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Archive for January, 2014

The Phillies Nation Top 100: #43 Al Orth

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, January 28, 2014 03:00 PM Comments: 0

The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #43. Our mission is to assess the Top 100 Phillies players of all time using impact to the Phillies, individual achievement, team achievement, traditional stats, and analytics as our criteria. The list was compiled by Ian Riccaboni and Pat Gallen with input from the rest of the Phillies Nation staff. 

From this point forward, each weekday, we will reveal two Phillies from the PN Top 100 in separate posts. To view the 2008 iteration of the list of Greatest Phillies of All Time as compiled by Tim Malcolm, please click here.

Please check back tomorrow morning for #42.

http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/board/attachments/ootp-mods-rosters-photos-quick-starts/178442d1263978255-gambo-t_wil1-photopack-al_orth-washington-.jpg#43 – Al Orth

Years: 1895-1901

100-72, 3.49 ERA, 1.330 WHIP in 1504.2 IP

Previous Rank: 67 (+24)

fWAR Phillies Rank: 14th among pitchers, 42nd among Phillies

Signature Season: Went 20-12 with a 2.27 ERA and a league-leading 1.001 WHIP with a league-leading six complete-game shutouts in 19o1

Throwing little other than variations on a fastball, the Curveless Wonder Al Orth was one of the Phillies earliest pitching stars. At age 22, Orth made quite an impression as a rookie, going 8-1 with a 3.89 ERA in 88.1 innings pitched. Orth would be the Phillies most reliable work horse from 1895 through 1901, leading the team in innings pitched and ranking 12th in the Majors in that same time frame. Orth’s 100 wins from 1895 through 1901 rank him seventh among starters, behind names like Cy Young and Kid Nichols. Orth’s 3.49 ERA in that time put him at a respectable 24th while he threw the fifth-most complete game shutouts in that time frame.

While Orth was one of the top pitchers in the National League, he was also one of the top hitting pitchers in baseball. Orth hit .294/.311/.405 in 751 PA with the Phillies with 7 HR and 15 SB. Orth ranks fourth among pitchers from 1895 through 1901 in batting average, 11th in OBP, and third in slugging. Orth’s bat would slow down after leaving the Phillies but his arm wouldn’t. After the 1901 season, Orth jumped to the Washington Senators and would later be traded to the then-New York Highlanders. He would lead the American League in wins and innings pitched in 1906, finishing his career with a 204-189 record and a 1.259 WHIP.

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Baseball Trivia this Thursday night

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, January 28, 2014 11:30 AM Comments: 0

trivia-winners

Winners from the December event

On Thursday, January 30th, Pat Gallen and Phillies Nation are hosting a Baseball Trivia night at Everybody Hits, an awesome indoor batting cage facility in Northern Liberties (529 W. Girard Ave.).

The contest starts at 8pm and costs $10 per person with a maximum of six people per team (the sixth person plays for free!).  There will be Phillies giveaways, prizes for the winners, hitting challenges, plus the batting cages will be open for unlimited hitting until 11pm.

The event is a BYOB affair, so bring your favorite brews to enjoy while you show off your academic and athletic abilities.

Woohoo!

photo-(5)

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The Phillies Nation Top 100: #44 Jack Taylor

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, January 28, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 0

The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #44. Our mission is to assess the Top 100 Phillies players of all time using impact to the Phillies, individual achievement, team achievement, traditional stats, and analytics as our criteria. The list was compiled by Ian Riccaboni and Pat Gallen with input from the rest of the Phillies Nation staff. 

From this point forward, each weekday, we will reveal two Phillies from the PN Top 100 in separate posts. To view the 2008 iteration of the list of Greatest Phillies of All Time as compiled by Tim Malcolm, please click here.

Please check back this afternoon for #43.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/images/headshot_29750.jpg#44 – Jack Taylor

Years: 1892-1897

96-77, 4.34 ERA, 1.497 WHIP in 1505.1 IP

Previous Rank: 41 (-3)

fWAR Phillies Rank: 13th among pitchers, 41st among Phillies

Signature Stat: Threw 150 complete games in parts of six seasons, an average of 25 per season

Brewery Jack, a nicknamed gained through his affection for alcohol, overcame a number of roadblocks to become one of the then-Philadelphia Quaker’s premier workhorse pitchers. Taylor was the son of a twice-widowed working mother but quickly grew an affinity for baseball. By age seven, Taylor had moved several times but ended up in Staten Island,  playing ball in the same neighborhood as other future Major Leaguers Jack Cronin, George SharrottJack Sharrott, and Tuck Turner.

Despite growing up with a deck stacked against him, Taylor became one of the strongest pitchers of the early “modern” era. Making most of his starts and appearances after the pitching rubber was moved to 60 feet, six inches, Taylor would throw 150 complete games, good enough for seventh in team history. Taylor was a three-time 20-game winner despite never posting an ERA under 4 in any of his full seasons with the Phillies. From 1892 through 1897, Taylor ranked 15th in the Majors in innings pitched and 15th in games started.

In a 24/7 news cycle, Twitter, and TMZ world, it is likely that Taylor would have become a national celebrity of interest. The 6’1″ right-handed pitcher liked alcohol, a fact that frequently ended up in the newspapers and butted heads with his manager in 1897, disciplinarian George Stallings. Taylor would be traded to the St. Louis Browns after the 1897 season. Sadly, Taylor would pass away at age 26, attributed to kidney disease. Despite pitching just six seasons for the Phillies, Taylor ranks 13th in franchise history in innings pitched, tenth in wins, and 21st in starts.

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The Phillies Nation Top 100: #45 Fred Luderus

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, January 27, 2014 12:00 PM Comments: 0

The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #45. Our mission is to assess the Top 100 Phillies players of all time using impact to the Phillies, individual achievement, team achievement, traditional stats, and analytics as our criteria. The list was compiled by Ian Riccaboni and Pat Gallen with input from the rest of the Phillies Nation staff. 

From this point forward, each weekday, we will reveal two Phillies from the PN Top 100 in separate posts. To view the 2008 iteration of the list of Greatest Phillies of All Time as compiled by Tim Malcolm, please click here.

Please check back tomorrow morning for #44.

http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/board/attachments/ootp-mods-rosters-photos-quick-starts/178975d1264510340-gambo-t_wil1-photopack-fred_luderus-phillies-.jpg#45 – Fred Luderus

Years: 1910-1920

.278/.340/.403, 83 HR, 55 SB in 5304 PA

Previous Rank: 30 (-15)

fWAR Phillies Rank: 30th among position players, 44th among Phillies

Signature Series: Hit .438/.500/.750 with two 2B and a HR in the 1915 World Series

The pride of Three Lakes, WI, Luderus was a fixture at first base on the 1910s Phillies clubs that would be in regular contention for the pennant. Acquired in 1910 for starting pitcher Bill Foxen, Luderus would spend eleven power-filled seasons with the Fightin’ Phils. The trade would end up being one of the best in Phillies history as, with the aid of the short right field porch at the Baker Bowl, Luderus would appear in the Top 10 in the NL in homers from 1911 through 1919, finishing second in batting average and slugging in the pennant-winning 1915 season.

Luderus retired with several Phillies records for first baseman, including being the clubs’ all-time leading home run hitter at first (82), as well as the leader in runs, RBI, and slugging, beating out such Phillies notables as Kitty Bransfield and Klondike Douglass before him. Luderus would be just about the only Phillie to show up in their first appearance in the Fall Classic in 1915, hitting the club’s first World Series homer as well as batting .438/.500/.750, leading the team in every triple-slash category, as well as doubles, homers, and OPS. Luderus was one of the earliest in a line of boppers at first for the Phillies and ranks among the teams’ best first baseman in history.

 

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The Phillies Nation Top 100: #46 Mike Lieberthal

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, January 27, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 0

The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #46. Our mission is to assess the Top 100 Phillies players of all time using impact to the Phillies, individual achievement, team achievement, traditional stats, and analytics as our criteria. The list was compiled by Ian Riccaboni and Pat Gallen with input from the rest of the Phillies Nation staff. 

From this point forward, each weekday, we will reveal two Phillies from the PN Top 100 in separate posts. To view the 2008 iteration of the list of Greatest Phillies of All Time as compiled by Tim Malcolm, please click here.

Please check back this afternoon for #45.

#46 – Mike Lieberthal

Years: 1994-2006

.275/.338/.450, 150 HR, 8 SB in 4613 PA

Previous Rank: 39 (-7)

fWAR Phillies Rank: 31st among position players, 45th among Phillies

Signature Achievement: All-time Phillies’ leader in games caught, plate appearances as a catcher, and homers as a catcher

Made two consecutive All-Star squads (1999-2000)

Mike Lieberthal arrived in Philadelphia with great promise and astonishingly-high expectations. The prep catcher was taken third overall in the 1990 draft out of Westlake High School in Glendale, CA and progressed rather fast through the Phillies farm system. By 1994, Lieby had tasted a cup of coffee with the Phils and would become a regular by 1997, becoming just one of four catchers to hit 20 homers that year. The others? Mike Piazza, Todd Hundley, and Ivan Rodriguez. Not bad company to be in at age 25.

Lieberthal’s time in Philly was seemingly defined as much by his power as it was by his injuries.  In arguably his healthiest season, 1999, Lieberthal cranked 31 homers while setting the team record for slugging percentage for a catcher, making the All-Star team and earning a Gold Glove while hitting .300/.363/.551. Lieberthal would rank once more in 2000, hitting .301/.370/.529 with 13 homers through the All-Star break, earning his second All-Star nod. Injuries would derail his stellar season in July and he would miss the remainder of September, ending what was debatably the lone bright spot in a 65-97 season.

Despite playing parts of 13 seasons in Philadelphia, Lieberthal would only see the 500 PA threshold in five of those seasons. It is not uncommon for starting catchers to see significantly less time than other starting players but knee injuries kept one of the best Phillies’ prospects off the field more than fans would have liked. Yet, Lieberthal remained just healthy, and productive, enough to be the singular bridge that lasted the entire time between playoff teams. Lieberthal would never make the playoffs himself but ranks seventh in Phillies history in batting average and third in slugging among catchers.

Lieberthal left the Phillies after the 2006 season to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers would wind up 82-80 while the team Lieby left won 89 games and the NL East. Sorry, Mike. Lieberthal would return to Philadelphia on June 7, 2012 to be inducted on to the Phillies Wall of Fame.

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Prospect Nation 2014: #18 Outfielder Dylan Cozens

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, January 25, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 21

Natural power is what made outfielder Dylan Cozens the Phillies 2nd round draft choice (77th overall) in 2012.  The six-foot-six 235-pounder has since shown a lot of progress in his short time in the minor leagues and is one the organization’s most promising offensive players.

After signing with the Phillies, Cozens debuted with the rookie level Gulf Coast Phillies.  In 50 games there, the lefty hitting Arizona native collected 15 doubles, two triples, five homers and 24 RBI. Cozens also participated in the Florida Instructional League in 2012, where he impressed Phillies coaches and staff with his ability to drive the ball to the farthest reaches of the Carpenter Complex and neighboring teams’ facilities.

After a productive spring in 2013, Cozens was retained in extended spring training and made his official season debut with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League.  Cozens was among the league leaders in many categories last year, placing second in the league in doubles (19), extra base hits (30), and runs (50) while ranking third in slugging percentage (.469).  Additionally, he batted .265 with two triples, nine home runs and 35 RBI in 68 games for the Cutters. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2014: #18 Outfielder Dylan Cozens

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The Phillies Nation Top 100: #47 John Kruk

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, January 24, 2014 12:00 PM Comments: 0

The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #47. Our mission is to assess the Top 100 Phillies players of all time using impact to the Phillies, individual achievement, team achievement, traditional stats, and analytics as our criteria. The list was compiled by Ian Riccaboni and Pat Gallen with input from the rest of the Phillies Nation staff. 

From this point forward, each weekday, we will reveal two Phillies from the PN Top 100 in separate posts. To view the 2008 iteration of the list of Greatest Phillies of All Time as compiled by Tim Malcolm, please click here.

Please check back Monday morning for #46.

#47 – John Kruk

Years: 1989-1994

.309/.400/.461, 62 HR, 33 SB in 3001 PA

Previous Rank: 33 (-14)

fWAR Phillies Rank: 32nd among position players, 46th among Phillies

Signature Moment: At-bat in the 1993 All-Star Game against Randy Johnson

Made three consecutive All-Star Teams (1991-1993)

The Kruker arrived in Philadelphia with Randy Ready in a trade that sent Chris James to San Diego on June 2, 1989. The trade was a fortuitous one for the Phillies: Kruk would play parts of six seasons with the Phillies, making three-straight All-Star teams from 1991 through 1993, successfully splitting time between the outfield and first base while James hit .264/.314/.429 in a half season for San Diego before being traded to the Cleveland Indians, making no All-Star teams. Continue reading The Phillies Nation Top 100: #47 John Kruk

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The Phillies Nation Top 100: #48 Carlos Ruiz

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, January 24, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 0

The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #48. Our mission is to assess the Top 100 Phillies players of all time using impact to the Phillies, individual achievement, team achievement, traditional stats, and analytics as our criteria. The list was compiled by Ian Riccaboni and Pat Gallen with input from the rest of the Phillies Nation staff. 

From this point forward, each weekday, we will reveal two Phillies from the PN Top 100 in separate posts. To view the 2008 iteration of the list of Greatest Phillies of All Time as compiled by Tim Malcolm, please click here.

Please check back this afternoon for #47.

#48 – Carlos Ruiz

Years: 2006-Present

.274/.358/.412, 57 HR, 16 SB in 2926 PA

Previous Rank: New to Rankings

fWAR Phillies Rank: 34th among position players, 50th among Phillies

Signature Stat: Ranks fifth in Defensive Range/9 IP and Range/Game among catchers

Signature Moments: Dribbler up the line to score Eric Bruntlett from third to win Game 3, meeting Brad Lidge on the mound of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series

Signature Performance: Caught Roy Halladay‘s Perfect Game and No Hitter in 2010

Chooooooooooch.

The affable Panamanian catcher was a mainstay on the five-time NL East champions, establishing a reputation as one of baseball’s best defensive catchers. Ruiz was a 27-year old rookie when he was called up for a cup of coffee in May and September of 2006. Ruiz would somewhat surprisingly make the Phillies out of camp in 2007 and would win the starting catching gig over veteran free agent acquisition Rod Barajas, 34-year old, second-year catcher Chris Coste, and 29-year old veteran catcher Pete LaForest.

Ruiz would win the Phillies starting catching gig once and for all in the 2008 postseason, hitting .261/.346/.391 in the 2008 postseason, with a pivotal homer, and game winning dribbler up the third base line, in Game 3 of the 2008 World Series. With the starting job fully in tow, Ruiz would become one of the National League’s best catchers, both offensively and defensively. Over the last five seasons, Chooch ranks fifth among all catchers in batting average, third in OBP, 11th in SLG, fifth in defensive runs saved, and sixth in fWAR. Continue reading The Phillies Nation Top 100: #48 Carlos Ruiz

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The Phillies Nation Top 100: #49 Stan Lopata

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, January 23, 2014 01:00 PM Comments: 8

The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #49. Our mission is to assess the Top 100 Phillies players of all time using impact to the Phillies, individual achievement, team achievement, traditional stats, and analytics as our criteria. The list was compiled by Ian Riccaboni and Pat Gallen with input from the rest of the Phillies Nation staff. 

From this point forward, each weekday, we will reveal two Phillies from the PN Top 100 in separate posts. To view the 2008 iteration of the list of Greatest Phillies of All Time as compiled by Tim Malcolm, please click here. To view this year’s Top 100 Phillies list, click here.

Please check back tomorrow morning for #48.

#49– Stan Lopata

Years: 1948-1958

.257/.355/.459, 116 HR, 18 SB in 2545 PA

Previous Rank: New to Rankings

fWAR Phillies Rank: 35th among position players, 51st among Phillies

Signature Series: Hit 32 HR with .267/.353/.535 in 625 PA in All-Star 1956 season

Made two-straight All-Star teams (1955-1956)

“Stash” was one of the most unlikely stars in Phillies history. Tabbed the starting catcher over veteran Andy Seminick prior to the start of the season in 1949, Lopata ended up starting less games than Seminick but put up a solid .271/.330/.425 line with 8 HR in 261 PA as a 24-year old rookie. Lopata would remain the back-up catcher for the 1950 Whiz Kids and reached the World Series. By 1951, Lopata was fighting injuries and was being shuttled back and forth between Philadelphia and the Triple-A Baltimore Orioles. Lopata would return to the Phillies full-time in 1952, becoming one of the league’s most productive back-ups, hitting 14 homers with a .290/.369/.544 line in 298 PA.

It was during the 1954 campaign that Lopata adapted a batting stance so low that Jeff Bagwell would be envious. In 1955, Lopata would split time with the returning Seminick and a June hot streak (.339/.382/.613, 5 HR) would push Lopata on to the All-Star team. Lopata would return to the All-Star team in his only year with the Phillies where he accumulated over 450 plate appearances, hitting 32 HR. Despite his limited playing time, Lopata ranked fifth in homers among catchers, had the sixth best walk-rate among catchers, ninth in OBP, and fourth in slugging among catchers between 1948 and 1958. Despite rarely being a starter, Lopata, and his signature glasses, was one of the very best catchers the Phillies had and was one of the best catchers in baseball for eleven seasons.

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The Phillies Nation Top 100: #50 Andy Seminick

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, January 23, 2014 10:30 AM Comments: 0

The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #49. Our mission is to assess the Top 100 Phillies players of all time using impact to the Phillies, individual achievement, team achievement, traditional stats, and analytics as our criteria. The list was compiled by Ian Riccaboni and Pat Gallen with input from the rest of the Phillies Nation staff. 

From this point forward, each weekday, we will reveal two Phillies from the PN Top 100 in separate posts. To view the 2008 iteration of the list of Greatest Phillies of All Time as compiled by Tim Malcolm, please click here.

Please check back this afternoon for #49.

#50 – Andy Seminick

Years: 1943-1951, 1955-1957

.244/.351/.419, 123 HR, 20 SB in 3449 PA

Previous Rank: 56 (+7)

fWAR Phillies Rank: 33rd among position players, 49th among Phillies

Signature Series: Hit .288/.400/.524 with 24 HR, finishing 14th in MVP voting, in 1950 Whiz Kids season

All-Star in 1949

“Grandpa Whiz”, as Seminick was affectionately known, was the starting backstop for the 1950 pennant-winning Phillies, navigating the rotation of Robin Roberts, Curt Simmons, Bob Miller, Russ Meyer, Bubba Church, and Ken Heintzelman to a 91-win season. Seminick was a reliable battery mate for the young rotation, seeing over 400 PA in five straight seasons (1946-1950). While Seminick was reliable, and a pretty potent hitter, he was not very sure-handed: a premier offensive catcher of his generation, ranking second in homers among catchers from 1943-1951, fourth in runs, seventh in OBP, sixth in SLG, and eighth in OPS, Seminick struggled defensively.  Seminick led baseball in errors in 1946, 1948-1950, and 1952, while allowing the most stolen bases from 1946-1948 and in 1950. To be fair, Seminick also led baseball in runners thrown out in 1948 and 1949.

Seminick would play through a broken ankle in the 1950 World Series, which may have contributed to his .182/.250/.182 line against the Yankees. In 1952, he was traded in a seven player deal to the Reds for his first replacement, Smokey Burgess. Seminick would return to the Phillies in a 1955 trade that sent Seminick back to the Phillies for, among other players, Smokey Burgess. It is Seminick’s rare power behind the plate that puts him into the Top 50 Phillies of all-time. Seminick retired with the seventh-most homers ever as a catcher and ranks third among Phillies catchers in homers, fourth in runs scored, fifth in RBIs, third in BB%, 11th in OBP, and ninth in slugging.

Seminick would remain with the Phillies organization after his retirement, including stints as a coach in 1958-1959 and 1967-1969, managing minor league clubs from 1959-1966 and 1970-1973, and working as a roving scout and instructor until his death in 2004. Seminick’s name lived on long beyond the end of his career with the Phillies: he managed or coached 90 players in the minors that would reach the Majors, including Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski.

 

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