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#pounditMonday, July 22, 2024

Mets hitting coach Kevin Long explains secret to Daniel Murphy’s success

Daniel Murphy Mets

Daniel Murphy went from ordinary New York Mets infielder to playoff hero having a historic postseason. If he is able to keep up the level of production he had in the NLDS and NLCS, he might be able to lead the Mets to the World Series.

So what has led to the power surge? His hitting coach, Kevin Long, explained some of the changes he’s made.

“I expect him to do good things and I expect him to have good at-bats, but the results? It’s unheard of,” Long said of Murphy’s success in a conversation with ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak.

Long then delved into Murphy’s mechanics and approach.

“The biggest part you’ll see him set his front foot, and he sets it early … when the pitcher’s in his delivery or his windup. So when he’s getting ready to release the ball, Murphy is down and ready. So really all he has to do is track the baseball, make a decision on what pitch it is in what location and then actually attack the ball.

“Other things that he’s done, he’s changed his approach a bit where he’s looking to do damage, not just seek hits. This guy’s been one of the best hitters for a long time in the game, but to exploit his power, he had to kind of change his mindset.”

Murphy on Sunday told the media why he has bought into Long’s advice.

“I’ve spent my entire career late to the ball. [Long] had broken down everybody’s swing, I think that was going into spring training,” Murphy said via SNY. “So, when you have somebody in the offseason who has gone through that much film to prepare himself to get to know you to prepare himself for spring training for the season, I feel like you almost have no choice automatically but to just buy in because you know he’s buying in and he’s all-in.”

Murphy’s power really started to come in the second half of the season. A big reason for that is because he is “hunting to do damage” rather than just looking for hits. He posted an .861 OPS in August and .909 OPS in September with four home runs each month. What’s crazy is that his seven postseason home runs are half of the total he had for the regular season.

Changing his mentality and getting his front foot down probably helped elevate him as a hitter, but can those changes explain his postseason success? Not entirely. Murphy is no doubt “in the zone” this postseason.

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