Daniel Murphy has hit in 23 of his first 26 games with the Washington Nationals early this season after signing a 3-year/$37.5M contract this winter.
He has multi-hit games in 13 of those 26 games. He's currently leading the majors with a .398 AVG (39 for 98) is fourth in the majors in on-base percentage (.449) and fourth in slugging percentage (.663).
He's also in the midst of a six-game hit streak over which he's 12 for 25 (.480 AVG) with three doubles, two home runs and seven runs scored over that stretch.
Murphy has also, early in his time with the Nationals, become a resource for his teammates, as Nats' skipper Dusty Baker explained in an MLB Network Radio interview last week.
When Murphy and Michael A. Taylor were both given a day off during the last homestand, Baker told Taylor to make good use of the time to absorb whatever info he could from his new teammate.
"[Murphy] wasn't playing," Baker said, "I gave him a day off finally, so I had Michael Taylor sit next to him and analyze what he was looking for and what he thought the pitcher was going to do to this particular hitter in this situation and it's like going to the library.
"I said, 'Michael, go over and sit next to 'the Library' and learn.' This kind of thing is going to help the younger players and even some of the older players, because he knows what he's doing."
Baker was asked what his impressions of Murphy as a hitter were before he became his manager and what he's learned about the Nationals' second baseman over the first month-plus of the season.
"My opinion of him before is that he was a line drive kind of opposite field hitter," Baker said. "And what I think has clicked is that he's learned how to drive the ball and he's big-time confident but he's very humble externally.
"But internally very, very confident. But the thing about it is he knows how to hit. And he has a game plan every day when he goes to the plate.
"He's going to hit this guy up the middle, he's going to hit him to left. I mean, this guy studies."
In the series finale with the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, Murphy was 4 for 4 with a double, single, home run and single in his first four at bats, leaving him a triple shy of the cycle before his final plate appearance of the game.
"[Murphy] was unbelievable," Baker told reporters after what ended up a 13-2 win over the Royals.
"We were pulling for him for the cycle and he needed a triple, which is hard to get. He had four hits. We were pulling for a 5 for 5 if not the cycle cause I remember when my teammate, I was a coach then, when Chris Speier needed a triple in his last at bat and he got it, but you rarely see that."
Murphy sent a fly to center in his final at bat, leaving him 4 for 5 on the day.
"Murph has an idea," Baker said, when asked about Murphy's consistent approach at the plate.
"He has a heck of an idea what he's looking for. He splits the plate. He's rarely fooled. Murph has an idea on what he's doing up there and he's going to get better and better. He doesn't seem to be getting tired.You get tired making right turns going back to the dugout, tell you the truth."
"Just pulling for Murphy, hopefully keep it going, hopefully our bats will stay hot through Chicago cause we've got a tough series there."
Murphy has hit well in Wrigley throughout his first six major league seasons, going 24 for 65 (.369/.406/.631) with five doubles and four home runs in 18 career games in the so-called "friendly confines" of the Cubs' home.