Ok. I do want to give Phillips due credit. He has definitely hit better with RISP over his career than he has hit with bases empty.

Code:

2006-2013AVGOBPSLGwOBA
Phillips Bases Empty.266.309.432.324
Phillips RISP.287.352.437.336
----------------------------------------------------
Phillips Split.021.043.005.012

But my understanding is that this is not uncommon; having runners on base helps hitters in general. So just how "special" is Phillips? I decided to look.

As a comparison group, I looked at all MLB hitters who had at least 1000 PA with RISP between 2006 and 2013. That produced a group of a comp group of 74 players. Here's how they fared:

Code:

2006-2013AVGOBPSLGwOBA
MLB AVG Bases Empty.275.341.466.352
MLB AVG RISP.285.379.466.336
----------------------------------------------------
MLB AVG Split.010.039.000.003

So, first let me recognize that this is a pretty select group of hitters. They had to be good enough to accrue 1000 PA with RISP over the past 6+ years. So this isn't all major leaguers. Of course, fewer PA than that and you're introduce more randomness. So I feel good about this group.

And Phillips comes out as an above average "clutch" hitters, measured as the difference between his wOBA with the bases empty and with RISP. Of those 75, Phillips would be tied for 22nd.

The list is actually pretty fascinating and close to normally distributed around that average of +.003. The top 3 guys are Youkilis (+.076), Rollins (+.064) and Berkman (+.046). The bottom 3 are Pedroia (-.032), Beltre (-.037) and Cano (-.054).

For the actual statisticians out there, here are the descriptive stats.

Mean.0033

Standard Error.0026

Median.0035

Mode.0100

Standard Deviation.0226

Sample Variance.0005

Kurtosis1.092

Skewness0.442

Range0.13

Minimum-.0540

Maximum.0760

**I'll have to think about it more to properly interpret it. But I think it's basically telling us that while Phillips has performed above average in terms of "clutchiness" -- raising his game with guys on base -- we cannot say with any certainty that Phillips is actually more talented at average (among proven MLB hitters) in terms of being "clutch". It could just be "luck".**