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Thread: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

  1. #16
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    The job of every hitter should be to be the best hitter he can be. If Phillips is doing anything different when he's hitting cleanup, he should do it all the time.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  3. #17
    Member smixsell's Avatar
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    You clearly haven't been watching Joey Votto.

    "This is one of the many situations where the stats don't tell the story ... "

    There are stats that can dis/prove everything you're saying. Everything I've seen so far would indicate that what you're saying isn't true. All my educated baseball eye is telling me is that BP makes an effort to shorten his swing at times, and sometimes he's successful with it. There aren't many major leaguers who can have successful careers without doing that.
    Sorry, I assumed that Votto was not a candidate for the # 2 hole, as he would obviously be wasted there.

    If the issue is "who can be the best full time #2 hitter if they are willing to dedicate themselves to the role" then I have to disagree with your assertion that there are stats that can disprove my assertion. No one in our lineup (or under our current "get up there and hack" approach championed by both Dusty and Jacoby) has ever made a dedicated long term attempt to fill such a role. BP has made some brief abortive attempts, and has shown moments of brilliance during those attempts.

    During most periods however, BP has simply gone up there hacking regardless of the spot in the order. So the simple "this is what he has done in the 1-2-3-4 spots" don't tell the story of how well he has done during those brief periods when it has been clear to the educated baseball eye (sorry if you don't have one ) that he has altered his approach at the plate in a manner appropriate to the 2 spot

    There have been A FEW stretches where BP has had the right approach for the 2 hole. And to the educated baseball eye, he has shown he is CAPABLE of doing a great job there if he will stay with that approach.

    I'm sorry I can't recall and won't look up the exact dates when those stretches occurred so you can look up stats to help you see it for yourself, but not everyone needs stats to know something about the game.

  4. #18
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by smixsell View Post
    Sorry, I assumed that Votto was not a candidate for the # 2 hole, as he would obviously be wasted there.
    If I filled out the lineup card everyday, Joey Votto would be batting second...
    "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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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by smixsell View Post
    I'm sorry I can't recall and won't look up the exact dates when those stretches occurred so you can look up stats to help you see it for yourself, but not everyone needs stats to know something about the game.
    Did you just hop out of a time machine from 2005?
    "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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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    If I filled out the lineup card everyday, Joey Votto would be batting second...
    Best hitter on the team/MLB batting 2nd? Is this a Larussa strategy?

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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by coachpipe View Post
    Best hitter on the team/MLB batting 2nd? Is this a Larussa strategy?
    15 more PAs a year and he is a high OBP guy, why not?
    "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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  10. #22
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    15 more PAs a year and he is a high OBP guy, why not?
    Because he generates EB power as well, now if he had 50-60 EBH instead of 75 I might lean that way, but on a NL team I expect the 2nd slot to do more than drive the ball.

    Oh and to the other poster you don't need stats to know something about the game but if you want to articulate an opinion they actually help lay your thoughts and validate said opinion

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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Here are some interesting stats on this point.

    Phillips was 40th among qualified major league hitters in ground ball rate last year. (Choo was 27th, Stubbs was 20th).

    Phillips is also a pretty good contact hitter, he made contact 81.5 percent of the time, above average.

    I don't think Phillips gets out of the box too well and his grounders do turn into DPs often. However, he won't K much, and if he goes to right field we could see some very fine hit and run plays with Choo on first.

    Another candidate longer term to hit second is Cozart. Yes, I know, he had a bad OBP last year. But he makes a lot of contact, even more than BP last year (83.5% rate) and with adjustments and time I could see him developing into that spot. Not yet though.

    Other than Hanigan, Phillips had the lowest K rate among regulars, around 12 percent, which should also help.

    I guess the issue is having a contact hitter with a lot of ground balls hitting second, behind a good lead off man. Good things can happen, Dusty will go wild with the hit and run, but there will be DPs.

    My advice to BP is "hit 'em where they ain't."

  13. #24
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    The worst time for a contact hitter to come to the plate is when there is a man on first base because he is highly likely to hit into a double play. Ideally you want your contact hitter at the plate when there is a man in scoring position because A) his groundball is likely to advance the runner and B) a contact hitter needs the runner to already be in scoring position to drive him in.

    When there is a runner on first base that is a good time to have your high strikeout power hitter at the plate. He is less likely to hit into a double play and he has the ability to drive in a runner from first base. He is probably also more likely to walk than the contact hitter, and a walk advances the runner on first into scoring position.

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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    If I filled out the lineup card everyday, Joey Votto would be batting second...
    Agreed. I have been arguing for years that Votto should be hitting second. His .450+ OBP is largely wasted when he comes to the plate with 2 outs. Even if he gets on base his teammates will only have one chance to drive him in. Votto is both a great RBI man and a great table-setter. Batting him 3rd takes poor advantage of his table-setting ability. He is unlikely to hit into a double play after Choo reaches first base and Votto also has the ability to drive in Choo from 1st base. Joey Votto is the perfect #2 hitter in a lineup. (Of course he is the perfect hitter for any slot in the lineup as well ) Having two OBP machines in Choo and Votto at the top of the lineup would be a manager's dream -- as long as that manager wasn't Dusty Baker. The #3-5 hitters would have an absolute ton of RBI opportunities.

    I think the perfect lineup is:

    Choo
    Votto
    Phillips
    Bruce
    Ludwick
    Frazier
    Hanigan
    Cozart
    Leake or pinch hitter

    As *BaseClogger* said earlier, Phillips tends to see a lot of left-handed specialist pitchers late in games when he bats between Votto and Bruce and for that reason I put him there, otherwise he would bat behind Ludwick.

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  17. #26
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    If I filled out the lineup card everyday, Joey Votto would be batting second...
    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.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  18. #27
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    Agreed. I have been arguing for years that Votto should be hitting second. His .450+ OBP is largely wasted when he comes to the plate with 2 outs. Even if he gets on base his teammates will only have one chance to drive him in. Votto is both a great RBI man and a great table-setter. Batting him 3rd takes poor advantage of his table-setting ability. He is unlikely to hit into a double play after Choo reaches first base and Votto also has the ability to drive in Choo from 1st base. Joey Votto is the perfect #2 hitter in a lineup. (Of course he is the perfect hitter for any slot in the lineup as well ) Having two OBP machines in Choo and Votto at the top of the lineup would be a manager's dream -- as long as that manager wasn't Dusty Baker. The #3-5 hitters would have an absolute ton of RBI opportunities
    It also plugs 50-60 homers into the most inopportune moments doesn't it? I feel like that's not good.

  19. #28
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
    It also plugs 50-60 homers into the most inopportune moments doesn't it? I feel like that's not good.
    Shouldn't there be another 50-60 homers at least between Bruce and Ludwick behind them?
    "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."

  20. #29
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    The worst time for a contact hitter to come to the plate is when there is a man on first base because he is highly likely to hit into a double play.
    The thing you guys aren't taking into account is that BP, like most major league hitters, hits many more DP balls when he is up there hacking away, trying to really drive the ball for an HR or Xtra base hit. Then the two seamer which looks fat, or the breaking ball which tails away, turns into a room service DP ball.

    When a good situational hitter (typically a subset of contact hitters good contact hitters are more likely to be good situational hitters, but not always) comes up with a man on first he will simply try and slap/drive a single the other way (in which case he is fooled less by the pitch because he is waiting longer to commit) or where the defense is weak (1B-2B hole if runner held on or in the hole vacated by the likely cover guy). A good situational hitter has a big advantage in these situations.

    BP has demonstrated that he CAN become a great situational hitter if he is willing to commit to it. It takes discipline though, because anyone who has played the game knows how powerful and alluring the urge to hit HRs is if you have some power.

    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.
    Last edited by smixsell; 02-19-2013 at 01:29 AM.

  21. #30
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Oh and to the other poster you don't need stats to know something about the game but if you want to articulate an opinion they actually help lay your thoughts and validate said opinion
    True. I like stats and the advanced stats. But my posts are not at all catered to those who know little or nothing but what stats tell them. Those who've played the game at a reasonably high level (ie good high school program or above) or are very good observers of the game are my primary target audience.


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