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Daniel Murphy

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This page links to the major league player who made his debut in 2008. For other players with a similar name, click here

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Daniel Thomas Murphy

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[edit] Biographical Information

Daniel Murphy played in the same college infield as Anthony Bernazard, son of Tony Bernazard. Murphy was drafted by the New York Mets, where Bernazard was vice president of player development, in the 13th round of the 2006 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Steve Barningham and made his pro debut that summer.

Murphy picked up 7 hits in his first 15 Major League at-bats for the 2008 New York Mets after being called up in early August. He had spent most of the season up to that point with the AA Binghamton Mets. Murphy emerged as a prospect in 2007, his second season in professional baseball, by hitting 34 doubles and putting up a line of .285/.338/.430 with the St. Lucie Mets of the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. However, were it not for a slew of injuries among Mets outfielders in 2008, he would probably have had to wait another full year to make his big league debut.

When Murphy took three days of paternity leave for the birth of his first child in 2014, he missed Opening Day. A couple of talking heads in the media, including former NFL player Boomer Esiason, criticized Murphy for the move, but there was a large backlash in his favor and his manager and players spoke out in his support. MLB also got positive attention for being the only one of America's major four sports leagues with a league-wide paternity leave policy. The story didn't end there, as in June, he was invited to the White House by President Barack Obama to speak at a summit on working families. He had his best season that year as the Mets' starting second baseman, hitting .289 with 79 runs, and was named to the All-Star team for the first time.

Murphy was the hero of the first two rounds of the 2015 Postseason for the Mets. He homered three times in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, victimizing Clayton Kershaw twice and Zack Greinke once to lead the Mets to a three games to two win. Then in the NLCS he homered in all four games of a sweep over the Chicago Cubs to be named MVP of the Series. By homering in six straight postseason games - the last two of the Division Series and all four of the Championship Series - he broke the record of five set by Carlos Beltran in 2004. This was all the more remarkable that Murphy had hit only 14 homers in the regular season, and this was a career high. The hot hitting did not continue into the World Series, though, as he was 3 for 20 with all the hits being singles as the Mets lost in five games to the Kansas City Royals in the Fall Classic. He became a free agent after the season and on December 24th signed a three-year deal with the Washington Nationals worth $37.5 million.

Murphy had a memorable debut for the Nationals on April 4, 2016, as he homered and then hit a go-ahead double in the 10th inning to lead Washington to a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves. He continued to hit well after that, and after two weeks, he was leading all major league players with a .422 batting average. He was named the National League Player of the Month in May when he hit a scorching .416 with 8 doubles, 7 homers and 23 RBIs in 29 games. After playing in the 2016 All-Star Game, he was distinguished as the league's Player of the Month for a second time in July, when he batted .346 with 11 doubles, 6 homers and 23 RBIs. He was still leading the league in hitting, slugging, OPS and OPS+ and with the Nationals in first place, was a serious MVP candidate.

His brother, Jon Murphy, began playing professionally in 2012.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 2-time NL All-Star (2014 & 2016)
  • 2015 NLCS MVP
  • NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2016/2B)
  • NL Slugging Percentage Leader (2016)
  • NL OPS Leader (2016)
  • NL Doubles Leader (2016)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2016)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (2016)

[edit] Further Reading

  • Ted Berg: "9 things to know about Mets postseason hero Daniel Murphy", For the Win, USA Today Sports, October 21, 2015. [1]
  • Wayne Coffey: "How Daniel Murphy became one of baseball's best hitters", USA Today Sports, October 6, 2016. [2]
  • Jamal Collier: "Murphy remains in MVP form in postseason: Nats 2B still in stride despite being missing final 2 weeks of regular season", mlb.com, October 9, 2016. [3]
  • Jamal Collier: "Murphy finishes 2nd in NL MVP voting", mlb.com, November 17, 2016. [4]
  • Howard Megdal: "Daniel Murphy stays on grind even as he puts up superstar numbers", USA Today Sports, May 20, 2016. [5]

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