This is the easiest call of all.
The Major League Hitter of the Year is, by a huge margin, Daniel Murphy (Luray 2004-05)!
Daniel signed as a free agent with the Washington Nationals in January of 2016, and then proceeded to have one of the best, if not the best, major league season of any Valley League alumni in all of history.
First, the raw numbers. In 142 games and 531 at-bats, he hit 347/390/595, with 184 hits, 47 doubles, 5 triples, 25 home runs, 5 stolen bases, 35/57 BB/K ratio, 88 runs scored, and 104 RBIs.
How did this stack up in the National League?
- 2nd in batting average (by one percentage point)
- 3rd in offensive WAR (Wins Above Replacement)
- 1st in slugging percentage
- 7th in on-base percentage
- 1st in OPS (On-base plus slugging)
- 5th in hits
- 1st in doubles
- 4th in RBIs
- 8th in total bases
He was an All-Star. He was Player of the Month in both May and July. He won the Silver Slugger at 2B, and he finish 2nd in MVP voting (behind the very deserving Kris Bryant).
This makes it pretty easy, folks- Daniel Murphy is our Major League Player of the Year.
2015- Jason Kipnis (Covington 2006-07), Cleveland Indians
2014- Brett Gardner (New Market 2003-04), New York Yankees
Others to Consider:
- Jon Jay (Staunton 2004), San Diego- 291/339/389, 26 2B, 347 AB
- Jason Kipnis (Covington 2006-07), Cleveland- 275/343/469, 41 2B, 4 3B, 23 HR, 82 RBI, 15 SB, 610 AB
- Ryan Schimpf (Luray 2008), San Diego- 217/336/533, 17 2B, 5 3B, 20 HR in 276 AB