SAN DIEGO -- Daniel Murphy had only six home runs in 2015 through July. He hit four in August, four in September and then a whopping seven in the NLDS and NLCS, en route to winning NLCS MVP and helping get the Mets to the World Series.

The common sentiment was that Murphy is a good player but that power urge wasn't something that would carry over. Instead, not only does he already have a career high 17 homers, but he's actually an MVP type performer to this point, leading the NL in average, hits and total bases for the Nationals.

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Daniel Murphy is having a monster season. USATSI

He mostly wanted to talk about his coaches, in humble fashion.

"I just think that it was a culmination of a lot of hard work with (hitting coach) Kevin Long (and other Mets coaches) last season in New York," he said. "It was a lot of man hours trying to help me refine and be more successful. And then transitioning that to Washington with (Nationals hitting coaches) Rick Schu and Jacque Jones."

One thing that stood out was that when I called Murphy a home run hitter, he said he wasn't comfortable referring to himself as one.

"I've never really set out to be a home run hitter. I know it's cliche, I'm just trying to find my pitch and some of them are going over the fence."

Also, he's surrounded with good teammates.

"It's another advantageous lineup," he said of finding success with Washington. "It was nice last year with Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Granderson the way they were swinging the bat and now you look at Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos."

Another factor is the confidence. The more locked in a player becomes, the more it can snowball. We see it in the negative sometimes with lost seasons and extended slumps and with Murphy we're seeing the opposite.

"It's always nice when you mold your approach as an athlete to find success," he said. "I feel pretty good in the batter's box right now."

He sure looks like it.

As for MVP, Murphy doesn't consider himself in the mix. When asked, he named Clayton Kershaw, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Bryce Harper.

So, to sum it up: Murphy doesn't think he's a home run hitter or an MVP candidate. Thanks to hard work, though, his numbers say otherwise.