Major League Baseball last night announced that Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy was selected to his first All-Star team as National League Manager Mike Matheny’s selection. The 85th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will take place July 15 at Minnesota’s Target Field.
The Mets have three candidates, with Murphy, third baseman David Wright and lefty pitcher Jon Niese potential options to suit up for the NL.
While Wright is a constant on the All-Star team, and may still be on the team due to his status in the game, he’s experiencing a down year. His power numbers, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage are well below his career norms.
For as strong as Niese has pitched this year, as he’s 5-4 with a 2.96 ERA, his statistics do not place him in the top 10 of the main pitching categories among NL hurlers.
That leaves Murphy, who entered Saturday’s game tied for second in the NL in hits with 104. From the first game of the season, Murphy has been the team’s most consistent hitter. Murphy is having his best season since his injury-shortened campaign in 2011.
Murphy never has finished a game batting below .250 this season, and he has hit .288 or better since May. His consistency and high average stands out among this Mets lineup. It’s been rare this season that Murphy has found himself in an extended slump.
“I don’t know how you can not consider the guy who’s leading the National League in hits,” Mets manager Terry Collins said Wednesday in Atlanta. “You’ve certainly got to take a look. The guy’s hit .300 almost all season long, he’s gotten some big hits, he’s got some home runs now, he has some RBI. Certainly he’s got to be heavily, heavily considered as one of our guys who goes.”
In addition to his steady performance at the plate, Murphy has also played in all 85 games he’s been eligible to, as he missed the first two games of the season while on paternity leave. He’s shown a durability that sometimes can be underappreciated in baseball.
Collins believes it would be a great moment for Murphy to make his first All-Star team.
“Everybody knew he could hit but he’s been an overachiever his whole time in the big leagues,” Collins said. “I think it would be a huge, huge honor for him and a feather in his cap to be the kind of player that he is.”