Met leads the National League with 83 hits and has only struck out 27 times. Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison boasts the second highest batting average in the Senior Circuit, 47 points beneath Murphy.
While he hasn’t hit the .400 mark since May 15, Murphy has not seen his batting average dip below .364 since the second game of the season. He leads the NL with 27 multi-hit games and his 38.6 percent hard-hit rate is the best on the team. Murphy has been everything the Nats could have hoped for and more when they signed him to a three-year, $37.5 million deal over the offseason. What appeared to be the market price now looks like a bargain for Washington.
The big question is, can he keep it up? The audience is divided. Some will point to his abnormally high .387 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) that could not possibly be sustained through an entire season. Others will point out that Murphy has had a high BABIP his entire career, arguing that his improved approach at the plate allows him to spread the ball all over the field at will.
I tend to side with the latter argument, but I won’t go as far as to say he’ll manage to finish the year hitting .400. A batting title is certainly within his grasp, especially considering the rest of the NL is so far behind him.
Next: Gio Gonzalez Takes a Different Approach