Is Daniel Murphy Better Than David Wright?


Slide down the bench, David Wright. You’re no longer the obvious choice as the best position player on the New York Mets. You have a challenger. His name is Daniel Murphy.

Wright’s belt is up for grabs because he is not the player that he used to be. He hasn’t hit 30 home runs since 2008 and the last time he knocked in 100 runs was 2010. Still a very capable player, he remained healthy enough in 2014 to play in 134 games. The result was a far from impressive eight home runs and a .269 batting average.

Meanwhile, as Wright declines, Murphy is stepping up and becoming one of the best second basemen in baseball while also remaining one of the more productive bats in the Mets’ lineup. Murphy’s 2014 numbers were better than Wright’s in a season where the torch has been handed off.

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At this point, one could argue Murphy is a better overall player than Wright. Certainly we cannot count out Wright to come back in 2015 with a bit more power and an improved batting average, but based on the trends Murphy is going to continue to play at the consistent level he has since 2011.

Murphy is still far from the face of the franchise. Wright has earned the captaincy, even if pitcher Matt Harvey is gaining on him in popularity. Despite trailing behind the two, Murphy remains a member of the Mets’ roster that you cannot ignore.

Since 2011, Murphy has continued to improve and in many ways surpass Wright. Here’s how some of the major statistics look over the last four seasons.

David Wright vs Daniel Murphy Since 2011:

  • GP: 504 vs 569
  • H: 553 vs 651
  • 2B: 117 vs 143
  • HR: 61 vs 34
  • RBI: 275 vs 249
  • BA: .286 vs .294
  • OBP: .364 vs .333
  • SLG: .451 vs .414
  • TB: 873 vs 918

Since 2011, Murphy has very comparable numbers to Wright, quietly supplying offense to the heart of the lineup in his own way.

Murphy is an ideal No. 2 hitter. Only in 2013 when he played in 161 games did he approach 100 strikeouts in a season when he finished with 95. As for Wright, his 162 game average is 129 strikeouts.

More than just his offensive output, Murphy gives the Mets something Wright never has. Besides second base, Murphy has also played first base, left field, and has been the first option to fill in for Wright at third base whenever he is injured. Murphy’s versatility gives the Mets many options.

Wright’s fielding has declined from his Gold Glove winning days in 2007 and 2008. In 2011 he made 19 errors in 267 chances for a pitiful .929 fielding percentage. He got better the next two seasons, but dropped back down to .954 in 2014.

Two important players with different roles on the same team, Murphy is closer to Wright in contributions than most may think. The 2015 season will say a lot about the future of this team’s offense and who the leader will be moving forward. The only thing is, Daniel Murphy is scheduled to be a free agent headed into the 2016 season. David Wright on the other hand is tied up with the New York Mets until after the 2020 season.

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