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5 stats that make Murphy appealing free agent

With his scintillating 2015 postseason still at the forefront of so many minds, Daniel Murphy is testing the free-agent market after spending his first seven seasons with the Mets.

Though some may focus only on his historic October -- and who could blame them, really? -- Murphy has established himself as a consistent contributor at second base in recent years. The 30-year-old Murphy is the latest player to be featured in this ongoing series, which looks at five key stats for each of this offseason's top free agents.

Hot Stove Tracker

Without further ado, here's a closer look at five for Murphy.

Murphy is coming off a captivating October performance, in which he set an all-time postseason record by homering in six consecutive games. Not only was he the first player to hit a home run in six straight playoff games, but Murphy is also the only player to record at least one extra-base hit and one RBI in six consecutive postseason contests. He finished the postseason with an impressive .328/.391/.724 overall batting line after hitting .281/.322/.449 during the regular season.

Timely hitting
Murphy has consistently come through in key situations, posting a .314/.397/.462 career slash line with two outs and runners in scoring position. His .314 average is the third-highest among active players with at least 400 such plate appearances, behind only Joe Mauer (.333) and Miguel Cabrera (.316).

Early-game success
Unlike most players, Murphy actually has his most success against opposing starters when facing them for the first time. Murphy has a .308 career average in his first at-bat against an opposing starter, compared to .288 in his second, .290 in his third and .302 in his fourth at-bat or more against the same starter. The .308 average in those situations is the highest among all active second basemen with at least 150 such plate appearances.

Central time?
The market for Murphy is yet to fully develop, but teams in the NL Central may want to take note of his career success against their biggest foes. Murphy has a career .308/.353/.450 batting line vs. the NL Central, compared to a .281/.327/.420 against the NL East, where he's spent each of his seven seasons. Murphy is hitting .299 or better against all five NL Central clubs, including .342 against the Reds, .328 against the Brewers and .321 against the Pirates. Those are Murphy's three highest marks against any team that he has faced at least 10 times.

Rise and shine
Murphy has thrived in day games, racking up a .315 daytime batting average over his career compared to a .274 average in night games. That trend has held especially true over the last five years, with Murphy posting a .326 mark in 1,023 daytime plate appearances since the start of the 2011 season. That's the best average by any player in the Majors during that span (min. 100 plate appearances).

Paul Casella is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.
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