Coming into the 2016 season, no one knew what to expect from Murphy in his first season in a curly W uniform. The second baseman ended up making a great first impression as he was the runner up to Kris Bryant for the National League MVP award.
At times last season, it was Murphy and catcher Wilson Ramos who would end up carrying the team when superstars such as Harper would go through a slump. As for Murphy, he didn’t have a batting average lower than .265 in any given month.
Heading into the 2017 season, there will be more expectations on Murphy than ever before. However, with the swing change he made with the Mets towards the end of the 2015 season, maybe this is the new Murphy.
The only question I would have for him heading into spring training would be about the hamstring injury he had last season. If Murphy can avoid those hamstring issues throughout the season, he should be on track to play in over 130 games for the sixth consecutive season.
Due to Murphy’s ability to get doubles and how he doesn’t strike out, he is an option for any place Baker wants to use him in the lineup. But, the best option would be to put him behind Harper so that if teams decide to pitch around him, Murphy can make them pay and drive in the key runs like he did in the NLDS against the Dodgers last year.