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Thread: Phipps added to the 40-man

  1. #1
    Louisville Bats Expert batsfan's Avatar
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    Phipps added to the 40-man

    The Reds.com transaction page shows that on 10/26/11 "Cincinnati Reds called up RF Denis Phipps from Louisville Bats." This is obviously to prevent him from becoming a minor league free agent, but I think he could play a factor in the 2012 team!

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    Re: Phipps added to the 40-man

    I would have been extremely disappointed if they didn't do that and let him walk.

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    Re: Phipps added to the 40-man

    I am optimistic about Phipps. Even though he had pedestrian numbers for many years, the talk of a high ceiling was there from very early on. I think we could be seeing a very talented late bloomer emerge.
    "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 added to the 40-man

    kind of reminds me of a young Ken Griffey Sr.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Phipps added to the 40-man

    I posted this on the Phipps thread in the Minor League forum:

    I think people are in for a shock this year with Phipps if they expect him to continue his supposed "breakout."

    Code:
    Season	Team	Age	PA	BB%	K%	ISO	BABIP	AVG	OBP	SLG	HR
    2006	R	20.5	238	5.4%	21.0%	.124	.362	.289	.335	.413	 4
    2007	A	21.5	505	8.1%	19.4%	.100	.282	.238	.313	.338	 9
    2008	A	22.5	518	6.6%	21.8%	.101	.317	.255	.307	.357	 7
    2009	A+	23.5	544	5.7%	20.0%	.145	.281	.237	.286	.382	10
    2010	A+/AA	24.5	514	8.2%	20.4%	.164	.295	.247	.314	.411	12
    2011	AA/AAA	25.5	511	7.8%	24.3%	.181	.446	.346	.398	.527	12
    One of two things happened last year -- or some combination of the two.

    1) He turned in to an all-world line drive hitter the likes of which we've never seen
    2) He had amazing run of good luck

    In 2011...
    He was 25/26 years old (July birthday) and reached AAA for the first time.
    Entered the season with a career OPS on the wrong side of .700.
    His BABIP jumped 150 points. That's a 50% increase. Take away a 1/3 of his hits if you want to normalize his slash stats.
    He struck out more than ever, getting in to the territory where people start saying "that guy strikes out too much".
    He didn't walk more, sustaining a mediocre walk rate.
    His ISO increase was moderate and explained fully by the BABIP spike. His non-increase in homers helps demonstrate this. A lot of extra singles a few extra doubles/triples is a sign of balls finding holes, not a power increase.
    He's got decent speed, but he's not a great baserunner.

    This is an org guy who had a career year on the back of a fluke BABIP. It's a great story, but unless he's an absolute tool shed (and maybe he is...), he's not a prospect. If he is a good hitter in 2012 it will be because either he fundamentally takes a giant step forward or because he continues to get lucky.

    I can see rostering him because he could have some trade value to a team that doesn't look at BABIP. But in terms of helping the Reds win baseball games, he's not a good use of a spot on the 40 man roster. As best I can tell, his upside is Darnell McDonald, a completely fungible, defensive replacement 5th OF at best.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 10-27-2011 at 05:58 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.

  7. #6
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Phipps added to the 40-man

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I posted this on the Phipps thread in the Minor League forum:

    I think people are in for a shock this year with Phipps if they expect him to continue his supposed "breakout."

    Code:
    Season	Team	Age	PA	BB%	K%	ISO	BABIP	AVG	OBP	SLG	HR
    2006	R	20.5	238	5.4%	21.0%	.124	.362	.289	.335	.413	 4
    2007	A	21.5	505	8.1%	19.4%	.100	.282	.238	.313	.338	 9
    2008	A	22.5	518	6.6%	21.8%	.101	.317	.255	.307	.357	 7
    2009	A+	23.5	544	5.7%	20.0%	.145	.281	.237	.286	.382	10
    2010	A+/AA	24.5	514	8.2%	20.4%	.164	.295	.247	.314	.411	12
    2011	AA/AAA	25.5	511	7.8%	24.3%	.181	.446	.346	.398	.527	12
    One of two things happened last year -- or some combination of the two.

    1) He turned in to an all-world line drive hitter the likes of which we've never seen
    2) He had amazing run of good luck

    In 2011...
    He was 25/26 years old (July birthday) and reached AAA for the first time.
    Entered the season with a career OPS on the wrong side of .700.
    His BABIP jumped 150 points. That's a 50% increase. Take away a 1/3 of his hits if you want to normalize his slash stats.
    He struck more than ever, getting in to the territory where people start saying "that guy strikes out too much".
    He didn't walk more, sustaining a mediocre walk rate.
    His ISO increase was moderate and explained fully by the BABIP spike. His non-increase in homers helps demonstrate this. He's put up
    He's got decent speed, but he's not a great baserunner.

    This is an org guy who had a career year on the back of a fluke BABIP. It's a great story, but unless he's an absolute tool shed (and maybe he is...), he's not a prospect. If he is a good hitter in 2012 it will be because either he fundamentally takes a giant step forward or because he continues to get lucky.

    I can see rostering him because he could have some trade value to a team that doesn't look at BABIP. But in terms of helping the Reds win baseball games, he's not a good use of a spot on the 40 man roster. As best I can tell, his upside is Darnell McDonald, a completely fungible 5th OF at best.
    Well, for what it's worth, First Inning shows Phipps as having an incredible 33% line drive rate this year while in Louisville (though a more modest 20% in Carolina). While that's probably not remotely sustainable, it does eliminate some of the luck involved with that lofty BABIP.

    I'm a skeptic, though. I tend to think this year was more an anomaly than anything.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: Phipps added to the 40-man

    I'm a skeptic, though. I tend to think this year was more an anomaly than anything.
    Depends on what you call anomalous.

    Hitting .350?

    Showing the ability to play in the big leagues?
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  9. #8
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Phipps added to the 40-man

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Depends on what you call anomalous.

    Hitting .350?

    Showing the ability to play in the big leagues?
    He has an aggregate batting average of less than .245 in the four seasons combined prior to this past year. So yeah... I would definitely say this year is more likely an anomaly.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: Phipps added to the 40-man

    He has an aggregate batting average of less than .245 in the four seasons combined prior to this past year. So yeah... I would definitely say this year is more likely an anomaly.
    If it rains for 5 days and then turns sunny, does that mean it will rain the next day?

    The debate's about the future -- should the 40-man include Phipps? Will he be able to help the Reds someday?
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  11. #10
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Phipps added to the 40-man

    Saw him play in Indy this summer. This is just from my own perspective but his swing looks to have a lot of "loose parts," and is kinda long.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Phipps added to the 40-man

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    Well, for what it's worth, First Inning shows Phipps as having an incredible 33% line drive rate this year while in Louisville (though a more modest 20% in Carolina). While that's probably not remotely sustainable, it does eliminate some of the luck involved with that lofty BABIP.

    I'm a skeptic, though. I tend to think this year was more an anomaly than anything.
    Well, LD% has a decent amount of "random" fluctuation itself. That's not to say he was lucky to hit any given line drive, just lucky to have hit that many in such a short period of time.

    Over the last 3 years, the highest average LD% belongs to Todd Helton at 24.9%. He's followed by Jason Bartlett (23.4), Joe Mauer (23.4) and Joey
    Votto (23.4). Something tells me Phipps isn't in that club.

    I'm open to the possibility of a Bautistaesque mechanics change that suddenly made things click. But considering we haven't' heard any rumblings of that nor have we seen any change in his peripherals suggests to me that it's a highly likely to be a fluke season.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 10-27-2011 at 03:32 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.

  13. #12
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    Re: Phipps added to the 40-man

    Meh. He still may be dealt.

    I think his season was part fluke, part being old for the league, and part figuring things out. I'd deal him tomorrow for a prospect with a better pedigree and lesser production.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
    -- Christy Matthewson
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  14. #13
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Phipps added to the 40-man

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    If it rains for 5 days and then turns sunny, does that mean it will rain the next day?

    The debate's about the future -- should the 40-man include Phipps? Will he be able to help the Reds someday?
    Certainly it doesn't mean it will. But if it's rained for five of the past six days, I would say the odds are better it will rain again rather than remain sunny. I'm not saying his season was an anomaly but it sure appears to be random fluctuation. If his numbers weren't so incredibly contingent upon that unsustainable BABIP, I'd give it more credence.

    But look at his other peripherals: an average walk rate; slightly deflated contact rate; not an overwhelming ISO. Bottom line is his season was largely predicated on BABIP. Guys having "breakout" seasons with those kinds of indicators are typically fools gold.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: Phipps added to the 40-man

    But look at his other peripherals: an average walk rate; slightly deflated contact rate; not an overwhelming ISO. Bottom line is his season was largely predicated on BABIP. Guys having "breakout" seasons with those kinds of indicators are typically fools gold.
    I'll assume then that you'd leave him off the 40-man.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  16. #15
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    Re: Phipps added to the 40-man

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    I'll assume then that you'd leave him off the 40-man.
    I would have, but I also fully get the argument for placing him there, but it has nothing at all to do with his bat. Defensively, he can help you out tomorrow and be a big difference (well, maybe not on this team if they run out Sappelt/Stubbs/Heisey/Bruce - but on most teams who aren't loaded with that kind of defense).

    I don't trust his bat to be much more than marginally better than it has been in the past. As Rick has shown, he didn't make much improvements in things that would suggest something clicked with him. Walk rate, strikeout rate and power all stayed pretty close to where they have been. When something clicks, one of those things at the very least tends to improve. His didn't. His rate of singles went up.


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