NEW YORK -- Two years ago, Daniel Murphy's long-term big league future seemed in doubt. Injury-prone and without an obvious defensive home, Murphy was at a crossroads. A veteran in some ways, Murphy was also not far removed from his previous life as a prospect, when he enchanted the Mets with his hitting prowess but provided little else in the way of marketable skills.
Flash forward to the present day, in which Murphy is an All-Star. Major League Baseball announced on Sunday that Murphy will serve as a reserve second baseman for the National League team on July 15 game at Target Field. There he will join the game's upper crust as the Mets' lone representative.
"Sometimes the blessings come when they come," Murphy said. "This has just been three months when they've come."
This marks just the second time in nine years that third baseman David Wright will not attend the All-Star Game for the Mets, whose only other legitimate candidate was left-hander Jon Niese. Neither made it, but the Mets also had no candidate as worthy as Murphy, who spent parts of the first half leading the NL in hits. His offensive production has jumped to new levels since 2012, with his power production increasing last season and his patience reaching new heights this year. He is a more well-rounded hitter than ever.
Murphy's defense has also improved dramatically over the past two seasons. He went out of his way to credit third-base coach Tim Teufel, as well as former teammate Justin Turner, for that.
The result is a player worthy, for the first time in his career, of an All-Star nod.
"I think it's human nature to be aware of it," Murphy said of his thought process leading up to Sunday's announcement. "You kind of get asked questions about it leading up to it. But there's enough anxiety that goes into just trying to win baseball games as it is, and trying to focus on the task at hand."
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Prior ASGs: None
ASG W-L: N/A
ASG Stats: N/A
How he made 2014 NL team: Manager selection
Why he's an All-Star: One of the league's finest pure hitters, Murphy is enjoying perhaps his best offensive season. Once a defensive liability, he has improved every year in that regard since becoming a full-time second baseman in 2012, working himself into an average defender to supplement his offensive abilities.
DYK?: Murphy's younger brother, Jonathan, is a Minor League outfielder in the Twins organization. The two work together over the winter in Jacksonville, Fla., with Daniel often accepting hitting advice from Jonathan.
Quotable: "My immediate reaction would probably be shock. It's a blessing. And I don't work any harder on this ballclub than anyone else does. There's no doubt about that. There's 24 men in here who work really hard. It's just an honor. It's humbling. It's a fantastic blessing."
Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters on Sunday, fans began voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until the winners are announced after the voting concludes on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo.