The New York Mets are going to need production from unlikely sources in 2013. On offense, it's really just David Wright and Ike Davis. The rotation is solid for the Mets, but is led by a pair of oft-injured starters in Johan Santana and Shaun Marcum. The bullpen…well, the bullpen will probably be better than a year ago, but isn't in the top half of the league by a longshot. So clearly, there are quite a few players I could call on to be an x-factor.
My x-factor for the New York Mets in 2013 is Daniel Murphy.
Murphy, New York's 27-year old second baseman, is a key part of the Mets lineup past Wright and Davis. Last year for the Mets, Murphy posted a .735 OPS with a .291 batting average. While that OPS can look a little disappointing, Murphy did smash 40 doubles on the season, a total that could easily indicate that future home run power could be on the horizon, especially when considering his miniscule 4.9% HR/FB.
In 2011, before Murphy tore his MCL in August to knock him out for the season, he had a .320 batting average and an .810 OPS, becoming one of the best stories in the league in the process. If he can maintain that level of offense over a full season, he'll be a huge asset for the Mets. Murphy also had a position in 2012 for the first time in his career after moving all around the diamond. I think that with a full year at second base under his belt, Murphy wll have less pressure on him to learn the position and can focus more on improving his all-around game.
However, there's a bit of bad news for Murphy's season already: he's had to travel back to New York from Port St Lucie due to pain in his right intercostal muscle. Hopefully for Murphy and the Mets, he'll be back in Florida by the end of the week and moving his Spring Training forward. Otherwise, it could be a long year for Murphy and the Mets.