No doubt there's some truth to this. However, to say that Phipps is the same guy he's always been is probably far off the mark. This guy is breaking through in a significant way.If I'm doing the math right, Phipps has a .436 BABIP across AA-AAA this year. I don't see a Sappelt like breakout here. I see a .260/.320/.400 hitter who's shown a touch more power and had a ton of luck.
The contact rate is still mediocre. BB:K ratio hasn't budged. His speed isn't' such that he's an infield single freak. Same guy, flukish results.
Sappelt's 2010 stats were mildly inflated by some good luck, but generally supported by his peripherals and his 2011 stats were in line with peripherals. Not really a good comp for Philpps.
I think he's still raw, but I think he's on a trajectory here, and we don't know where it's going. Supposedly, he didn't really play baseball till he was 18. This could be a case of tremendous natural ability starting to blossom. He has had the reputation of having a high ceiling, though muted in the press since he never really put up numbers.
I think there's little doubt the high BABIP comes from him making very hard contact when he hits it. Still hoping those who have seen him a bit will chime in....
Sappelt is probably always going to be a better contact/AVG guy, a better technician with the bat. But I'm wondering if Phipps might ultimately become a guy with more lightning and EBH juice.