- Baseball in the Garden of Eden, A Book ReviewPosted 776 days ago
Philadelphia Phillies, Part 1
- Updated: November 6, 2007
A review of the 2007 Phillies & a preview of the 2008 season
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:
|NAME||G||AB||AVG||R||HR||RBI||SB||BB Rate||SO Rate||DP%||VORP||5x5 Totals|
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|
Tune in tomorrow to find out my analysis on the Phillies’ pitching staff & see my thoughts on how they can improve in 2008!