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Thread: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

  1. #16
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    Quote Originally Posted by NebraskaRed View Post
    He only hit leadoff in 28 games in 2012 and 38 games in 2011. Not sure you can come to that conclusion based on that small sample size.
    Then it leaves us with 2010 when he flat out sucked in the leadoff spot.

    Guys are who they are. Phillips this season has a lower OPS than he has for his career, yet some people are trying to say he is the MVP of this team. Brandon Phillips is a league averagish hitter who plays excellent defense.

    He may change his approach some depending on where he hits, but the results remain about the same in the frequency in which he gets hits, gets on base and number of bases he acquires per hit. Just like everyone else. His skillset dictates what he does, not who is hitting in front of him, behind him or where he is hitting in the lineup.

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  4. #17
    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironman92 View Post
    His plate approach is different when he has 2 strikes and it is way different with RISP. He's always been a tough out when he's focused on not making an out....but he wails away 10x more often and rarely is successful.

    If he would rarely wail at the ball and mostly approach every AB like he's the potential last out and a HR still isn't enough....well I believe he would be a .825-.850 OPS guy

    Being aggressive doesn't mean trying to hit your picture on the scoreboard.
    If every player treated every AB like that they would be better hitters, but most don't. Ideally you want your players grinding out ABs like it's Game 7 of the World Series. Look how Joey Votto goes through his ABs. I'm not saying we should expect people to be as good as Joey Votto, but he's constantly grinding out ABs.

    For his career, Phillips has been at his best hitting with RISP.

    RISP: .287/.352/.437/.789
    Runners on: .280/.336/.431/.767
    Bases empty: .266/.309/.432/.741

    If he was a patient always as he is with RISP, he would be a much better player for it. He's not though.

    So yes, is he a better hitter with RISP? I think his stats in his career play that out. Is he a better hitter as a leadoff man or cleanup man? Well, no.

    Walks and patience are good, although some people would tell you otherwise about the guy hitting in front of Phillips.
    Last edited by reds44; 07-16-2013 at 01:17 PM.
    "The guy I think could be really good in center is Adam Dunn. If someone asked me if Dunn could be a center fielder for the next 10 years, if he started working on it, no one could explain to me why he couldn’t do it." - Brad Kullman

  5. #18
    Member Ironman92's Avatar
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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    I really don't care where he is in the lineup....but he's admitted that batting 4th adds pressure for him to feel the need to hit HR.......now he's more caught up in the RBI which has shown to be an improvement.

    Was his best year not before Dusty came along?

  6. #19
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    If every player treated every AB like that they would be better hitters, but most don't. Ideally you want your players grinding out ABs like it's Game 7 of the World Series. Look how Joey Votto goes through his ABs. I'm not saying we should expect people to be as good as Joey Votto, but he's constantly grinding out ABs.

    For his career, Phillips has been at his best hitting with RISP.

    RISP: .287/.352/.437/.789
    Runners on: .280/.336/.431/.767
    Bases empty: .266/.309/.432/.741

    If he was a patient always as he is with RISP, he would be a much better player for it. He's not though.

    So yes, is he a better hitter with RISP? I think his stats in his career play that out. Is he a better hitter as a leadoff man or cleanup man? Well, no.

    Walks and patience are good, although some people would tell you otherwise about the guy hitting in front of Phillips.
    "Grinding out ABs" is not something you choose or do not choose to do, necessarily. I'm sure hitters at all levels would like to able to stay alive in an AB until they get the pitch they want, then don't miss the pitch they are waiting for when they get it the majority of the time. In other words, grinding out ABs is an ability usually tied to the best hitters, who are able to stay alive AB after AB, or don't miss their pitch when they get it early in the AB. It is a chicken/egg thing--good hitters will grind out ABs, not he'd be a good hitter if he'd grind out more ABs.
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  7. #20
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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironman92 View Post
    Was his best year not before Dusty came along?
    Correct, on a go nowhere 2007 team where he alternated between hitting second and hitting cleanup between Griffey and Dunn.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

  8. #21
    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    "Grinding out ABs" is not something you choose or do not choose to do, necessarily. I'm sure hitters at all levels would like to able to stay alive in an AB until they get the pitch they want, then don't miss the pitch they are waiting for when they get it the majority of the time. In other words, grinding out ABs is an ability usually tied to the best hitters, who are able to stay alive AB after AB, or don't miss their pitch when they get it early in the AB. It is a chicken/egg thing--good hitters will grind out ABs, not he'd be a good hitter if he'd grind out more ABs.
    So Phillips magically becomes a better hitter with a guy in scoring position than with nobody on base? I don't think so. Part of his OBP bump may come from him being pitched around (although with Bruce and sometimes Votto batting behind him I don't think that happens too often), but a .43 OBP difference between RISP and nobody on is a pretty large margin.
    "The guy I think could be really good in center is Adam Dunn. If someone asked me if Dunn could be a center fielder for the next 10 years, if he started working on it, no one could explain to me why he couldn’t do it." - Brad Kullman

  9. #22
    .377 in 1905 CySeymour's Avatar
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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    A lot of that has to do with Phillips leading off all the time in Cleveland when he still sucked, I believe. His more recent career numbers do seem to support the idea that he is better there up top.
    Looking through bbref.com, by my count Phillips hit leadoff a grand total of 1 time while with Cleveland.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

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  11. #23
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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    So Phillips magically becomes a better hitter with a guy in scoring position than with nobody on base? I don't think so. Part of his OBP bump may come from him being pitched around (although with Bruce and sometimes Votto batting behind him I don't think that happens too often), but a .43 OBP difference between RISP and nobody on is a pretty large margin.
    Which was exactly the point of the article. The numbers Phillips is putting up don't make sense. Obviously, he's not magically becoming a better hitter with runners on, but the article is suggesting that there's something going on that seems unexplainable.

    From the article:
    The crux of sabermetric analysis is squaring off with the crutch leaned on by much of the old guard of baseball writers. It's as if the Baseball Gods created a single team yin yang that was both diametrically opposed and amicably inseparable, and it's happening right before our very eyes.

  12. #24
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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    I didn't read the article, but it's pretty common sense that both his numbers with and without RISP will trend back toward career norms before it's all said and done. I don't see what that has to do with sabermetrics either.
    "The guy I think could be really good in center is Adam Dunn. If someone asked me if Dunn could be a center fielder for the next 10 years, if he started working on it, no one could explain to me why he couldn’t do it." - Brad Kullman

  13. #25
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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    Phillips' numbers given his spot in the lineup:

    2010
    2011
    2012
    2013
    Sabermetrics can be boiled down to this simple truism: A batter's goal is to extend the inning. Extend enough innings and you're going to score runs. Extend more innings than your opponent and you're going to score more runs than him.

  14. #26
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    I don't understand why this is a "paradox". There's nothing internally conflicting here other than a misunderstanding of the nature of performance.

    This is only a paradox if you thinking performance in splits over half a year should necessarily reflect a player's talent/skill. If you appreciate that outcomes in smaller samples have a lot of noise in them, you can find his "backwards" performance interesting, but you know better than to pretend it means anything from the perspective of Phillips' talents.

    For the RBI, it just so happens that Phillips has performed particularly well with runners on base while having the 3rd most runners to drive in in all of baseball (303). The first part of that is basically randomness and the 2nd part is a function of Choo and Votto, not Phillips. Phillips being a mediocre hitter on balance is not incongruent with either of those.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 07-16-2013 at 02:52 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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  16. #27
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I don't understand why this is a "paradox". There's nothing internally conflicting here other than a misunderstanding of the nature of performance.

    This is only a paradox if you thinking performance in splits over half a year should necessarily reflect a player's talent/skill. If you appreciate that outcomes in smaller samples have a lot of noise in them, you can find his "backwards" performance interesting, but you know better than to pretend it means anything from the perspective of Phillips' talents.

    For the RBI, it just so happens that Phillips has performed particularly well with runners on base while having the 3rd most runners to drive in in all of baseball (303). The first part of that is basically randomness and the 2nd part is a function of Choo and Votto, not Phillips. Phillips being a mediocre hitter on balance is not incongruent with either of those.
    Most baseball fans don't understand small sample size. That is why they quote things like 2 out/RISP numbers where one hit or out can sway a guys line by 100+ points through the midway point of the season.

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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    Phillips has always appeared to have a certain mindset. Swing from the heels when it doesn't count so much; swing with great discipline when it does.

    So he often gets behind in the count. He may be swinging away initially, leading to bad hitter's counts. But when two strikes comes, he becomes a different, disciplined hitter.

    Similarly, Phillips may not be the most disciplined hitter with no men on, in non-"leverage" situations. Put him up with men on base, however, he becomes a different hitter.

    It's really a tale of two hitters. It's almost a philisophical thing. When you have the freedom to swing away, do so. When you need to be disciplined, do so. Or at least that's my take.

    Also would note the following: BP seems to love these RBIs. He seems very focused when he gets up in an RBI slot. Heckuva ballplayer.
    Last edited by Kc61; 07-16-2013 at 03:14 PM.

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  19. #29
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Phillips has always appeared to have a certain mindset. Swing from the heels when it doesn't count so much; swing with great discipline when it does.

    So he often gets behind in the count. He may be swinging away in those spots. But when two strikes comes, he becomes a different, disciplined hitter.

    Similarly, Phillips may not be the most disciplined hitter with no men on, in non-"leverage" situations. Put him up with men on base, however, he becomes a different hitter.

    It's really a tale of two hitters. It's almost a philisophical thing. When you have the freedom to swing away, do so. When you need to be disciplined, do so. Or at least that's my take.

    Also would note the following: BP seems to love these RBIs. He seems very focused when he gets up in an RBI slot. Heckuva ballplayer.
    So, did Phillips changed his plate approach in 2012? Because this Phillips who bears down with men on base only showed up last year.

    Code:
    	Bases Empty		Men on Base	
    	AVG/OBP/SLG/wOBA	AVG/OBP/SLG/wOBA
    2009	263/332/453/344		288/325/441/327
    2010	284/329/457/344		259/337/384/322	
    2011	306/355/474/364		291/349/433/338
    2012	268/293/407/304		297/353/456/348	
    2013	200/236/335/251		330/392/486/373
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  20. #30
    Member Ironman92's Avatar
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    Re: The Brandon Phillips Paradox

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    So, did Phillips changed his plate approach in 2012? Because this Phillips who bears down with men on base only showed up last year.

    Code:
    Bases EmptyMen on Base
    AVG/OBP/SLG/wOBAAVG/OBP/SLG/wOBA
    2009263/332/453/344288/325/441/327
    2010284/329/457/344259/337/384/322
    2011306/355/474/364291/349/433/338
    2012268/293/407/304297/353/456/348
    2013200/236/335/251330/392/486/373
    I had a slight seizure trying to read that on my phone.

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