RealClearSports
Advertisement

Philliebuster


July 16, 2009 12:39 AM

Season Review/Preview- Position Players Edition (Now with Arbitrary Grades!)

Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals

Welcome to the 2009 Phillies Season in Review/Preview, Position Players Edition!


Catchers

Carlos Ruiz
Some numbers: .235 AVG, .703 OPS, .310 wOBA, .257 BABIP (.262 career)
Some commentary: Ruiz has been (mostly) a serviceable catcher, which is all the Phils need. He has struggled mightily in June/July (.482 OPS/.488 OPS). Ruiz has been putting up Bakoey offensive numbers, after a strong offensive May.
Arbitrary Grade: C

Paul Bako
Some numbers: .214 AVG, .517 OPS, .238 wOBA, .286 BABIP (.305 career)
Some commentary: Bako is not a major league-quality player, but he has hit as well as Ruiz, since June. "Gabor" is one of my favorite baseball names, but that is not enough to merit a roster spot.
Arbitrary Grade: F

Chris Coste (no longer with organization)
Some numbers: .240 AVG, .711 OPS, .317 wOBA, .307 BABIP (.316 career)
Some commentary: Coste is weak defensively, but far superior with the bat to Bako. Does Bako make up the offensive difference, with his defensive prowess? Probably not. Coste should still be on the roster, Bako should not be in the organization.
Arbitrary Grade: C-

Lou Marson
Some numbers: (AAA) .298 AVG, .748 OPS, .343 wOBA, .363 BABIP
Some commentary: Marson has done well at AAA, and is a far superior hitter to Bako (as are most players). Hopefully, Marson will replace Bako as the backup catcher, for the postseason (if not sooner).
Arbitrary Grade: INC

1B

Ryan Howard
Some numbers: .257 AVG, 22 HR, .870 OPS, .373 wOBA, .306 BABIP (.330 career), 4.9 UZR/150
Some commentary: Howard has improved, substantially, as a fielder (2nd among NL 1B in UZR/150). His low batting average could improve a bit, if his luck improves a bit. Ugly .574 OPS against lefties (139 AB) brings down his numbers, and his overall grade.
Arbitrary Grade: A-

2B

Chase Utley
Some numbers: .313 AVG, 20 HR, 1.004 OPS, .436 wOBA, .330 BABIP (.326 career), 2.6 UZR/150
Some commentary: Utley was expected to miss the first month of the season, but hasn't missed any time at all. In a non-Pujols World, he would be under MVP consideration. Ranks 5th among NL 2B in UZR/150.
Arbitrary Grade: A+

SS

Jimmy Rollins
Some numbers: .229 AVG, 7 HR, .642 OPS, .287 wOBA, .242 BABIP (.297 career), 3.7 UZR/150
Some commentary: Rollins has had a brutal season. His BABIP, and his July numbers (1.078 OPS, 45 AB), indicate that things could be getting better. Ranks 5th among NL SS in UZR/150.
Arbitrary Grade: D

3B

Pedro Feliz
Some numbers: .293 AVG, 6 HR, .756 OPS, .329 wOBA, .317 BABIP (.274 career), 9.3 UZR/150
Some commentary: The slick-fielding Feliz is second among NL 3B in UZR. Feliz' high BABIP indicates that his AVG may regress a bit. Feliz has a .338 OBP in 2009, after struggling to exceed .300 in previous seasons.
Arbitrary Grade: B

LF

Raul Ibanez
Some numbers: .309 AVG. 22 HR, 1.015 OPS, .426 wOBA, .314 BABIP (.311 career), HR/FB: 24.2% (12.9% career), -1.2 UZR/150
Some commentary: The Ibanez signing might be questionable a year from now, but it has been a great move at this point. His counting stats could be higher, if he hadn't missed time with a groin injury. His fielding has been surprisingly adequate. His HR rate should regress, as his HR/FB rate of 24.2% is rather aberrant. Ibanez has fattened up his stats against the woeful Nationals (57 AB, 6 HR, .440 AVG, 1.389 OPS). He won't (likely) put up the same numbers in the second half, but he has been one of the Phils' first half MVPs.
Arbitrary Grade: A+

CF

Shane Victorino
Some numbers: .309 AVG, 6 HR, .839 OPS, .368 wOBA, .338 BABIP (.312 career), -12.6 UZR/150
Some commentary: Victorino's NL-worst UZR/150 is disconcerting. Ibanez had UZR/150s of -23.3 and -10.4 in the past two seasons. It seems possible that, somehow, UZR/150 is understating Victorino's defensive skill, while overstating Ibanez'? Victorino's AVG may regress a bit in the second half, but he was a deserving All-Star.
Arbitrary Grade: A-

RF

Jayson Werth
Some numbers: .263 AVG, 20 HR, .884 OPS, .384 wOBA, .290 BABIP (.330 career), 7.1 UZR/150
Some commentary: Werth has 40 HR potential. His AVG could improve, if his luck improves. Werth ranks 3rd in NL UZR/150. Another deserving All-Star.
Arbitrary Grade: A

Reserves

Matt Stairs (OF)
Some numbers: (76 PA), .283 AVG, 4 HR, .951 OPS, .415 wOBA, .333 BABIP (.291 career)
Some commentary: Stairs has done a superb job as a pinch-hitter. He is almost useless in the field.
Arbitrary Grade: B

Greg Dobbs (OF/IF)
Some numbers: (119 PA), .269 AVG, 5 HR, .774 OPS, .330 wOBA, .293 BABIP (.316 career)
Some commentary:Dobbs performs much better when he plays more regularly. Manuel needs to do a better job getting Dobbs PAs.
Arbitrary Grade: B

John Mayberry (OF)
Some numbers: (AAA) .257 AVG, 8 HR, .808 OPS, .362 wOBA, .328 BABIP
Some commentary: Mayberry has struggled at the MLB level this season (.297 in 52 PAs). He needs to play regularly at AAA, but the Phillies' lack of a satisfactory right-handed pinch-hitter/outfielder may keep him with the parent club.
Arbitrary Grade: INC

Eric Bruntlett (IF/OF)
Some numbers: (84 PAs) .139 AVG, .416 OPS, .192 wOBA, .185 BABIP (.273 career)
Some commentary: It is disturbing that Bruntlett has more PAs than Stairs. Bruntlett has not been lucky at the plate, but he also hasn't been good. His offensive stats are historically bad. If he was a "25th Man", who rarely played (and didn't have a 800K salary, 500K perhaps?), and contributed by helping clean up around the clubhouse, he might not hurt the Phils as much. But Manuel giving him 150 PAs is a disaster.
Arbitrary Grade: F

With the exception of Jimmy Rollins, and the catchers, the Phillies' position players have performed very well. Their bench has been a glaring weakness, with only two useful players (Greg Dobbs, Matt Stairs), only one of whom (Dobbs) is adequate defensively. The Phils desperately need a right-handed hitting outfielder/pinch-hitter, and would be in bad shape if any of their starting position players were injured. However, there may not be another MLB team that can match the ability of the Phillies' starting lineup.

A Member Of