By: Cody Glenn Bubenheimer

Why Daniel Murphy is a Washington National

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The best insight as to why the Mets chose Neil Walker over Daniel Murphy this off-season came from Murph himself. Gary Cohen talked about the Mets’ second base decision on Friday’s SNY broadcast. Murphy said he understood the logic of the Mets preferring a second baseman to play under a one year deal as gap player for the up and coming Dilson Herrera. Of course, the Mets gave up an expendable arm in return for a comparable bat and upgraded glove in Neil Walker, who will be a UFA next year. Since emotions might make it hard for fans to see one side or the other in regards to Daniel Murphy, lets look at the numbers.

Both Murphy and Walker have posted seven big league seasons. In those seven seasons, Murphy has played in 903 games while Walker has been in 836. Keep in mind that for both of these guys, second base was not their original position. Mets fans remember Murphy coming up as a third baseman and being slotted at left field, first base, then finally second in his big league tenure. Neil Walker came up as a catcher, moved to third base, and finally solidified himself as the Pirates second baseman in 2010. For their fielding stats, I looked exclusively at their time as second basemen.

 

BA RBI Runs HR SLG OBP WAR E Fld % DP
Murphy 0.288 402 422 62 0.424 0.331 12.5 54 0.975 280
Walker 0.272 418 405 93 0.431 0.338 16.4 41 0.989 524

 

There you have it. Daniel Murphy captured the hearts of Mets fans in a way Neil Walker never could by clobbering seven home runs in nine games this previous post season. But, Neil Walker’s 93 regular season home runs compared to Murph’s 62 should help. Not to mention, the defensive prowess everybody knew was coming with Neil Walker. Seeing it in numbers helps you realize how much safer the Mets will be up the middle in 2016.

But even if the upgrade at second base is negligible, the focus of the decision was Dilson Herrera. With that being said, lets look at the same numbers for Herrera that we used to compare Walker and Murphy.

 

BA RBI Runs HR SLG OBP SB E Fld % DP
Herrera 0.304 237 332 45 0.470 0.369 78 47 0.971 206

 

I substituted WAR for steals because sabermetrics for minor leaguers is hard to find, but 78 steals is indicative of what the Mets expect from Herrera. If his minor league numbers at the plate translate to his big league numbers, the Mets should expect similar production that they expect from Walker. But Herrera is a different type of player. In his time in the big leagues, Herrera’s speed was easy to recognize. With another year in the minors to develop his bat, along with that speed, Herrera should be a spark plug type of bat in the top of the lineup that the Mets have missed since Reyes took his talents to South Beach.

About Cody Glenn Bubenheimer

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