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Thread: Phipps -- say what?

  1. #16
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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    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.
    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.

    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.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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  3. #17
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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    Is his line-drive rate available? That could certainly speak to the BABIP.

    While appreciating the merits of BABIP, I have a hard time buying that a young player can OPS a consistent .700 over a period of years, then go off at a 1.000 clip for around 300 at-bats over the two highest levels in the minors and have it dismissed as luck. Evidently, the Reds didn't think that when they promoted him to AAA and put him in the three and four holes.

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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    He's still got some raw in him, but the seemless transition to AAA, plus a few scattered comments over the years about his ceiling, makes me wonder whether Phipps could be a better player long-term than Stubbs. At this point, I'd think he'd be giving the organization pause in its thinking about giving Stubbs a long-term deal.
    The Reds discision to give or not give Stubbs along term contracts rest entirely upon Stubbs sholders.

    What Phipps does does not in any way figure into the equation.

    Long term contracts are based upon the player and getting cost certainty. It's not like if Phipps does well, "what would we do with a long term signed Stubbs"? A long term deal would only make him more tradeable.

  5. #19
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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    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.

    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.
    Good point. He's obviously improved, but the question is whether or not this is just the start of him really tapping into his tools.

  6. #20
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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
    Good point. He's obviously improved, but the question is whether or not this is just the start of him really tapping into his tools.
    He is tapping into his hitting tools some, but the guy still isn't a .300 hitter, much less a .350 hitter. Lots of luck going on here. He is a different guy than he was, but he hasn't turned himself into a top 15 prospect either IMO.

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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    He is tapping into his hitting tools some, but the guy still isn't a .300 hitter, much less a .350 hitter. Lots of luck going on here. He is a different guy than he was, but he hasn't turned himself into a top 15 prospect either IMO.
    Doug, what have you seen from him? Does he spray the ball? Take a lot of bad swings? How many ABs do you think you've seen?
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  8. #22
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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Doug, what have you seen from him? Does he spray the ball? Take a lot of bad swings? How many ABs do you think you've seen?
    I haven't seen enough of him to be honest, at least in his current 4 month tear to answer the questions. After the season is over I go back and watch a lot of video and get a much better feel on these things because I just watch the same guy over and over and over. I pick up on things better that way.

  9. #23
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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    I haven't seen enough of him to be honest, at least in his current 4 month tear to answer the questions. After the season is over I go back and watch a lot of video and get a much better feel on these things because I just watch the same guy over and over and over. I pick up on things better that way.
    Makes sense -- thanks.
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    For those in the "he's obviously improved" camp, do we have any evidence that he's changed something in his game that supports a massive increase in his BABIP? Is he suddenly the best line drive hitter in the organization? I don't have any info either way, but his stats and peripherals are perfectly in line with what a luck-driven BABIP fluke looks like in action.

    For reference, here's the percentage of his PA that ended in each of the listed events:
    Code:
    	1B	2B	3B	HR	BB	SO
    2009	13.1%	5.9%	0.9%	1.8%	5.7%	20.0%
    2010	13.2%	6.2%	0.8%	2.3%	8.2%	20.4%
    2011	19.5%	7.0%	1.4%	2.7%	7.5%	24.5%
    I see a consistent, gradual increase in power and a MASSIVE increase in singles. If he had turned in to one of the best line drive hitters in baseball, surely that would be reflected in bigger spikes in XBHs? I certainly see an argument that he's making better contact, but that doesn't come close to explaining the spike in singles.

    For comparison, here's Sappelt:
    Code:
    	1B	2B	3B	HR	BB	SO
    2008	16.1%	6.8%	1.8%	2.5%	7.5%	16.1%
    2009	18.9%	4.0%	1.7%	1.2%	6.0%	12.5%
    2010	21.5%	5.7%	2.0%	1.8%	7.4%	13.1%
    2011	19.9%	4.8%	0.9%	2.1%	8.9%	11.6%
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 08-18-2011 at 03:07 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.

  11. #25
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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    For those in the "he's obviously improved" camp, do we have any evidence that he's changed something in his game that supports a massive increase in his BABIP? Is he suddenly the best line drive hitter in the organization? I don't have any info either way, but his stats and peripherals are perfectly in line with what a luck-driven BABIP fluke looks like in action.

    For reference, here's the percentage of his PA that ended in each of the listed events:
    Code:
    	1B	2B	3B	HR	BB	SO
    2009	13.1%	5.9%	0.9%	1.8%	5.7%	20.0%
    2010	13.2%	6.2%	0.8%	2.3%	8.2%	20.4%
    2011	19.5%	7.0%	1.4%	2.7%	7.5%	24.5%
    I see a consistent, gradual increase in power and a MASSIVE increase in singles. If he had turned in to one of the best line drive hitters in baseball, surely that would be reflected in bigger spikes in XBHs? I certainly see an argument that he's making better contact, but that doesn't come close to explaining the spike in singles.

    For comparison, here's Sappelt:
    Code:
    	1B	2B	3B	HR	BB	SO
    2008	16.1%	6.8%	1.8%	2.5%	7.5%	16.1%
    2009	18.9%	4.0%	1.7%	1.2%	6.0%	12.5%
    2010	21.5%	5.7%	2.0%	1.8%	7.4%	13.1%
    2011	19.9%	4.8%	0.9%	2.1%	8.9%	11.6%
    I see a fairly strong uptick in HR% there as well as an overall better 2B%. If you discount 3B%, and I do because triples IMO are flukish to begin with, Phipps has improved in every category, every year. And while that singles jump is massive, compared to Sappelt, his doubles and HR's jump is pretty big too. He is getting hit lucky, but its hard to argue he doesn't have more pop than Sapp.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    “He has an eye for the ball,” Davis said. “He can take his eye off the ball and run to a spot. That’s what makes you a good center fielder. You have to be able to turn and run. Some guys can’t turn and take their eye off the ball. He can do that, and he wants the ball.”
    Interesting quote from #44, Eric Davis, on Phipps' defense. What I like best is the "he wants the ball." For me, this is where Stubbs' defense falls short -- he's just not as aggressive as he could be out there.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    I don't know, Rick. From 2009-2011, his percentage increase in singles almost precisely matches the increase in home runs. In that respect, the singles aren't disproportionate at all. The doubles, yes, are a different story. But there's still an increase. Overall, the discrepancy certainly doesn't seem as dramatic as you stated.

    In the last couple days, I've seen two observers on here attest that he's hitting line drives. One said that he had a "nice line-drive stroke," I think the words were, and the other, in yesterday's game thread, said that he saw two games and Phipps hit the ball hard in both of them. That's hardly conclusive, of course. I'd still like to see his line-drive percentage. But as to your question about whether he could have suddenly become the best line-drive hitter in the organization, there seems to be a real possibility that that is indeed the case. Except, of course, for Torreyes.

    That said, and as I noted before (and lollipop agreed), I'd like to see him sustain it for a lot longer before rearranging any plans in deference to him.

  14. #28
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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    He is tapping into his hitting tools some, but the guy still isn't a .300 hitter, much less a .350 hitter. Lots of luck going on here. He is a different guy than he was, but he hasn't turned himself into a top 15 prospect either IMO.
    That's what I was saying. He's not all that special currently, but if this season is a step towards greater improvement, then yes, he's somebody to look out for. His age isn't exactly encouraging.

  15. #29
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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    That's what I was saying. He's not all that special currently, but if this season is a step towards greater improvement, then yes, he's somebody to look out for. His age isn't exactly encouraging.
    The age thing is kind of what makes him interesting. Per reports, he didn't really start to play much baseball until he was 18. How that happens in the DR, I have no idea. But it could certainly account for his being a late bloomer.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  16. #30
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    Re: Phipps -- say what?

    Quote Originally Posted by mace View Post
    I don't know, Rick. From 2009-2011, his percentage increase in singles almost precisely matches the increase in home runs. In that respect, the singles aren't disproportionate at all. The doubles, yes, are a different story. But there's still an increase. Overall, the discrepancy certainly doesn't seem as dramatic as you stated.

    In the last couple days, I've seen two observers on here attest that he's hitting line drives. One said that he had a "nice line-drive stroke," I think the words were, and the other, in yesterday's game thread, said that he saw two games and Phipps hit the ball hard in both of them. That's hardly conclusive, of course. I'd still like to see his line-drive percentage. But as to your question about whether he could have suddenly become the best line-drive hitter in the organization, there seems to be a real possibility that that is indeed the case. Except, of course, for Torreyes.

    That said, and as I noted before (and lollipop agreed), I'd like to see him sustain it for a lot longer before rearranging any plans in deference to him.
    I don't doubt he's improved. But he has a .430 BABIP. That is massively unsustainable regardless of how good a hitter he is right now. I may have said organization, but I might have well as said the universe. Looking at true talent, what we can reasonable expect from a guy moving forward, the highest BABIP in the majors over the last 3 years (1500 PA) is Votto at .366. Only 3 other guys are at .350+.

    Even if he's suddenly a world-class line drive hitter like Votto, Wright, Upton, Choo, and Bruan (the highest BABIP guys who aren't doing it with speed), he's still 70+ points above sustainable. If he's merely a very good major league hitter, he's 100+ above sustainable. And if he's average, he's 130 points above it. And that's more than 25% of his hits which will go away when he regresses.

    So again, yeah, it looks like he's improved. But he's playing way over his head and there is no denying that.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 08-19-2011 at 12:12 AM.
    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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