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Thread: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

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    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    I almost posted this in the minor league forum, then remembered we're talking about the Reds' #4 OF at this point. (I fully expect him to be no better than #5 to begin the season though and might still have to play some in Louisville.)

    I find this hard to believe, but someone was saying Denis Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18 and that's why he's such a late-bloomer. Any truth to that? I thought not playing baseball as a kid was illegal in the Dominican. (Kidding. Not really though.)

    Anyway, I figured there would be many on here that could either confirm or shoot down. Fire away! TIA.

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    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Re: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    I'm shocked ... SHOCKED I tell ya ... that no one like Doug has jumped all over this. All you experts in the crowd and no one has shot this down (or confirmed it) yet? Disappointed RedsZone brethren (and sisthren). You know I expect more out of you than this. Now I'm going to be forced to tell Walt Jocketty what many of you said about him before his flurry of excellent moves. That he was "hibernating" through the winter and other rude comments. (Oh, I was among that group? Good point. Maybe I won't bring that up.)

    But as for Phipps, is it true he didn't break out until the age of 26 in large part because he didn't start competitively playing the sport until the age of 17 or 18? I find that very hard to believe -- and now I can't even remember where I heard it -- and I'm sure there's a Phipps expert or three on here that can clarify the matter.

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    Member klw's Avatar
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    Re: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    Lollipopcurve stated the 17 or 18 year old start point in one thread. There is a lengthier discussion of his progression here.
    http://www.redszone.com/forums/showt...ghlight=phipps

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    Member muddie's Avatar
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    Re: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    nm

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blitz Dorsey View Post
    I'm shocked ... SHOCKED I tell ya ... that no one like Doug has jumped all over this. All you experts in the crowd and no one has shot this down (or confirmed it) yet? Disappointed RedsZone brethren (and sisthren). You know I expect more out of you than this. Now I'm going to be forced to tell Walt Jocketty what many of you said about him before his flurry of excellent moves. That he was "hibernating" through the winter and other rude comments. (Oh, I was among that group? Good point. Maybe I won't bring that up.)

    But as for Phipps, is it true he didn't break out until the age of 26 in large part because he didn't start competitively playing the sport until the age of 17 or 18? I find that very hard to believe -- and now I can't even remember where I heard it -- and I'm sure there's a Phipps expert or three on here that can clarify the matter.
    I sleep from about 1130-5 every day.

    The story is true that he didn't play much baseball growing up at all.

    But his breakout at age 26 was due to a .440 BABIP, not because he figured something out.

    Strikeout rate was higher in 2011 than in 2010. Walk rate was nearly identical as well. Power was the same as well. The only thing that changed was his insane BABIP. I would be surprised if he OPS'd .775 in Louisville this season.

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    Re: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    Yeah, the fact that the Reds put Phipps on the 40-man shows that last season intrigued the Reds, but I would say that he would need to duplicate 2011's results in Lousville for a fulll season, before they would consider him more than an emergency injury fill-in. I see no way he would make the 25-man roster out if ST.

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    Just a friendly reminder: RedsZone has a search function. I think Google does, too.

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    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Re: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    Just a friendly reminder: RedsZone has a search function. I think Google does, too.
    Is that a "friendly" reminder or a "snarky" one?


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    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Re: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    Quote Originally Posted by klw View Post
    Lollipopcurve stated the 17 or 18 year old start point in one thread. There is a lengthier discussion of his progression here.
    http://www.redszone.com/forums/showt...ghlight=phipps
    Thank you! It's still nothing but message board chatter from what I can tell (Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 18) since there are no quotes from Phipps talking about it and no writers writing about it, but that would go a long way in explaining his breakout at the age of 25/26. Well, that and his extremely high BABIP.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blitz Dorsey View Post
    Thank you! It's still nothing but message board chatter from what I can tell (Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 18) since there are no quotes from Phipps talking about it and no writers writing about it, but that would go a long way in explaining his breakout at the age of 25/26. Well, that and his extremely high BABIP.
    The only explanation for his breakout was his BABIP. Not his age or experience. He struck out more, walked the exact same amount and he didn't hit for more power. So his skills didn't really improve.

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    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Re: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    Quote Originally Posted by corkedbat View Post
    Yeah, the fact that the Reds put Phipps on the 40-man shows that last season intrigued the Reds, but I would say that he would need to duplicate 2011's results in Lousville for a fulll season, before they would consider him more than an emergency injury fill-in. I see no way he would make the 25-man roster out if ST.
    If the Reds sign someone like Ludwick, or trade for Smith, that would give them a top-four OF of Bruce, Stubbs, Ludwick/Smith and Heisey. In that scenario, there is a very-good chance Phipps would make the club as the #5 OF with a good spring. Who else would make it ahead of him? There isn't a viable option from what I can tell. Unless you consider Frazier the #5 OF ... which is feasible. I prefer Frazier as an overall utility man (3B, 1B, LF) but yeah, I could see a scenario where he would be the de-facto fifth OF. But other than Frazier, Phipps is the best option out there. And that's assuming that Walt will sign a FA OF or trade for someone like Smith to be the #3/#4 OF. We all believe that will happen, but as of now Phipps is actually the Reds' #4 OF, which is difficult to believe.

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    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Re: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    The only explanation for his breakout was his BABIP. Not his age or experience. He struck out more, walked the exact same amount and he didn't hit for more power. So his skills didn't really improve.
    OK, fair enough, I didn't see him play once. But from reading that thread, there are many who say he was hitting more line drives. The one dude who goes to all the Carolina Mudcats games (Muddie) said it was like "someone flipped a switch" and all of a sudden Phipps started raking.

    I definitely think we're talking about a AAAA player here, but since the Reds' depth in the OF is suddenly so shallow, he could be an interesting part of the puzzle for 2012. I bet they give him every chance to make the club out of spring training as the #5 OF.

    BTW, there is a poster in the minor league forum (JayBruceFan) who is saying in response to this thread that Phipps didn't play baseball as a kid in the Dominican because he exclusively played basketball growing up.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blitz Dorsey View Post
    If the Reds sign someone like Ludwick, or trade for Smith, that would give them a top-four OF of Bruce, Stubbs, Ludwick/Smith and Heisey. In that scenario, there is a very-good chance Phipps would make the club as the #5 OF with a good spring. Who else would make it ahead of him? There isn't a viable option from what I can tell. Unless you consider Frazier the #5 OF ... which is feasible. I prefer Frazier as an overall utility man (3B, 1B, LF) but yeah, I could see a scenario where he would be the de-facto fifth OF. But other than Frazier, Phipps is the best option out there. And that's assuming that Walt will sign a FA OF or trade for someone like Smith to be the #3/#4 OF. We all believe that will happen, but as of now Phipps is actually the Reds' #4 OF, which is difficult to believe.
    This is the expected makeup of the club:
    8 Position starters
    5 SP
    7 RP
    1 C
    2 IF reserves (1 capable at SS)
    2 OF (1 capable in CF)

    With Cairo and Fransisco both locks for the roster and neither capable of playing SS, there will have to be another guy added to backup SS (unless the Reds entertain having BP back it up). Frazier is theoretically possible, but I don't think the Reds think he candle handle SS acceptably

    So I think you need figure Heisey as the backup CF and part time LF, with Fransisco as in the LF picture as well. If they add a LF guy like Ludwick, I think they still add a SS (would not be surprised to see Renteria brought back) and Frazier headed to AAA.

    The other option, which seems more and more likely as I look at it, is only carrying 6 RPs -- at least for the first few weeks until they get a better read on things.
    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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    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Re: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    This is the expected makeup of the club:
    8 Position starters
    5 SP
    7 RP
    1 C
    2 IF reserves (1 capable at SS)
    2 OF (1 capable in CF)

    With Cairo and Fransisco both locks for the roster and neither capable of playing SS, there will have to be another guy added to backup SS (unless the Reds entertain having BP back it up). Frazier is theoretically possible, but I don't think the Reds think he candle handle SS acceptably

    So I think you need figure Heisey as the backup CF and part time LF, with Fransisco as in the LF picture as well. If they add a LF guy like Ludwick, I think they still add a SS (would not be surprised to see Renteria brought back) and Frazier headed to AAA.

    The other option, which seems more and more likely as I look at it, is only carrying 6 RPs -- at least for the first few weeks until they get a better read on things.
    I don't think carrying 6 RPs is an option. I see 7 locks: Madson, Marshall, Masset, Bray, Ondrusek, Arredondo and LeCure.

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    Re: Is it true Phipps didn't start playing baseball until he was 17 or 18?

    The only explanation for his breakout was his BABIP. Not his age or experience. He struck out more, walked the exact same amount and he didn't hit for more power. So his skills didn't really improve.
    Time will tell if this assessment has merit. If evaluating young players was an straightforward as this, anybody who can count could do it without knowing how the game is played.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini


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