Going into Monday’s matinee with the Royals in Kansas City, Rangers’ outfielder David Murphy had 412 at-bats on the year, which qualifies him, just barely, for the race for the American League batting crown. With his final at-bat Sunday, Murphy got into the race at third, behind Angels’ rookie phenom Mike Trout and Tigers’ slugger Miguel Cabrera.
Trout is hitting .332; Cabrera is hitting .331. And as of Monday morning, the newly eligible Murphy was at .322.
Exciting stuff for fans, but Murphy isn’t all that concerned with bringing home the batting title and, beyond that, he’s not sure that just because he is eligible for the crown now, that means he’ll remain eligible--to qualify for a batting title, players must finish with 3.1 at-bats per team game.
“To focus on that [a batting title] and not focus on the team would be pretty selfish,” Murphy said, per ESPN Dallas. “It would take away from what each guy in here brings to the table. There’s no guarantee that because I qualify on Sept. 3 that I’m going to qualify after game 162. But it’s not like it really matters."
For what it’s worth, if Murphy continue on the way he has since becoming a regular starter early last month, we have little doubt he’ll get the at-bats necessary to qualify. To wit, Murphy is 9 for his last 18--and as we publish this, the Rangers lead the Royals 4-0 in the top of the sixth, and Murphy is 2-for-2 with a double, raising his average, for now, to .326.