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Philadelphia Phillies, Part 1

A review of the 2007 Phillies & a preview of the 2008 season

By Peter Schiller

The strength of the 2007 Philadelphia Phillies was their offense, especially from ¾ of their infield!

The rating system that I used as the metric for these rankings are based on a Fantasy Baseball 5X5 Rotisserie rating system (the sum of BA, Runs, HRs, RBIs, & SBs).

Jimmy Rollins is ranked #1 at SS (just ahead of the Marlin’s Hanley Ramirez) and was just awarded the NL Gold Glove Award at SS. Both 1B Ryan Howard & 2B Chase Utley both ranked # 2 at their positions with just the Brewer’s Prince Fielder ahead of Howard at 1B by 2 points & the Red’s Brandon Phillips ahead of Utley at 2B by 24 points. Who knows if that would be different had Utley not gotten hit on the hand & landed on the DL late in the season (Utley has the advantage in average, Phillips has a bigger advantage in SBs).

Their one weak spot in their infield is at 3B. Not defensively mind you, just with the bat on a daily basis. Out of the three players who platooned at 3B, only Greg Dobbs had a positive value over (a) replacement player (VORP) with a rank of 25. As a point of reference, Rollins had a VORP of 66.1, Howard had a score of 53.6 & Utley a score of 68.8 in 2007. The other two to play third were Wes Helms & Abraham Nunez. Nunez is the defensive gem in the group & has a great arm, but can a NL team survive with a # 8 hitter who bats .234 and has the second highest percentage of double plays hit into? (He just edged out rookie catcher Carlos Ruiz by 1.8%) This is probably why the Phillies did not pick up the option on Nunez’s contract for 2008; he was released back on October 11th. I’ll talk about Ruiz a bit later on… Maybe more regular time would increase Dobbs’ numbers, but is he too much of a liability there defensively or is it just a matter of time before opposing pitchers start finding the holes in his swing more regularly & his numbers diminish further? Maybe it might do them some good to look to upgrade at this position. Can they afford A-Rod? If they could get him, they would arguably have the best offensive infield of all time!

If anyone can think of one that would rank better please reply to this post. I’d love to go down that road!

It looks as if Ruiz’s rookie year success has caused the Phillies not to pick up the option on the 2008 contract of catcher Rod Barajas; he was released back on October 11th. Ruiz ranked 16th among all catchers and also ranked ahead of fellow teammates: Jayson Werth (LF/RF reserve), Helms & Nunez. Their third catcher, Chris Coste, caught in the same amount of games as Barajas & has a VORP of .2 point higher than Barajas even though he out performed Barajas in almost every offensive category. See all three catcher’s stats below:

Phillies Catchers

NAME G AB AVG R HR RBI SB BB Rate SO Rate DP% VORP 5x5 Totals
Carlos Ruiz 115 374 0.259 42 6 54 6 10% 11% 18.80% 13.0 108.259
Chris Coste 48 129 0.279 15 5 22 0 3% 15% 3.30% 3.6 42.279
Rod Barajas 48 122 0.230 16 4 10 0 14% 16% 15.20% 3.4 30.23

At the corner OF spots they have Pat Burrell in LF who was ranked # 9 out of all LF’ers and Shane Victorino in RF who ranked #18 out of all RF’ers. The Phillies would like to see Burrell hit for a better average, but he did hit 30 HRs with 97 RBIs & 77 runs scored with the highest BB% on the team. As an added bonus, only Utley hit into fewer double plays than Burrell and that was by a mere 1.1%! Granted he’s over priced, but with these numbers you can’t been too dissatisfied with him. Victorino’s big attributes are his SBs: he had 37, even though he missed time towards the end of the year. He can cover a lot of ground in the field and has a rocket of an arm. He has arguably one of the best arms in the game in RF.

Then there’s Aaron Rowand in CF who was just awarded the NL Gold Glove Award. He tied in the voting with Jeff Francoeur of the rival Braves. Rowand ranked 7th among all CF’ers hitting .309 while scoring 105 runs hitting 27 HRs and knocking in 89 RBIs. He is now a free agent & has probably now priced out of the Phillies’ expense account!

Here are the vital signs for the Phillies hitters:

POS Rank NAME POS Alt POS AVG R HR RBI SB BB Rate DP% VORP 5x5 Totals
1 Jimmy Rollins SS   0.296 139 30 94 41 6% 14.7 66.1 304.296
2 Ryan Howard 1B   0.268 94 47 136 1 17% 10.5 53.6 278.268
2 Chase Utley 2B   0.332 104 22 103 9 8% 7.9 68.8 238.332
7 Aaron Rowand CF   0.309 105 27 89 6 7% 14.9 52 227.309
9 Pat Burrell LF   0.256 77 30 97 0 19% 9 34.5 204.256
18 Shane Victorino RF   0.281 78 12 46 37 7% 10.8 17.1 173.281
25 Greg Dobbs 3B   0.272 45 10 55 3 8% 11.4 10 113.272
16 Carlos Ruiz* CF   0.259 42 6 54 6 10% 18.8 13 108.259
37 Jayson Werth RF LF 0.298 43 8 49 7 14% 0 18.3 107.298
37 Wes Helms 3B   0.246 21 5 39 0 6% 12.8 -5.1 65.246
39 Abraham Nunez 3B   0.234 24 0 16 2 10% 17.6 -9.4 42.234

Tune in tomorrow to find out my analysis on the Phillies’ pitching staff & see my thoughts on how they can improve in 2008!




5 Comments

  1. Tommy Lasorda

    November 8, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Enough of you and all these numbers. When’s Pete’s Rose gonna write again?

  2. Chris Antonelli

    November 9, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    Tommy —

    I respect you. You were one of the all time greats.

    If you had known about numbers, you’d have won four WS titles. Don’t begrudge us new guys.

    Chris

  3. Peter

    November 11, 2007 at 2:27 am

    Hi Tommy, Chris, Charlie & Pat,

    I appreciate all of your comments, but couldn’t help but notice that they all were coming from the same IP address. I don’t care which name you go by as long as you keep reading & commenting on my blog. I like the banter! :-)

  4. Pingback: baseball » Philadelphia Phillies, Part 1

  5. Alicia

    July 8, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    My best team of MLB is The Philadelphia Phillies . This why I always fallow their games especially whenever I have some time. I’m always trying not o miss any of their game and hear about the team’s news. But The Philadelphia Phillies tickets get more pricy especially when there are some hot games. But, if we’re really good fans we should try not to be mean when we’re talking about a favourite teams. It’s not only the Phillies tickets that got pricy, but there are other major teams too, so the team needs our support and we should provide as much as we can.

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