Washington Nationals: Five 2016 First Half Surprises
Daniel Murphy (.348, 17 home runs, 66 RBI’s)
When the Washington Nationals signed Murphy to a three-year deal this winter, nobody expected him to be as dominant on offense as he was when he helped the Mets get to the World Series in October. However, Murphy has been just as dominant and been the MVP of the Nats, in my opinion.
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So far this season, Murphy leads the National League in hitting (.348), is second in RBI’s (64), and he has a .387 on-base percentage. Plus, he has helped the Nats win some important games against the Mets, something the team couldn’t do at the end of last season. Against the Mets, Murphy is hitting .423 with seven home runs and 21 RBI’s.
Murphy’s season got off to a fast start when he hit .370 in April and an insane .417 in May. He has been one of those players that Baker has used in multiple spots of the batting order. In May, he was put behind Harper to help Harper see some pitches to hit and now he is hitting third in the lineup, just to name two examples.
Even though Murphy isn’t known for being the best defender at second base, the now two-time All-Star has not cost the Nats games with his defense and he makes up for it with his great productivity at the plate. He missed out on starting the All-Star Game tomorrow night by 88 votes to Ben Zobrist (Cubs).
Next: Reaction: Murphy Showing No Signs Of Slowing Down
It is clear that Murphy has taken the changes he made with Mets hitting coach Kevin Long and ran with it. I live in New York and saw Murphy play a lot with the Mets. I never thought I would put Daniel Murphy and NL MVP candidate in the same sentence. This season, you could definitely make that case as we head into the second half.