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View Full Version : Brandon Phillips: #adifferentidentity



Homer Bailey
06-16-2011, 12:27 PM
http://proxy.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=6665894



Meet @DatDudeBP: a two-time Gold Glove winner and All-Star for the Reds who tells it like it is and has engaged fans like no other ballplayer through Twitter this season, a move that initially had his general manager, manager and some teammates wary about what they might have to clean up.

Yet it seems as though @DatDudeBP just might be helping Phillips erase a public perception that has been askew, allowing him to open more of a window into his true personality. It has some teammates wondering whether the social networking has actually helped him play better.


Cool video attached as well.

jojo
06-16-2011, 12:42 PM
It has some teammates wondering whether the social networking has actually helped him play better.

If that's actually the case, then it sure hasn't been working the last few months concerning his bat.

camisadelgolf
06-16-2011, 01:44 PM
If that's actually the case, then it sure hasn't been working the last few months concerning his bat.
I'm sorry to nitpick, but he was one of the best hitters in the NL for the first month-and-a-half of the season or so. But you're right--he's been struggling the past month--ever since the Cleveland series--with a slash line (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS) of .209/.275/.245/.520 since May 20th. It's amazing how much of a slump 23 hits over 25 games can look. If Gomes had gotten hits at the rate during his slump, it would've been practically tolerable.

Brutus
06-16-2011, 01:51 PM
I'm sorry to nitpick, but he was one of the best hitters in the NL for the first month-and-a-half of the season or so. But you're right--he's been struggling the past month--ever since the Cleveland series--with a slash line (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS) of .209/.275/.245/.520 since May 20th. It's amazing how much of a slump 23 hits over 25 games can look. If Gomes had gotten hits at the rate during his slump, it would've been practically tolerable.

I think their point, and one that I definitely agree with, is that he seems more at ease at the plate. Even though he's struggled a bit, he seems more focused and less likely to change his approach too much because of the slump.

I don't think you're nitpicking, camisa.

jojo
06-16-2011, 02:05 PM
I'm sorry to nitpick, but he was one of the best hitters in the NL for the first month-and-a-half of the season or so. But you're right--he's been struggling the past month--ever since the Cleveland series--with a slash line (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS) of .209/.275/.245/.520 since May 20th. It's amazing how much of a slump 23 hits over 25 games can look. If Gomes had gotten hits at the rate during his slump, it would've been practically tolerable.

I'm looking for the nit thats actually pickable... here are his numbers for May/June: 174 PAs, .241/,298/.310, wOBA=.274. That's a pretty awful 42 game followup to an unsustainable 29 game stretch in March/April.

Back in April there were some who argued vociferously that Phillips has matured into a much better hitter now than when he first became a Red because he has a much better approach etc.

The truth was that Phillips is basically still the same league average hitter, his current awful slump notwithstanding.

But ya, twittering has not really made him a better player.

Razor Shines
06-16-2011, 02:19 PM
But ya, twittering has not really made him a better player.

It hasn't? Great. I had just set a plan in motion to start twittering more and try to get back into baseball.

VR
06-16-2011, 02:35 PM
It hasn't? Great. I had just set a plan in motion to start twittering more and try to get back into baseball.

"lol"


Glad BP is a Red.

camisadelgolf
06-16-2011, 02:42 PM
I'm looking for the nit thats actually pickable... here are his numbers for May/June: 174 PAs, .241/,298/.310, wOBA=.274. That's a pretty awful 42 game followup to an unsustainable 29 game stretch in March/April.

Back in April there were some who argued vociferously that Phillips has matured into a much better hitter now than when he first became a Red because he has a much better approach etc.

The truth was that Phillips is basically still the same league average hitter, his current awful slump notwithstanding.

But ya, twittering has not really made him a better player.
You said he hasn't been hitting the past few months. At the end of May, he had an OPS of .800, which is hardly struggling. I was nitpicking in that sense.

GoReds
06-16-2011, 03:19 PM
What has Phillips been hitting since he was plunked on the wrist?

OesterPoster
06-16-2011, 03:21 PM
What has Phillips been hitting since he was plunked on the wrist?

More than once in about the same spot. I think one was in Philly or Atlanta, the other in San Fran? I've been wondering if he's a little sore too, because he's made a few atypical BP throws lately.

Checked...HBP on 5/7, 5/21, 5/25, 6/1, and 6/8. I can't recall which two of those were the hand/wrist area though.

jojo
06-16-2011, 03:22 PM
You said he hasn't been hitting the past few months. At the end of May, he had an OPS of .800, which is hardly struggling. I was nitpicking in that sense.

At the end of April he had an OPS of .940.... given a drop of .140 over the month (he had an OPS of .632 for the month of May), it's fair to describe his May as a struggle.

Obviously, I think he's a better hitter than his last 140 PAs (clearly I think he's a roughly league average hitter) so I'm not suggesting Phillips sucks because given his defense, overall he's an above average player. What I'm wondering is how some of his teammates could suggest that twittering has made him a better player given his play over almost 2/3rds of this season which can best be described as a prolonged slump.

Caveat Emperor
06-16-2011, 03:33 PM
What I'm wondering is how some of his teammates could suggest that twittering has made him a better player given his play over almost 2/3rds of this season which can best be described as a prolonged slump.

Because baseball players are:

A. Superstitious, and likely to attribute in-game meaning to out-of-game events or activities.
B. Not focused on isolated segments of ABs or PAs and often content to let numbers play out over the course of the season.
C. Focused on attitude, demeanor, and desire to win over individual numbers of teammates.
D. All of the above.

Brutus
06-16-2011, 03:40 PM
Because baseball players are:

A. Superstitious, and likely to attribute in-game meaning to out-of-game events or activities.
B. Not focused on isolated segments of ABs or PAs and often content to let numbers play out over the course of the season.
C. Focused on attitude, demeanor, and desire to win over individual numbers of teammates.
D. All of the above.

I'll add one more to this list.

As the saying goes, 'mind right, body right.'

Twitter could be Phillips' way of relaxing when he's not playing and keeps him more loose and from dwelling on slumps, which can obviously have an exponential effect if you start pressing.

jojo
06-16-2011, 03:43 PM
Because baseball players are:

A. Superstitious, and likely to attribute in-game meaning to out-of-game events or activities.

Probably some truth to that for some players...


B. Not focused on isolated segments of ABs or PAs and often content to let numbers play out over the course of the season.

Actually the only way a teammate could make such a statement would be to focus on April and selectively ignore other stuff because Phillips has a clear history of being a roughly league average bat with a plus glove while the majority of this season has been pretty dismal for him at the plate.


C. Focused on attitude, demeanor, and desire to win over individual numbers of teammates.

I'm not sure I understand this one fully but I think you're suggesting a focus on intangibles which I would concede some players might do.

Caveat Emperor
06-16-2011, 03:48 PM
Actually the only way a teammate could make such a statement would be to focus on April and selectively ignore other stuff because Phillips has a clear history of being a roughly league average bat with a plus glove while the majority of this season has been pretty dismal for him at the plate.

Players focus on skills -- Brandon can hit for power (hits HRs, has hit 30 in the past), can steal bases, and plays great defense. The fact that he happens to not be doing it right now, for whatever reason, is less important than the fact that he could (or has done it in the past). Brandon doesn't cease having those skills when he's slumping.

Plus, I think it's probably worth considering that players who know Brandon personally probably view his numbers and game in a different light than the average fan, or a fan such as yourself who consistently refutes people who attempt to describe Brandon as anything other than a "slightly above average" second baseman.

Patrick Bateman
06-16-2011, 03:52 PM
I'll add one more to this list.

As the saying goes, 'mind right, body right.'

Twitter could be Phillips' way of relaxing when he's not playing and keeps him more loose and from dwelling on slumps, which can obviously have an exponential effect if you start pressing.

Just an honest question.

Doesn't that seem like a bit of a stretch considering that the current stats to date don't even support the hypothesis?

Isn't it more possible that it has had no effect knowing that his stats to date are reasonably close to both his projections and history?

jojo
06-16-2011, 04:10 PM
Just an honest question.

Doesn't that seem like a bit of a stretch considering that the current stats to date don't even support the hypothesis?

Isn't it more possible that it has had no effect knowing that his stats to date are reasonably close to both his projections and history?

Actually if one was to buy into the notion that twittering relaxes Phillips and that twittering impacts his performance, one would have to conclude that Phillips plays worse when relaxed. :eek:

Brutus
06-16-2011, 04:13 PM
Just an honest question.

Doesn't that seem like a bit of a stretch considering that the current stats to date don't even support the hypothesis?

Isn't it more possible that it has had no effect knowing that his stats to date are reasonably close to both his projections and history?


Are you familiar with the idea of compounding a problem? Slumps are going to happen no matter what.

But a 5-for-32 stretch can become an 8-for-60 stretch if you allow it to get to you mentally.

That concept is a very basic to psychology. Don't know why that would be a stretch.

Projections and career history tell us something about his skill level or where he's likely to hit. They don't remotely guarantee the results, nor do they matter a lick if someone starts pressing and makes a slump worse because they get frustrated.

jojo
06-16-2011, 04:18 PM
Players focus on skills -- Brandon can hit for power (hits HRs, has hit 30 in the past), can steal bases, and plays great defense. The fact that he happens to not be doing it right now, for whatever reason, is less important than the fact that he could (or has done it in the past). Brandon doesn't cease having those skills when he's slumping.

Plus, I think it's probably worth considering that players who know Brandon personally probably view his numbers and game in a different light than the average fan, or a fan such as yourself who consistently refutes people who attempt to describe Brandon as anything other than a "slightly above average" second baseman.

It's probably a given that players may view numbers differently. It's not a given that because they do, they do so appropriately.

You're a very smart guy and also a guy who knows his way around a stat. Phillips' bat has been almost exactly league average for 4 of the past 5 seasons and it's looking to be roughly league average again this season. The one season he was above average was due to a power spike that he has not been able to duplicate.

Given this, would it be sound analysis by a teammate to view Brandon as a 30 hr guy and the 2007 bat? Or would the bone head, pencil pushing fan be closer to the truth by asserting Phillips is a 20 hr guy who overall should be expected to be a league average bat?

Where is the pejorative in suggesting Phillips is "merely" an above average player? That's honestly an offensive label?

RedLegSuperStar
06-16-2011, 05:37 PM
MLBTradeRumors take on the article:

Phillips Wants Paid..Just Not Sabathia or Werth Money (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/06/brandon-phillips-on-his-future-in-cincinnati.html?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=twitterfeed)

RedLegSuperStar
06-16-2011, 05:40 PM
Having a Gold Glove All Star at 2nd base for another 3-4 years would be nice.. and what he has done for the community is beyond words..I say give him his $12+ Million a year. Kid is worth it.

reds44
06-16-2011, 06:46 PM
Having a Gold Glove All Star at 2nd base for another 3-4 years would be nice.. and what he has done for the community is beyond words..I say give him his $12+ Million a year. Kid is worth it.
Ehh. I don't know about this. There's no doubt I'd pick up his option for next year, but do you really want Brandon Phillips at $12+ million when he's 34 or 35?

fearofpopvol1
06-16-2011, 07:11 PM
Ehh. I don't know about this. There's no doubt I'd pick up his option for next year, but do you really want Brandon Phillips at $12+ million when he's 34 or 35?

I don't know if he's worth $12M a year, but who would replace him?

Patrick Bateman
06-16-2011, 07:24 PM
Are you familiar with the idea of compounding a problem? Slumps are going to happen no matter what.

But a 5-for-32 stretch can become an 8-for-60 stretch if you allow it to get to you mentally.

That concept is a very basic to psychology. Don't know why that would be a stretch.

Projections and career history tell us something about his skill level or where he's likely to hit. They don't remotely guarantee the results, nor do they matter a lick if someone starts pressing and makes a slump worse because they get frustrated.

That doesn't really address the point I was trying to make.
I apologize if I wasn't clear.

The fact that Phillip's production since the Twitter account, if anything, has regressed. I honestly believe that it is completely coincedental because I am sure there are far more relaxing ways for Phillips to relieve stress than to tweet.

For me to believe that tweeting has had a positive influence on his hitting stats, I would also have to believe that without twitter, he would be currently OPSing somewhere below .700.

Of course prior year stats and projections don't guarantee results, but considering his likely career trajectory, and all of those things, I think it is reasonable that everyone had a reasonable expectation going into the year on the type of player Phillips is.

All things considered, he hasn't improved over last year.... so either Twitter isn't helping, or Phillips' talent has regressed significantly since last year, with the new Twitter account making up the gap.

jojo
06-16-2011, 07:28 PM
I don't know if he's worth $12M a year, but who would replace him?

It all depends upon the contract (probably with Phillips, the length) but on the open market, a 3 WAR player would be worth $12M.

The issue is who would replace him?

If you could get a league average player (approx. 2-2.5 WAR) for $1-2M, would it be worth saving $10M and buying another player?

If Phillips was willing to sign at market rate for 3 yrs plus options that the Reds control, the Reds should probably be all over it giving his defense. They probably could work out a friendly contract concerning deferments etc.

It's actually pretty hard to say what the Reds should do without knowing things like what payroll they'll have etc.

jojo
06-16-2011, 07:29 PM
All things considered, he hasn't improved over last year.... so either Twitter isn't helping, or Phillips' talent has regressed significantly since last year, with the new Twitter account making up the gap.

I favor a third option-twittering doesn't impact his production much at all.

reds44
06-16-2011, 07:38 PM
I don't know if he's worth $12M a year, but who would replace him?
The Reds have a year and a half and two offseasons to figure that out.

PuffyPig
06-16-2011, 07:53 PM
I favor a third option-twittering doesn't impact his production much at all.

Why that's just ridiculous.

Twittering has a profound affect on every aspect of everyone's life.

24/7.

If Votto twittered, he'd OPS about 1.666 I would guess.

In fact, I doubt that Bonds and Magwire actually used steroids. I'm guessing they twittered each other to record breaking HR numbers.

Brutus
06-16-2011, 09:23 PM
That doesn't really address the point I was trying to make.
I apologize if I wasn't clear.

The fact that Phillip's production since the Twitter account, if anything, has regressed. I honestly believe that it is completely coincedental because I am sure there are far more relaxing ways for Phillips to relieve stress than to tweet.

For me to believe that tweeting has had a positive influence on his hitting stats, I would also have to believe that without twitter, he would be currently OPSing somewhere below .700.

Of course prior year stats and projections don't guarantee results, but considering his likely career trajectory, and all of those things, I think it is reasonable that everyone had a reasonable expectation going into the year on the type of player Phillips is.

All things considered, he hasn't improved over last year.... so either Twitter isn't helping, or Phillips' talent has regressed significantly since last year, with the new Twitter account making up the gap.

His power is way down right now, but his strikeouts are also at an all-time low. It's hard to draw any conclusions either way, but a case could be made he's become a better hitter this year, if we accept that the power outage isn't anything to be alarmed about.

Patrick Bateman
06-16-2011, 09:29 PM
His power is way down right now, but his strikeouts are also at an all-time low. It's hard to draw any conclusions either way, but a case could be made he's become a better hitter this year, if we accept that the power outage isn't anything to be alarmed about.

We could also draw a conclusion that the more patient approach has cost him some power. Or it could be small sample that both pieces will regress to the norm.

There are literally a million explanations. I'm suggesting that you're hypothesis focuses on perhaps the 700,000th most likely to be the correct reason to attribute.

savafan
06-16-2011, 09:38 PM
Man, we can't be positive about anything, can we?

Brutus
06-16-2011, 09:39 PM
Man, we can't be positive about anything, can we?

It kinda feels like that.

Brutus
06-16-2011, 09:41 PM
We could also draw a conclusion that the more patient approach has cost him some power. Or it could be small sample that both pieces will regress to the norm.

There are literally a million explanations. I'm suggesting that you're hypothesis focuses on perhaps the 700,000th most likely to be the correct reason to attribute.

Historically, players continue to have an upward trend in discipline their entire career. Guys' strikeout/walk rates continue to improve all the way through 40, traditionally. Power numbers do vary, but they typically don't fall off this quickly.

So my hypothesis is probably one of strong historical support.

jojo
06-16-2011, 09:48 PM
Man, we can't be positive about anything, can we?

It was argued in this very thread that Phillips is an above average player.

It this not positive enough?

Patrick Bateman
06-16-2011, 09:51 PM
Historically, players continue to have an upward trend in discipline their entire career. Guys' strikeout/walk rates continue to improve all the way through 40, traditionally. Power numbers do vary, but they typically don't fall off this quickly.

So my hypothesis is probably one of strong historical support.

I agree with you in the thought that Phillip's power is likely to bounce back, while his "improved" plate discipline has a decent chance of holding up, as it does appear that he is taking a better approach without limiting his stroke.

I just think that you are attributing the improvement to the wrong thing (Twitter).

You even mention in your above post that hitters historically improve their plate discipline as they age. Why can't that be the reason? Why must we assign improvement to something as silly as twitter, when he probably relaxes in a multitude of different ways much like every other person in the world? It's just a little too "grasping at straws" for me. It's something that is not proveable, and probably has no scientific merit. Matt Maloney posts on twitter, and that hasn't made much impact.

Anyways, to the point, there are litterally a million reasons for what could impact Phillips' performance that are just as likely, if not moreso than saying Twitter is the reason. I don't understand why we have to pick a reason simply because it's in front of us.

PuffyPig
06-16-2011, 09:53 PM
It's hard to draw any conclusions either way, but a case could be made he's become a better hitter this year, if we accept that the power outage isn't anything to be alarmed about.

Considering Phillips has the lowest OPS of his career, Johnny Cochran couldn't make that case.

It's easy to draw conclusions when you can weigh the facts objectively.

Brutus
06-16-2011, 09:56 PM
I agree with you in the thought that Phillip's power is likely to bounce back, while his "improved" plate discipline has a decent chance of holding up, as it does appear that he is taking a better approach without limiting his stroke.

I just think that you are attributing the improvement to the wrong thing (Twitter).

You even mention in your above post that hitters historically improve their plate discipline as they age. Why can't that be the reason? Why must we assign improvement to something as silly as twitter, when he probably relaxes in a multitude of different ways much like every other person in the world? It's just a little too "grasping at straws" for me. It's something that is not proveable, and probably has no scientific merit. Matt Maloney posts on twitter, and that hasn't made much impact.

Anyways, to the point, there are litterally a million reasons for what could impact Phillips' performance that are just as likely, if not moreso than saying Twitter is the reason. I don't understand why we have to pick a reason simply because it's in front of us.

I don't think Twitter makes people a better player. I do think that players are very much a product of their capacity to be in the right frame of mind. Twitter might be an outlet that helps Phillips re-focus himself when he's away from the field.

I don't know that's the case, nor am I saying I believe that's the case, but I don't think it's ridiculous. Sometimes the simplest of hobbies can help people clear their minds.

Also, to be fair, his teammates are the ones suggesting this. They would have a better perspective on it than we would, so while I'm taking those claims with a grain of salt, I think it's more credible than anyone here just wondering aloud.

Brutus
06-16-2011, 10:03 PM
Considering Phillips has the lowest OPS of his career, Johnny Cochran couldn't make that case.

It's easy to draw conclusions when you can weigh the facts objectively.

I'm glad, because Johnny Cochran probably hasn't watched Phillips play much this year.

If he did, I'm sure, like many baseball observers, he'd notice a guy showing much more discipline, less likely to chase balls way outside the zone and a guy that's much tougher to strike out these days.

Cochran would probably also not make the mistake of flatly using OPS to describe a hitter in totality, without considering the many aspects of the game that goes into that number.

Production and skill are different. It's possible that Phillips has improved and his production hasn't yet caught up. Since we're only about 40% into the season, Cochran wouldn't make his closing arguments until after he's vetted all his exhibits.

Patrick Bateman
06-16-2011, 10:05 PM
I'm glad, because Johnny Cochran probably hasn't watched Phillips play much this year.


Likely not considering he's dead!

Brutus
06-16-2011, 10:06 PM
Likely not consider he's dead!

Precisely.

PuffyPig
06-16-2011, 10:11 PM
Likely not considering he's dead!

Now your just being a racialist.......

Johnny is the man......

savafan
06-16-2011, 10:14 PM
It was argued in this very thread that Phillips is an above average player.

It this not positive enough?

No.

Best. 2nd Baseman. Ever.

fearofpopvol1
06-17-2011, 02:11 AM
The Reds have a year and a half and two offseasons to figure that out.

Thanks for the insight.