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Thread: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

  1. #46
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    It's a matter of WHERE you're hitting that ground ball. To the right side when a man is on first, the hole over there is huge due to the first-baseman holding the runner on.
    There's still a second baseman, isn't there? I mean, I understand good hitters can somewhat control where they hit the ball, but it's easier said than done, and intentionally putting the ball on the ground with a runner on first and less than two outs seems like a bad idea...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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  4. #47
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by smixsell View Post
    I want to make one thing clear which I probably didn't do as well as I should have in my earlier posts, I wholeheartedly agree that if BP stays exactly the hitter he has been up to this point in his career, yes he will hit into a lot of DPs.

    My whole thrust is that if BP make the adjustments to his approach at the plate which I beleive he is CAPABLE of making, he will be a fantastic #2 man. That's why I would place him there and encourage him to make the appropriate adjustments to his hitting approach. If he can't or won't make the proper adjustments, then on to plan B.
    But this goes back to the "great Stubbs debate." If a player is capable of doing something different than he has throughout his career that would cause him to be a significantly better player (e.g. Stubbs focusing on bunting to increase his BA/OBP while cutting down on his strikeouts, which are a product of swinging frely) then why hasn't that happened already? One would think that Phillips hitting at a .320/.400/.440 clip (dropping his increase in slugging due to more hits because of a new focus on singles rather than XBH) would make him instantly a better ballplayer than he is now.

    Players are organic creatures who have such exceptionally highly honed skills at the MLB level that expecting them to "change their stripes" is the exception rather than the rule. Like WOY said a while back- the worst player in MLB would be the best player that any of us would have ever played with by miles. Expecting them to change everything about their approach to the game- conceptually, physically, mentally, strategically, and so on- is a pretty large request for such an expert.
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  6. #48
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by smixsell View Post
    I want to make one thing clear which I probably didn't do as well as I should have in my earlier posts, I wholeheartedly agree that if BP stays exactly the hitter he has been up to this point in his career, yes he will hit into a lot of DPs.

    My whole thrust is that if BP make the adjustments to his approach at the plate which I beleive he is CAPABLE of making, he will be a fantastic #2 man. That's why I would place him there and encourage him to make the appropriate adjustments to his hitting approach. If he can't or won't make the proper adjustments, then on to plan B.
    This is your assertion:

    Quote Originally Posted by smixsell View Post
    If BP were willing to embrace wholeheartedly the 2 slot and be willing to give up 8-10 HR per year, he could be a .320 - .400 BA-OBP guy IMO. He has shown he has all the skills needed to do it, and has shown he CAN do it in stretches.
    Could Phillips hit .320 if he gave up 10 homers and 10 doubles? Well, he would have to hit 48 more singles per season, but honestly, yes, I bet he could come pretty close to doing it. But those 48 extra hits would only acquire 48 bases. And you just sacrificed 60 bases. That's just not worth it.

    I also think it is highly unlikely Phillips could improve his walk rate. He is who he is, and his pitch recognition is not something that can be altered by approach. He could become more patient, but that also means he is going to have ABs with more strikes--it's a give and take...
    Last edited by *BaseClogger*; 02-19-2013 at 02:01 PM.
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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  8. #49
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Me too. He'd create nothing but havoc. Plus, he'd still grab 100+ RBI. Though any combination of Choo, Votto and Phillips probably nets you a quality top of the lineup.
    I think 100 would be tough in the 2 spot.

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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by Plus Plus View Post
    But this goes back to the "great Stubbs debate." If a player is capable of doing something different than he has throughout his career that would cause him to be a significantly better player (e.g. Stubbs focusing on bunting to increase his BA/OBP while cutting down on his strikeouts, which are a product of swinging frely) then why hasn't that happened already? One would think that Phillips hitting at a .320/.400/.440 clip (dropping his increase in slugging due to more hits because of a new focus on singles rather than XBH) would make him instantly a better ballplayer than he is now.
    Has Phillips ever spent a full season at the top of the order? I know he's had some time there, but I'm interested to see what his approach is this season. I think it's possible he's never tried to be the on-base guy you talked about just because he's always been cast into roles where he thought he needed to drive in runs. I'm skeptical about whether he can change too, but I don't think it's at all comparable to Stubbs who consciously tried to be a certain player and failed miserably.

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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by Plus Plus View Post
    Players are organic creatures who have such exceptionally highly honed skills at the MLB level that expecting them to "change their stripes" is the exception rather than the rule.
    Yes it is the exception, but it can be done and it does happen. (In fact there are teams who have several players who can actually change their approach on an AB to AB basis). I think BP has shown every indication of being able to make the switch to a good top of the order OBP guy if he is willing to truly embrace it.


    BP is no Stubbs, they are at opposite sides of the "adaptability spectrum" thank the Lord.

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
    Has Phillips ever spent a full season at the top of the order? I know he's had some time there, but I'm interested to see what his approach is this season. I think it's possible he's never tried to be the on-base guy you talked about just because he's always been cast into roles where he thought he needed to drive in runs.
    This is really all I'm trying to say..... and yes he has been cast in that role, and perhaps even more importantly he LIKES that role, which is actually what's most likely to cause him to fail at the #2 spot if anything does. BP loves the HR.

  11. #52
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by smixsell View Post
    My whole thrust is that if BP make the adjustments to his approach at the plate which I beleive he is CAPABLE of making, he will be a fantastic #2 man. That's why I would place him there and encourage him to make the appropriate adjustments to his hitting approach. If he can't or won't make the proper adjustments, then on to plan B.
    No, he isn't. If he were capable of making said adjustment, he would have by now. He wouldn't top out at 46 walks as his career high. BP is what he is, and at 31, I don't envision any massive uptick in his patience at the plate. I like this team's offense, but it isn't like Phillips has played on too many bad teams offensively as a Red. so, the batting in front of or behind argument doesn't hold a ton of water for me. He's a hacker, with some pop and a great glove. But at the plate? He's not progressing. And that's ok. He's still well above average for his position.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  12. #53
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    No, he isn't. If he were capable of making said adjustment, he would have by now.
    No if he were capable and willing to make the adjustment he would have done so by now.

    The big question is, has a few more seasons with no WS ring made him more willing to make the adjustment.

    I have enough faith in BP as a competitor to think that maybe they have.

  13. #54
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by smixsell View Post
    No if he were capable and willing to make the adjustment he would have done so by now.

    The big question is, has a few more seasons with no WS ring made him more willing to make the adjustment.

    I have enough faith in BP as a competitor to think that maybe they have.
    history says it ain't happening. In fact, minus the steroid era, has a player ever jumped his OBP the way you suggest BP can after 8 MLB seasons?

    woy? anyone?
    Suck it up cupcake.

  14. #55
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    BP is no Stubbs, they are at opposite sides of the "adaptability spectrum" thank the Lord.
    I think you are confusing "adaptability" with "completely developed wrong by his drafting organization."
    Suck it up cupcake.

  15. #56
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    In fact, minus the steroid era, has a player ever jumped his OBP the way you suggest BP can after 8 MLB seasons?

    woy? anyone?
    Worth a look. I'm betting there have been a few guys who have had big BA or OBP jumps after establishing a clear pattern (ie at least 4 seasons).

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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    .....with "completely developed wrong by his drafting organization."
    I agree. In fact the Reds organization seems to have an aversion to walks and situational hitting.

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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by smixsell View Post
    No if he were capable and willing to make the adjustment he would have done so by now.

    The big question is, has a few more seasons with no WS ring made him more willing to make the adjustment.

    I have enough faith in BP as a competitor to think that maybe they have.
    Phillips has made adjustments when he felt they were needed.

    As I previously posted, in 2011 as a lead off hitter, Phillips had an OBP of .417 in 177 PAs. It's possible this is a random stretch, but my guess is that it reflects an adjustment he made to the lead off spot. (OTOH, he had a poor stretch hitting leadoff in 2012.)

    Now, Phillips had much less effective stats in the two hole in 2011. But it's very possible he could be coached -- "Brandon, you are hitting behind Choo and in front of Votto, you need to focus on OBP this year, don't worry about long balls so much, and try and walk a bit more."

    The bad part of this is that Phillips generally walks infrequently, hits a lot of grounders, and a high number of DPs.

    The good part of this is that Phillips is a real pro, he has made adjustments before, and if coached properly this year could be more patient, hit fewer DP balls, and succeed in the two hole.
    Last edited by Kc61; 02-19-2013 at 03:38 PM.

  18. #59
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    No, he isn't. If he were capable of making said adjustment, he would have by now.
    Why? I understand he's 31 and the odds of him successfully making that adjustment aren't great, but the idea that he's been striving in vain to be a table setter for the last seven years isn't true at all. I'm not saying he can do it, but I don't think it's as simple as saying he would have done it by now.

  19. #60
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by smixsell View Post
    Worth a look. I'm betting there have been a few guys who have had big BA or OBP jumps after establishing a clear pattern (ie at least 4 seasons).
    4 seasons is one thing, and can represent a pattern, but often that takes a player to age 26-28, where you would expect a jump in numbers as said player reaches his age prime seasons. but 8 seasons? no way that is a significant list.

    He is exactly what we know he is.
    Suck it up cupcake.


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