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Red in Chicago
03-04-2010, 08:55 PM
Sorry if this has been posted already. I haven't been able to spend much time here lately.

http://www.foxsportsohio.com/pages/landing/?blockID=190915&feedID=3724

Scrap Irony
03-04-2010, 09:00 PM
I'd be ecstatic if Phillips goes 30/30.

No way he goes 40/40.

Cyclone792
03-04-2010, 09:02 PM
Right, and Willy Taveras was going to steal 100 bases last year too.

Phillips needs to just concentrate on actually being able to take 40 walks. Start with that, and forget about swinging from the heels.

TheNext44
03-04-2010, 09:11 PM
BP is already one of the league's worst 2 strike hitters. This mentality will only make it worse.

jojo
03-04-2010, 09:53 PM
Maybe thinking he's a 40/40 guy is why 20/20 is the benchmark he flirts with....

CTA513
03-04-2010, 11:21 PM
I would rather have 15-25 HRs with a good average instead of watching his average drop as he tries to swing for the fences all the time.

RedEye
03-04-2010, 11:32 PM
I think his 30/30 season was a bit of a fluke. If he tries for 40/40, he's going to seriously tank.

PS - Auspicious topic for my 3,000th post! :)

KronoRed
03-05-2010, 01:36 AM
If he even reaches 20/20 this year I'll be surprised.

thatcoolguy_22
03-05-2010, 01:50 AM
Everyone on this thread and most fans of the game are entirely wrong. I'm fairly confident we will see a 50/50 year. In fact he will be so excited that I sent him such amazing karma, he'll come take infield with my softball team in the off season :rolleyes:

Yeah that was crazy. I would be happy if 30/30 was never brought up again. Hopefully he starts looking for a base hit sometimes instead of trying to be a prototypical #4 hitter (which he's not)

WMR
03-05-2010, 02:25 AM
This is the exact opposite mindset that he should be attempting to apply to his offensive strategy.

Ron Madden
03-05-2010, 02:42 AM
If he even reaches 20/20 this year I'll be surprised.

I'll be surprised if he reaches 20/20 as well.

There isn't a doubt in my mind about his ability to hit 20 HRs.

The problem is if he sets his goal at 40 HRs he will continue to swing so hard he looses his balance. If he does that there is no way he can reach first base enough to steal 40 bags.

Ron Madden
03-05-2010, 02:44 AM
This is the exact opposite mindset that he should be attempting to apply to his offensive strategy.

I agree 100%.

icehole3
03-05-2010, 06:38 AM
Back in the old days true reds fans applauded players who said they wanted to be better from year to year, only on Redzone does a player get BBQed for doing such a thing, unbelieveable. http://www.sternfannetwork.com/forum/images/smilies/Eyes/uh-oh.gif

cincrazy
03-05-2010, 08:30 AM
BP had his greatest success upon immediately coming to the Reds. He just concentrated on hitting the ball hard, not necessarily out of the park. The 30/30 year may have been the worst possible thing to happen to him.

membengal
03-05-2010, 08:33 AM
I don't know that I have ever heard a great hitter say they try to hit homeruns. It's simply a bad idea. I am taking this with a grain of salt and hoping that Phillips isn't serious and it was just idle chatter. He's at his best when he makes solid contact, drives the ball, and sees where that leads. That's true for most hitters, no?

lollipopcurve
03-05-2010, 08:38 AM
Back in the old days true reds fans applauded players who said they wanted to be better from year to year, only on Redzone does a player get BBQed for doing such a thing, unbelieveable.

Agree. There's a sizeable anti-Phillips contingent here.

What I found interesting is the stuff re: Phillips' perception of Rolen and of Rolen's effect on him. At times, many have railed against Phillips as a questionable teammate. What evidence there was, I don't know. Now this. For fans of the Rolen trade, another reason to like the move.

membengal
03-05-2010, 08:50 AM
Agree. There's a sizeable anti-Phillips contingent here.

What I found interesting is the stuff re: Phillips' perception of Rolen and of Rolen's effect on him. At times, many have railed against Phillips as a questionable teammate. What evidence there was, I don't know. Now this. For fans of the Rolen trade, another reason to like the move.

I don't see a joining of that issue. Phillips is a wonderful player as is. Some wish he were more (more pitch selection, higher OBP), some cool with what we've got. No matter one's individual take on Phillips, one should definitely NOT want him to try to hit more homeruns. If he stumbles into 40 making solid consistent contact, great. Stupendous. Just not a goal I want to see any Red set for himself, including Phillips, if that is truly what he has done. And I don't think it is...

lollipopcurve
03-05-2010, 09:04 AM
don't see a joining of that issue. Phillips is a wonderful player as is. Some wish he were more (more pitch selection, higher OBP), some cool with what we've got. No matter one's individual take on Phillips, one should definitely NOT want him to try to hit more homeruns. If he stumbles into 40 making solid consistent contact, great. Stupendous. Just not a goal I want to see any Red set for himself, including Phillips, if that is truly what he has done. And I don't think it is...

I agree. I don't want to see Phillips trying to hit as many HRs as possible. Time will tell if that's the approach he is going to take.

Again, IMO what's most compelling about the piece is Phillips' take on Rolen and Rolen's effect on him. It's a fair chunk of the article, yet no one had picked up on it.

nate
03-05-2010, 09:10 AM
I think his 30/30 season was a bit of a fluke. If he tries for 40/40, he's going to seriously tank.

PS - Auspicious topic for my 3,000th post! :)

Well done!

Golf clap!

Nasty_Boy
03-05-2010, 09:34 AM
I've been critical of Phillips in the past, because I felt that he was a "me first" type of guy. I really enjoy watching him for the most part because the guy is very talented and he can do about anything on the field. I'm not a fan of his approach at the plate, but I've learned to live with it as long as he's being productive. But I'm with most everyone else in saying that I don't want BP trying to hit 40 dingers. His backside approach that he tends to have when he feels like it makes him a much bigger threat then when he's trying to turn and burn every first pitch fastball. I'm just glad he's showing some maturity about being a teammate because I thought he got a free pass from most fans and media because he wasn't Jr or Dunn. He needs to quit worrying about the spotlight and just let his talent take over, because his total skill set is as good as anyone in the game.

jojo
03-05-2010, 09:36 AM
Well at least we know which player is now considered the true test of fanship.

lollipopcurve
03-05-2010, 09:41 AM
Well at least we know which player is now considered the true test of fanship.

What is fanship?

MartyFan
03-05-2010, 09:49 AM
Maybe I read the article wrong but I didn't see anywhere in there where he said he was going to TRY to go 40/40 but instead said he was "capable" of it...then said it depended on "the team" and so on...which frankly, I agree with.

What he said is that his goal is to take back the Gold Glove and to be more of a TEAM PLAYER.

My personal thought is that BP was perceived as the team A-Hole because they had Junior hurt, Larkin sitting on the bench half the time and Dunn lumbering around entirely satisfied with where he was as a player...yes, he hit 40 HR's but his D sucked and a lot of the time he was just plain out of shape...so I can see how BP could step on toes...I like him...A LOT.

jojo
03-05-2010, 10:13 AM
What is fanship?

The degree to which a person is a true fan---i.e. a mythical word for a mythical construct.

lollipopcurve
03-05-2010, 10:18 AM
The degree to which a person is a true fan---i.e. a mythical word for a mythical construct.

OK........I guess.

Does this thread exist?

RedEye
03-05-2010, 10:23 AM
Agree. There's a sizeable anti-Phillips contingent here.


It's not an anti-Phillips argument. Actually, it's pro-Phillips--and that's why it argues that he shouldn't do things that are bad for his game. Trying actively to hit more homers exacerbates BP's weaknesses as a hitter. We in the pro-Phillips camps would like to see him succeed with a new approach!

lollipopcurve
03-05-2010, 10:46 AM
It's not an anti-Phillips argument. Actually, it's pro-Phillips--and that's why it argues that he shouldn't do things that are bad for his game. Trying actively to hit more homers exacerbates BP's weaknesses as a hitter. We in the pro-Phillips camps would like to see him succeed with a new approach!

Eh. This is anti-Phillips, still.

"New" approach still required? BB:K ratio since 2007:

33/109
39/93
44/75

Clear improvement. Unacknowledged by virtue of the claim that a "new approach" is required.

As noted, Phillips has not said he is going to try to hit homers, only that he's capable of it. He clearly says his approach will depend on what the team needs. I say time will tell. Assuming he's going to go for power at the expense of all else is assuming the worst from him, which in my book in anti-Phillips.

Bunch of posters just tend to see the worst in the guy. Not saying they should or shouldn't. They just do.

Cedric
03-05-2010, 10:48 AM
Eh. This is anti-Phillips, still.

"New" approach still required? K:BB ratio since 2007:

33/109
39/93
44/75

Clear improvement. Unacknowledged by virtue of the claim that a "new approach" is required.

As noted, Phillips has not said he is going to try to hit homers, only that he's capable of it. He clearly says his approach will depend on what the team needs. I say time will tell. Assuming he's going to go for power at the expense of all else is assuming the worst from him, which in my book in anti-Phillips.

Bunch of posters just tend to see the worst in the guy. Not saying they should or shouldn't. They just do.

Agreed. He hacks a little and he dared question Adam Dunn. It's pretty simple.

bucksfan2
03-05-2010, 10:53 AM
I take pretty much everything BP says with a grain of salt. It would be great if he went 40/40, it would be one of the better seasons by a 2b. But I do think if BP tries to accomplish the 40/40 he will struggle at the plate.

With BP its pretty simple. When he is at his best at the plate he is trying to drive the ball into the RC gap. When he does this he stays back longer and isn't as prone to balls in the dirt. When he gets over aggressive he will swing at practically anything the pitches throws.

Brutus
03-05-2010, 10:55 AM
I hate to do this, but I find their to be some truth to it

When Adam Dunn tries to hit home runs = happy RedsZone
When Phillips tries to hit home runs = unhappy RedsZone

If he could pull off a season approaching 40/40, the Reds would be a better team for it. I don't find fault in a guy saying he'd like to accomplish that. Let him go out and perform. If he suffers by trying to hard to hit homers, then let the criticism begin.

Nasty_Boy
03-05-2010, 10:58 AM
Am I the only one that read where he said he was a bad teammate?

And if you don't think BP swings for the fence, I'm not sure what you're watching... I love the guys talent, but I'm a fan of guys that have a plan with their AB and not just hacking. BP shows flashes of this every now and then, but a decrease in Ks doesn't mean he's not hacking more... It means he's making more contact, and judging by his AVG and OBP it's not leading to hits. I'm a huge Dunn fan but I recognize his flaws, Phillips fans don't see his.

RedEye
03-05-2010, 10:58 AM
Eh. This is anti-Phillips, still.

"New" approach still required? BB:K ratio since 2007:

33/109
39/93
44/75

Clear improvement. Unacknowledged by virtue of the claim that a "new approach" is required.


Improvement? Yes. But he could do more. For once, I'll cite actually "watching games" here. How many times have I seen Phillips nearly fall over after swinging for the fences an an ill-advised situation? The fact that he puts up the numbers that he does is a testament to his ability, but it doesn't change the fact that a little more discipline could move him from a valuable asset to a franchise cornerstone worth keeping around after his current contract expires. I'm pro-Phillips and an idealist--I want him to stay a Red, and I want him to do so with a nice contract that he merits based on his market value as a well-rounded player.

Nasty_Boy
03-05-2010, 10:59 AM
With BP its pretty simple. When he is at his best at the plate he is trying to drive the ball into the RC gap. When he does this he stays back longer and isn't as prone to balls in the dirt. When he gets over aggressive he will swing at practically anything the pitches throws.

This!

lollipopcurve
03-05-2010, 11:09 AM
Improvement? Yes. But he could do more.

Of course. He's still pretty young, and getting better. But improvement will be incremental. So why not say he needs to keep doing what he's been doing -- improve? If you've been watching closely, you know he's been getting more consistent, having few throwaway ABs. I really don't know what more you can realistically ask. People see the athletic talent and assume he can make a giant leap forward simply by wanting to. Doesn't work that way.

If I see him going backwards I'll acknowledge it. But it hasn't happened.

RedEye
03-05-2010, 11:09 AM
Assuming he's going to go for power at the expense of all else is assuming the worst from him, which in my book in anti-Phillips.


I don't understand this pro/anti binary you are positing here--it's not a case of being either "for" BP or "against" him. It's a matter of wanting him to be the best, most productive player he can be. In my opinion, swinging for HR and being aggressive is not the aspect of hitting that BP needs to work on. Unfortunately, we have a manager who keeps putting him in situations where he feels like he needs to do this. Otherwise, I think we could have seen more measured, controlled at-bats from BP already.

I'd prefer 10-15 HR with a high OBP to 20-25 HR and his current out-making. It's no knock on him personally and it has nothing to do with anything he has said about Adam Dunn--its just about how he makes use of his athletic gifts on the baseball diamond.

RedLegSuperStar
03-05-2010, 12:28 PM
Power hitters have trouble flirting with 40HRs.. If Phillips gets to that mountain top great.. But I would rather like to see him get on base more and be more patient at the plate.

Homer Bailey
03-05-2010, 12:42 PM
I hate to do this, but I find their to be some truth to it

When Adam Dunn tries to hit home runs = happy RedsZone
When Phillips tries to hit home runs = unhappy RedsZone

If he could pull off a season approaching 40/40, the Reds would be a better team for it. I don't find fault in a guy saying he'd like to accomplish that. Let him go out and perform. If he suffers by trying to hard to hit homers, then let the criticism begin.

Dunn was a true power hitter. His strength was unquestionable. And he drew walks.

Phillips isn't nearly the same true power hitter as Dunn. He'd be much better off if he drew more walks.

Not really a fair comparison at all.

Ron Madden
03-05-2010, 12:55 PM
Back in the old days true reds fans applauded players who said they wanted to be better from year to year, only on Redzone does a player get BBQed for doing such a thing, unbelieveable. http://www.sternfannetwork.com/forum/images/smilies/Eyes/uh-oh.gif


I honestly believe that we are all true reds fans here.

RedsManRick
03-05-2010, 01:23 PM
I hate to do this, but I find their to be some truth to it

When Adam Dunn tries to hit home runs = happy RedsZone
When Phillips tries to hit home runs = unhappy RedsZone

If he could pull off a season approaching 40/40, the Reds would be a better team for it. I don't find fault in a guy saying he'd like to accomplish that. Let him go out and perform. If he suffers by trying to hard to hit homers, then let the criticism begin.

The difference here is that Adam Dunn hits 40 HR simply by doing what he does. We know he's capable of 40 HR because he's done it with regularity.

Maybe Phillips is capable of 40 HR too. But chances are that it's not in the cards. If Phillips is just saying that he's going out and do what he does, and thinks that 40 HR might happen, then good for him. Confidence is important. But the worry is that Phillips is rather on a quest for 40 HR (he has a history of altering his approach to chase milestones) and will alter the approach that has led to him being the 25-30 HR guy that he is.

We all want him to succeed and be the best player he can be. We just don't want his ego getting in the way of doing so. Given his history, there's legitimate basis for concern.

klw
03-05-2010, 01:27 PM
Forget the homers, I don't see Brandon getting to 40 steals especially from the 4 hole in the lineup. He has only stolen more than 25 once and never more than 32.

CTA513
03-05-2010, 01:43 PM
It's not an anti-Phillips argument. Actually, it's pro-Phillips--and that's why it argues that he shouldn't do things that are bad for his game. Trying actively to hit more homers exacerbates BP's weaknesses as a hitter. We in the pro-Phillips camps would like to see him succeed with a new approach!

You pretty much have to agree with what Phillips does and says or be considered anti-Phillips on here.

Brutus
03-05-2010, 01:47 PM
The difference here is that Adam Dunn hits 40 HR simply by doing what he does. We know he's capable of 40 HR because he's done it with regularity.

Maybe Phillips is capable of 40 HR too. But chances are that it's not in the cards. If Phillips is just saying that he's going out and do what he does, and thinks that 40 HR might happen, then good for him. Confidence is important. But the worry is that Phillips is rather on a quest for 40 HR (he has a history of altering his approach to chase milestones) and will alter the approach that has led to him being the 25-30 HR guy that he is.

We all want him to succeed and be the best player he can be. We just don't want his ego getting in the way of doing so. Given his history, there's legitimate basis for concern.

Adam Dunn has a lot of power, more than Phillips. But he also went up a lot of at bats swinging for the fences. If he didn't get a pitch he could hit out of the ballpark, he settled for a walk. And hey, I'm not complaining about that - those walks were great. But make no mistake, people are talking about Phillips' average suffering by swinging for the fences, but that's precisely what happened with Dunn the day he got up.

I don't mind saying there's a difference with their approach. Dunn still got on base an awful lot. Don't misconstrue what I'm saying. But it's just funny that one player is lauded for having a hitting approach that includes swinging for the fences and striking out, but one is criticized for claiming he will try to hit more bombs.

It's silly.

Nasty_Boy
03-05-2010, 01:57 PM
Dunn's strength was hitting homeruns and he didn't take a wild falling down hack in his attempt... Phillips is more of a linedrive hitter with great backside ability, and many times he alters his swing and approach in attempting to hit his big flies. And Phillips clearly doesn't have the contact issues that Dunn has... Isn't Dunn more dangerous looking for HRs or taking walks? Isn't Phillips more dangerous using the gaps and driving the ball to RF rather swinging from his heels on a 1st pitch? Play to your strength

Brutus
03-05-2010, 02:02 PM
Dunn's strength was hitting homeruns and he didn't take a wild falling down hack in his attempt... Phillips is more of a linedrive hitter with great backside ability, and many times he alters his swing and approach in attempting to hit his big flies. And Phillips clearly doesn't have the contact issues that Dunn has... Isn't Dunn more dangerous looking for HRs or taking walks? Isn't Phillips more dangerous using the gaps and driving the ball to RF rather swinging from his heels on a 1st pitch? Play to your strength

I have been saying for a few years that if Brandon would stop trying to hit home runs, I feel he WILL hit a lot more home runs. So from that standpoint, I don't want him going up there swinging for the fences. I hope that he doesn't. But I'm also not understanding the issue with him saying he wants to be a 40/40 guy. Shouldn't all Reds fans want that for him? The jury is still out what he's going to do to be that player (i.e. whether or not it will cause him to try too hard), so people shouldn't get all bent out of shape about it.

Blitz Dorsey
03-05-2010, 02:04 PM
Yeah, what a jerk. I would much rather him come out and say he is hoping to have a 10/10 season with an OPS around .650.

C'mon people, what is wrong with setting your goals high? In case you haven't noticed, BP is going to swing from his heels no matter what he says to the media. He is never going to change that. But I still like him ... he's a good all-around player offensively and defensively. He is too much of a free swinger for my tastes, but I can live with that because he is so much better than the average MLB second baseman.

jojo
03-05-2010, 02:12 PM
Of course. He's still pretty young, and getting better. But improvement will be incremental. So why not say he needs to keep doing what he's been doing -- improve? If you've been watching closely, you know he's been getting more consistent, having few throwaway ABs. I really don't know what more you can realistically ask. People see the athletic talent and assume he can make a giant leap forward simply by wanting to. Doesn't work that way.

If I see him going backwards I'll acknowledge it. But it hasn't happened.

Young and getting better?

Phillips is what he is...

2006: wOBA= .331
2007: wOBA= .354
2008: wOBA= .324
2009: wOBA= .337

He's basically something like an average major league hitter who has a plus glove. Looking at his bat a little closer, we see he struggles against righties and mashes lefties. Overall, that makes him something like a 3 WAR/yr player.

That's not hating on him...it's looking at him and objectively describing his true skill level.

lollipopcurve
03-05-2010, 02:25 PM
Young and getting better?

Phillips is what he is...

2006: wOBA= .331
2007: wOBA= .354
2008: wOBA= .324
2009: wOBA= .337

He's basically something like an average major league hitter who has a plus glove. Looking at his bat a little closer, we see he struggles against righties and mashes lefties. Overall, that makes him something like a 3 WAR/yr player.

That's not hating on him...it's looking at him and objectively describing his true skill level.

So, wOBA is the only measure by which Phillips can be judged? Sorry, but I disagree. Offensively, he has improved his plate approach over the last few years. Defensively, he has improved his turn on the double play. Not monumental, but he is a more consistent, better rounded player than he was before. If you've watched him much over the time he's been with the Reds, this is clear. If you're inclined to evaluate players by reducing everything to a single stat, it is not so clear.

nate
03-05-2010, 02:28 PM
Forget the homers, I don't see Brandon getting to 40 steals especially from the 4 hole in the lineup. He has only stolen more than 25 once and never more than 32.

Yes. And if he improved his out avoidance, he'd be in a position to steal more.

bucksfan2
03-05-2010, 02:44 PM
I have been saying for a few years that if Brandon would stop trying to hit home runs, I feel he WILL hit a lot more home runs. So from that standpoint, I don't want him going up there swinging for the fences. I hope that he doesn't. But I'm also not understanding the issue with him saying he wants to be a 40/40 guy. Shouldn't all Reds fans want that for him? The jury is still out what he's going to do to be that player (i.e. whether or not it will cause him to try too hard), so people shouldn't get all bent out of shape about it.

The basic idea of hitting is pretty simple. Stay back, square up the ball, drive up the middle. Stuff taught early on in baseball applies even at the highest levels. Granted it is a very difficult skill to master, and as you advance you need certain physical skills, such as wrist speed, that very few people have.

I remember reading an article years ago about Griffey Jr. He said that he is really locked on as a hitter when he is hitting home runs out to LC field. Even the biggest pull hitters in the game will pull the ball when they square it up, but the longer they stay with the ball, the harder they hit the ball.

I am in complete agreement with you about Phillips, and pretty much anybody. The harder you swing the worse off you are. Sure if you swing all out you may square up a ball once in a while, but odds are your balance will be off and you won't have very good results. As a fan I want BP to always stay within himself. Don't try and do something he can't. He has very good power, but isn't a power hitter. In today's game a 40 HR season is a monster season for even power hitters. To be quite honest I would be quite happy if BP 40 doubles to compliment his 40 SB's.

jojo
03-05-2010, 02:52 PM
So, wOBA is the only measure by which Phillips can be judged? Sorry, but I disagree. Offensively, he has improved his plate approach over the last few years. Defensively, he has improved his turn on the double play. Not monumental, but he is a more consistent, better rounded player than he was before. If you've watched him much over the time he's been with the Reds, this is clear. If you're inclined to evaluate players by reducing everything to a single stat, it is not so clear.

Pick a stat that demonstrates that the apparent trend in his BB/K ratio has meaningfully made his bat more valuable...

BTW if you look at his time as a Red, here's his BB/K ratio:

2006: .40
2007: .30
2008: .42
2009: .59

Trend or variation?

This isn't a case of myopically distilling him down to one metric..... it's testing the narrative by digging deeper to look for supporting evidence....

TheNext44
03-05-2010, 02:52 PM
Am I the only one that read where he said he was a bad teammate?



I didn't read that at all, in fact I read the opposite.


“There are other things I’d like to do, but that depends on the type of team we have and my teammates,” he said.
When it was mentioned that he is capable of another 30/30 season, he said quickly, “Quite honestly, I’m capable of 40/40. It just depends on where I’m hitting and the situations that go along with the game. It depends on the team, really.”

I could be wrong, but it seems to me like he is saying that he is capable of going 40/40, but he hasn't because that approach would be bad for the team.

lollipopcurve
03-05-2010, 03:14 PM
Pick a stat that demonstrates that the apparent trend in his BB/K ratio has meaningfully made his bat more valuable...

BTW if you look at his time as a Red, here's his BB/K ratio:

2006: .40
2007: .30
2008: .42
2009: .59

Trend or variation?

This isn't a case of myopically distilling him down to one metric..... it's testing the narrative by digging deeper to look for supporting evidence....

I'll take trend. See the 3-year trajectory.

It's been evident anyway.

I understand where you're coming from. I'm not claiming Phillips is going to improve so much that he becomes a "different" player, or, in the lingo, breaks through the threshold of statistical significance in any particular measure. But there is no doubt that he has evolved as a player and can do more situationally than he could before. This applies to offense and defense. We can debate all day whether that means he's a better player than before, and there will be no resolution.

Important fact to keep in mind -- Phillips played hurt a lot last year. How that affected his performance isn't really clear, but I do think it's safe to say 2010 will provide an interesting twist or two in his statistical storyline.

osuceltic
03-05-2010, 03:45 PM
What no one seems to acknowledge is that the same approach doesn't work for everyone. Some guys can milk counts and wait for a mistake pitch even when they get to two-strike counts. Some need to be more aggressive or else they become defensive at the plate. Phillips is an aggressive hitter. He takes big swings early in the count and, when he's at his best, takes a more controlled swing with two strikes. I have no problem with this approach.

Does he get into ruts where he opens up his left shoulder and pulls off the ball? Yep. Him and about 300 other big-leaguers. Is he an ideal cleanup hitter? Nope. But this team doesn't have an ideal cleanup hitter -- unless Jay Bruce breaks out (and even then you have the lefty-lefty issue, which is a legitimate issue although not necessarily a deal-breaker). Don't hammer Phillips for hitting cleanup, though. Someone has to.

As for the 40/40 thing, who cares what he says? He's ambitious. That's a good thing. He's not going to get to 40/40, but if he even puts up another 30/30 season, this team is going to be pretty good.

camisadelgolf
03-05-2010, 07:36 PM
Does anyone find it interesting that BP's best full year of his career was the year he had the worst peripherals?

Ron Madden
03-06-2010, 01:40 AM
I've always rooted for Brandon Phillips, I root for all the Reds.

Hell I predicted the Reds would sign Willy Traveras and that it would be a huge mistake. That didn't stop me from rooting for him to get on base each and every time he came to the plate.

IMHO Phillips is doing a disservice to himself and the ball club when he swings so hard he falls to one knee.

Nobody can hit when they are off balance. Brandon may have cut down on his K's but he is still making too many outs. What good is making contact when you just roll it over and hit weak grounders to SS?

Spring~Fields
03-06-2010, 11:42 AM
What do I know about Brandon Phillips ? :dunno: I am not really sure.


Brandon Phillips
AB BA OBP SLG OPS
399 2006 vs. Right .268 .315 .429 .744
442 2007 vs. Right .262 .310 .428 .738
397 2008 vs. Right .247 .293 .383 .676
438 2009 vs. Right .267 .324 .416 .740
1676 .261 .310 .414 .724

Offense ?
This above is what he hits season after season against the most AB and PA that he sees each season, so I guess we can say that we know that about Phillips. Is that good enough for a second baseman? Seems like it might be. Is it good enough for cleanup or for the roles that his manager places him in?

Defense ?
We know he is a very good fielding second baseman.

Team player, attitude ?
I guess we could send C. Trent over to test him on the team player issue. C. Trent could bait him with questions about Chapman getting all the headlines, attention and special treatment, and see how Phillips responds.

Wish list ?
Though I guess that I would much rather Phillips be a player that could place the bat in a certain manner that makes contact with the ball, causing the ball to go to where it doesn’t become an out or a double play with greater frequency or achieve a walk when the other option isn’t available in a given situation, more so than the teams diplomat and spin doctor on leadership, team player, and being the only one qualified to hit cleanup for the Reds and less transparent. He often comes across in the press on the latter issues as if he is consistently below a .700 OPS in those situations with the media, if his communications could be measured in such a manner.

40/40 ?
I don’t think so.

Blitz Dorsey
03-06-2010, 11:51 AM
By far the biggest thing BP needs to work on is avoiding double plays. I have never seen a fast guy who GIDPs more than him. (Partially because he swings from his heels and it takes him so long to get out of the box.) I don't have the numbers in front of me, but he's racked up the DPs in recent years.

But again, I like the guy ... he is way better offensively and defensively than the average Major League second baseman.

RedsManRick
03-06-2010, 01:36 PM
Adam Dunn has a lot of power, more than Phillips. But he also went up a lot of at bats swinging for the fences. If he didn't get a pitch he could hit out of the ballpark, he settled for a walk. And hey, I'm not complaining about that - those walks were great. But make no mistake, people are talking about Phillips' average suffering by swinging for the fences, but that's precisely what happened with Dunn the day he got up.

I don't mind saying there's a difference with their approach. Dunn still got on base an awful lot. Don't misconstrue what I'm saying. But it's just funny that one player is lauded for having a hitting approach that includes swinging for the fences and striking out, but one is criticized for claiming he will try to hit more bombs.

It's silly.

There's a big difference. Dunn was a crappy contact hitter with a great eye. He just wasn't good at making contact with the baseball, even within the strike zone. But he did have massive power. His approach was 100% built to maximize his relatively unique skill set -- take pitches you can't hit, which is a lot pitches; try to crush the ones you can. Make up for the lack of singles with walks

Phillips is a much better contact hitter than Dunn, but with less power. However, he doesn't have Dunn's eye. So when he goes up trying to crush the ball, he not only reduces his contact rate further (watch him lunge at low & away sliders constantly when he's ahead in the count and gearing up to crush something), but he doesn't end up with the homers Dunn does nor the walks -- because he's not taking the pitches that he can't crush.

A batter's approach needs to be tailored to his skill set. And Phillips is no Adam Dunn. When Phillips is utilizing his skill set, he's going with pitches away in the zone and driving them in to the gap, hitting for a solid average, while demonstrating good pull power on stuff left over the plate. If you are the kind of guy who can regularly drive outside stuff over opposite field fence, you aren't going to hit 40 HR. And I don't think Phillips has the power to do that with any regularity.

I think the problem here is one we've discussed a lot, particularly with Dunn. I would have loved it if Dunn was a .300 hitter -- but he simply didn't have the skill set to do that. I would love it if Phillips was a 40/40 guy -- but he doesn't have the skill set to do it. And when guys go up to the plate trying to be something they're not, they become less productive players.

As I said earlier, if Phillips is just saying "I hope I get 40/40 this year while doing what I'm good at", then more power to him. But if he's saying, "I'm going to out there and actively try to do 40/40" then I think it's a mistake.

Roy Tucker
03-06-2010, 01:46 PM
There's a big difference. Dunn was a crappy contact hitter with a great eye. He just wasn't good at making contact with the baseball, even within the strike zone. But he did have massive power. His approach was 100% built to maximize his relatively unique skill set -- take pitches you can't hit, which is a lot pitches; try to crush the ones you can. Make up for the lack of singles with walks

Phillips is a much better contact hitter than, but with less power. However, he doesn't have Dunn's eye. So when he goes up trying to crush the ball, he not only reduces his contact rate further (watch him lunge at low & away sliders constantly when he's ahead in the count and gearing up to crush something), but he doesn't end up with the homers Dunn does nor the walks -- because he's not taking the pitches that he can't crush.

A batter's approach needs to be tailored to his skill set. And Phillips is no Adam Dunn. When Phillips is utilizing his skill set, he's going with pitches away in the zone and driving them in to the gap, hitting for a solid average, while demonstrating good pull power on stuff left over the plate. If you are the kind of guy who can regularly drive outside stuff over opposite field fence, you aren't going to hit 40 HR. And I don't think Phillips has the power to do that with any regularity.

I think the problem here is one we've discussed a lot, particularly with Dunn. I would have loved it if Dunn was a .300 hitter -- but he simply didn't have the skill set to do that. I would love it if Phillips was a 40/40 guy -- but he doesn't have the skill set to do it. And when guys go up to the plate trying to be something they're not, they become less productive players.

As I said earlier, if Phillips is just saying "I hope I get 40/40 this year while doing what I'm good at", then more power to him. But if he's saying, "I'm going to out there and actively try to do 40/40" then I think it's a mistake.

Well-stated :thumbup:

Maximize the things you do well and minimize the things you don't.

traderumor
03-06-2010, 01:59 PM
You pretty much have to agree with what Phillips does and says or be considered anti-Phillips on here.I find it pretty hard to complain about his contract, offense and defense in the last four years for his position. Most of the ragging I see on BP are folks who don't like his personality, which is a big "so what" to me. He is a good all around ballplayer that does his job and is a plus on the Reds position by position, so that he wants to set lofty goals for himself is fine by me.

BTW, Phillips approach is generally swing hard early, try to put the ball in play later in the count. He can't really help it that he is placed in the middle of the order when he is a six hole hitter.

RedsManRick
03-06-2010, 02:12 PM
Does anyone find it interesting that BP's best full year of his career was the year he had the worst peripherals?

That is indeed interesting. Though I found something interesting that explains at least some of that oddity. In 2007, Phillips had the highest percentage of PA against lefties that he's ever had as a Red. It was also his best year against lefties (though 2nd to 2008 in terms of the size of his platoon split).



PA OPS OPS vL %PA vL OPS vR %PA vR nOPS Diff
2006 587 .751 .774 25.7% .743 74.3% .752 .001
2007 702 .816 .984 31.6% .737 68.4% .806 -.010
2008 609 .754 .944 29.4% .676 70.6% .751 .003
2009 644 .777 .883 24.7% .740 75.3% .780 .003
Total 2542 .776 .900 28.0% .725 72.0% .774 .002

nOPS is the normalized OPS where I used the weighted average (wAVG) to calculate what his OPS would have been if he had performed the same in his splits but using his average opportunity splits. Not a huge effect, but he definitely got a boost in his overall line by getting to face more lefties in 2007.

Spring~Fields
03-06-2010, 07:56 PM
That is indeed interesting. Though I found something interesting that explains at least some of that oddity. In 2007, Phillips had the highest percentage of PA against lefties that he's ever had as a Red. It was also his best year against lefties (though 2nd to 2008 in terms of the size of his platoon split).



PA OPS OPS vL %PA vL OPS vR %PA vR nOPS Diff
2006 587 .751 .774 25.7% .743 74.3% .752 .001
2007 702 .816 .984 31.6% .737 68.4% .806 -.010
2008 609 .754 .944 29.4% .676 70.6% .751 .003
2009 644 .777 .883 24.7% .740 75.3% .780 .003
Total 2542 .776 .900 28.0% .725 72.0% .774 .002

nOPS is the normalized OPS where I used the weighted average (wAVG) to calculate what his OPS would have been if he had performed the same in his splits but using his average opportunity splits. Not a huge effect, but he definitely got a boost in his overall line by getting to face more lefties in 2007.

In your opinion, what is the appropriate role for an offensive player with those stats above as you interpret them? Not that I have some major grasp on what you are telling us in your work above, not at all. But what is your opinion of his best usage where he can excel and achieve a higher level of success or benefit to the team?

jojo
03-06-2010, 08:30 PM
IMHO Dusty should bat Phillips higher in the order against lefties and lower in the order against righties (assuming the Reds have better options against righties)...

Spring~Fields
03-06-2010, 09:41 PM
IMHO Dusty should bat Phillips higher in the order against lefties and lower in the order against righties (assuming the Reds have better options against righties)...

Your opin seems perfect for the benefit of Phillips and the team to me.

RedsManRick
03-06-2010, 10:21 PM
In your opinion, what is the appropriate role for an offensive player with those stats above as you interpret them? Not that I have some major grasp on what you are telling us in your work above, not at all. But what is your opinion of his best usage where he can excel and achieve a higher level of success or benefit to the team?

It's pretty straight forward. When there's a lefty starter, bat him 2nd or 3rd. When there's a righty pitcher, bat him 6th or 7th. Batting him 4th against righties is really a crime. You're talking about a guy with a .400 SLG batting cleanup 75-80% of the time. Would Dusty have bat Jerry Hairston cleanup? Because that's basically what Phillips is against righties, minus a few walks.

Or put it this way, Chris Dickerson is easily a better choice for cleanup against righties than Phillips.