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Posts Tagged ‘Batting Average’

2014 Top Moments: #4 Ben Revere’s First Home Run

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, October 23, 2014 10:05 AM Comments: 3

We are continuing with our 2014 Top Moments countdown, this time taking a look back at Ben Revere‘s first MLB home run.

PHOTO: AP

PHOTO: AP

Ben Revere had over 1,400 major league at-bats coming into the game against the Rockies on May 27. There were 23,159 in paid attendance that night at Citizens Bank Park, but an hour-and-22 minute rain delay subsequently caused fans to leave and the stadium to be nearly empty.

Revere had grounded out three straight times–one to first and two to third. Coming into his fourth at-bat in the seventh, the situation was this: The Rockies had just taken the lead on a three-run home run by Wilin Rosario. Revere, the second batter of the inning, was facing lefty Boone Logan, who was usually pretty darn good against lefties–a 1.71 ERA and 1.58 xFIP against lefties in 2013.

It was a 1-1 count, and Logan threw an 91-MPH inside fastball. Revere turned on it perfectly, sending it over the right field fence into the first row. As expected, the entire Phillies dugout ignored him at first before celebrating. It broke the longest homerless drought for an MLB player since Frank Tavares for the Pirates in the 70′s.

ESPN’s home run tracker had the home run at 357 feet, and, in the part of the ballpark it was, would’ve been a home run in just six MLB ballparks. What makes his home run even more surprising, outside of the fact that he’s never hit one before, is that he doesn’t usually have success hitting the ball to right field. Most of his success is up the middle or to left field. He also doesn’t typically hit fly balls, as the majority of his hits are grounders or line drives. He even said that he “usually gets in trouble” when he hits fly balls. Here’s a chart from Fangraphs:


Source: FanGraphs

Over his career, he has a .178 average on fly balls, a .242 average on grounders, and a .676 average on liners. For comparison, the MLB average in 2014 was .202 on flies, .212 on grounders, and .712 on liners. Revere hits .280 when pulling the ball (2014 MLB average .319), .327 when hitting it up the middle (2014 MLB average .324), and .358 to the opposite field (2014 MLB average .298).

Revere would go on to hit another home run, this time against the Nationals on September 5. This home run tied the game for the Phillies in the top of the ninth–a game they would eventually win. It traveled 401 feet–would’ve been out in all 30 ballparks–and came off of Washington’s closer Rafael Soriano.

His two home runs ended up being a part of a special season for Revere, who would compete for the NL batting title and finish with 49 stolen bases. His first home run was a treat for Phillies fans, and a sigh of relief for Revere, who was just waiting for that moment to happen. He said he wants to get 400 more, but somehow I don’t think that will happen.

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Ken Giles, And The Battle For Closer In 2015

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, August 29, 2014 11:00 AM Comments: 7

PHOTO: (AP/Chris Szagola)

PHOTO: (AP/Chris Szagola)

Ken Giles has been good this year. Really good. The 23 year old, flamethrowing reliever was called up on June 8 after Mike Adams was placed on the disabled list with shoulder issues. Giles had a 1.88 ERA and 12 saves in the minors for Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley prior to the call up.

He was only expected to fill in for Adams and provide some spark in the late innings ahead of Jonathan Papelbon.

But he’s done so much more.

In 32 appearances and 33.2 innings, Giles has given up just six runs–five earned, good for an ERA of 1.34. He doesn’t give up many home runs (0.27 per 9), and doesn’t allow much contact–battersare making contact at a rate 67.4% against him, 4th in the NL. He has a 5.33 K/BB ratio, which is 8th in the NL (relievers, min 30 IP), and largely due to his absurd amount (48) of strikeouts. Among NL relievers with at least 30 innings pitched, both his K/9 (12.83) and his K% (38.1%) are in the top five. An interesting and unrelated note–Jake Diekman is right up there with Giles in both those categories.

Giles has an average velocity of 97.1 on his fastball, second in MLB to only cyborg Aroldis Chapman of the Reds. He also throws a nasty slider, and, according to PITCHf/x data, is the 16th most valuable in the league. 32 of his 48 strikeouts (two thirds) have come via the slider, and opponents are hitting just .137/.154/.157 against it. He’s given up just one extra base hit in 208 sliders thrown (0.48%).

The fastball-slider combo reminds me of another Phillies closer–Brad Lidge. His fastball velocity hovered around 95 MPH before he began to lose it (the average fell to about 89 MPH by 2011) and his slider was valued at 4th in all of baseball from 2007-2011. About 81.8% of his strikeouts came via his slider, and opponents hit just .190/.251/.301 against it. They’d only make contact on 54.8% of swings against it, and hit just 35 extra base hits in 2202 total pitches seen (1.6%).

PHOTO: (AP/Laurence Kesterson)

PHOTO: (AP/Laurence Kesterson)

The current closer for the Phillies–Jonathan Papelbon–has been as good as ever in 2014. He has an ERA of 1.60 (11th in NL), a K/BB ratio of 4.15 (21st in NL, and a fastball valued at 4th best in the NL. Many of his numbers this year are somewhere near his career bests, even though his fastball velocity is down. I should also mention that a few of his numbers are somewhere near his career lows as well. He gets a lot of flack for his comments to the media and his slow pace on the mound, but there’s no denying he’s been good this year.

But what about next year? The Phillies have been openly trying to trade Papelbon, or “Cinco Ocho”, as he likes to call himself–no no avail. In that article, Ken Rosenthal ponders that the lack of interest in Papelbon might be due to his falling velocity and his personality, but that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. doesn’t think so.

Regardless, the Phillies will have to make a decision on Papelbon for next year, because Giles seems ready to take over at closer and I don’t think it’s likely that Papelbon can continue to pitch at this level. If they want to go with Giles, they will have to get rid of Papelbon in some capacity, whether it be via trade or release, because Papelbon will not want to be a setup man, even though he’s really helped groom Giles this year.

I think Giles deserves it, and I think Papelbon will regress next year, and has rubbed Phillies fans the wrong way too often for the Phillies to sell him as the closer over Giles in 2015.

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Just Who Is Jerome Williams?

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Mon, August 25, 2014 07:00 AM Comments: 13

PHOTO: (AP/Chris Carlson)

PHOTO: (AP/Chris Carlson)

Jerome Williams is not a household name. Many Phillies fans are still wondering just who he is. And I don’t blame them. In the scorebook, he’s the guy who’s thrown three straight gems for the Phillies.

August 12: 5.1 innings and 2 earned runs against a tough Angels team.

August 18: 7 innings, one earned run against the Mariners.

August 24: 8 innings, one earned run against the Cardinals.

All together, that’s just four earned runs given up in 20.1 innings–a 1.77 ERA.

But who is he? The 32 year old grew up in Hawaii, and prior to coming to the Phillies, he’s played for (starting with most recent) the Rangers, Astros, Angels, Nationals, Cubs, and Giants.

Continue reading Just Who Is Jerome Williams?

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Can Ben Revere Win The Batting Title?

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Sat, August 23, 2014 11:10 AM Comments: 12

All Placido Polanco Ben Revere does is hit. He’s been a hit machine recently, and has pushed himself up to 2nd in the NL in batting average, only behind Justin Morneau of the Rockies.

But can he pass Morneau? Revere has been on an outstanding hot streak since June, leading MLB in average over that span. He also hasn’t struck out or walked much, either.

Why he will win it

Revere has finally settled into his groove. He’s seeing the ball extremely well, and his lack of patience is made up for with his stellar ability to make contact. Only Denard Span of the Nationals makes contact at a higher rate than Revere.

He’s on a hot streak right now, and his confidence at the plate is at a season high. He’s making it look easy.

Morneau, on the other hand, hasn’t been as good lately. If (a big ‘if’) Revere doesn’t cool off, he’ll win the batting title easily.

Why he won’t

While Revere undoubtedly can make contact with the ball at an extremely high rate, the contact he makes isn’t necessarily good. He leads MLB in contact %, but also ground ball %, and obviously ground ball/fly ball %. He doesn’t hit many solid line drives, as most of his hits are ground ball singles.

He doesn’t walk, and doesn’t hit for any kind of power, which means his plate appearances usually end in either a single or an out. Out of 477 plate appearances so far, only 29 have not ended in either a single or an out.

He can easily be dealt with by having pitcher sort of “pitch around” him, knowing he will still swing. Although he doesn’t chase balls out of the zone too much, he hardly ever sees pitches out of the zone. He’s seeing the most in-the-zone pitches in all of baseball according to Fangraphs. However, he’s 6th in MLB in the rate at which he makes contact with pitches outside the zone. If pitchers pitch around him more, I think Revere will struggle a ton.

There’s also the injury factor to consider. He is often limping around the field after his PAs.

Verdict

I don’t think he’ll do it. I would love to see it, but I just don’t think he will stay this hot through September. I think he’ll cool off and finish in the top 3 in the NL in average. He just doesn’t make enough solid contact to sustain such a high average, in my opinion. However, he’s been fun to watch these last few months, a rarity with this current Phillies team.

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Byrd On Pace For (Slightly) Historic Season

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Mon, August 18, 2014 07:00 AM Comments: 17

Marlon+Byrd+Philadelphia+Phillies+v+Texas+Gey0d7AmFRKlIn this forgettable string of baseball games that we are calling the 2014 Phillies season, there is not a single thing we could look at and say “yeah, I’m going to remember this for years and years”. However, things aren’t all bad. The bullpen has been surprisingly strong, and a few hitters have been swinging the bat well–particularly the gentlemen that patrols right field for the Phils.

Marlon Byrd has been one of the most consistent offensive players on the Phillies in 2014, and he’s 36 years old.

Let’s go back to last November. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. signed Byrd to a 2-year contract, and, at the time received a load of criticism. The Phillies needed outfield help, and there were guys like Nelson Cruz still available.

He leads the team in home runs and slugging, and is 2nd on the team in OPS, doubles, and RBI.

He has missed just two(!) of 124 games this season. He’s slashing–at the time of writing this post–.270/.320/.473, has hit 22 home runs, and has 70 RBIs. By the end of the year, he’ll likely have somewhere around 28 home runs and 90 RBI.  A season with those numbers, at his age, would be among the best seasons all time for the Phillies.

The last time we saw something like this was in 2009 when Raul Ibanez had a monster season offensively. He hit 34 home runs and collected 93 RBI that year, when he was 37. Prior to that, we haven’t seen anything like this since Hall-Of-Famer Mike Schmidt had back-to-back years of 35+ home runs and 113+ RBI in 1986 and 1987. Beyond Ibanez and Schmidt, the only other player in Phils history to reach 28 home runs and 90 RBI at age 36 or older was Cy Williams in 1927.

That’s three players, one of which is an all-time great. If Byrd can manage to tally 6 more home runs and 20 more RBI in the final month and a half of the season, which should be easily attainable at his current pace, he’ll join them.  And if he does (or even if he doesn’t), it’ll go down as one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dreadful season for the Phillies.

 

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Prospect Nation 2014: #2 LHP Jesse Biddle

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, March 16, 2014 06:00 PM Comments: 3

Jesse Biddle, Image- Jay Floyd

In recent years, Jesse Biddle has become the prospect that Phillies fans have heard the most about.  This year though, the hometown kid may go from highly touted prospect to major league rookie and the stuff that Philadelphia faithful have heard will be on display at the top level of the sport every five days.

Upon signing his first pro contract, Biddle quickly made his minor league debut, beginning his journey toward donning the uniform of the team he cheered on from the seats of Citizens Bank Park all throughout his teenage years. The graduate of Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia combined to post a 4-1 record with a 3.92 ERA and a .241 batting average against in 12 starts with the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies and the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters in 2010.

The following year, Biddle became an All-Star in the Class A South Atlantic League as a member of the Lakewood BlueClaws. As the team’s most dependable starter through much of the season, Biddle posted a 7-8 record with a 2.98 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) and notched 124 strike outs in 133 innings pitched. Also, he held opponents to a .219 batting average.

In 2012, Biddle had a very good season, representing the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers in the Florida State League All-Star Game.  That season he sported a 10-6 record with a 3.22 ERA, a 9.53 K/9 mark and a .237 batting average against.

He followed that up with another All-Star campaign in 2013 for Double-A Reading. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2014: #2 LHP Jesse Biddle

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Ruf Playing as Though His Job is on the Line

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, September 28, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 27

DarinRuf

Darin Ruf, image- Jay Floyd

Despite posting solid numbers in the big leagues whenever he’s been given the chance,  outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf‘s future with the Phillies isn’t very clear.

The 27-year-old slugger entered action on Friday sporting a .254 batting average with 14 home runs and 30 RBI in 71 games in the majors this year.

Ruf has continued to put in plenty of work after mashing 41 homers last year, including a team record 38 with Double-A Reading and an additional three in the major leagues after a September call up.  He began this year at the Triple-A level, which gave the Creighton University product a chance to work on his defense in the outfield.

Even after proving he can be a productive offensive contributor and showing his defensive versatility, Ruf’s spot in the Phils’ lineup may not be locked in for next season.  The rookie feels like his best approach is to continue playing as though he’s fighting for a job and looks forward to a chance to continue donning red pinstripes in the future and helping the Phillies win.

“I don’t think you ever want to think your spot in the majors is solidified because there’s a lot of things that can go wrong,” Ruf said on the latest edition of the PhoulBallz Podcast.  ” Injuries, things like that and, obviously, you have to prepare to perform well every single day too and that’s not a guarantee as well, but, you know, I just hope for the opportunity to come into spring training next year to fight for a position and, you know, definitely prepare as though that’s going to happen.  Hopefully, I’ll be a part of the plans for next year and, hopefully, next year we can turn this thing around a little bit.” Continue reading Ruf Playing as Though His Job is on the Line

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Watson, Cooper to Make Up For Missed Time in Florida Instructional League

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, September 17, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 0

Shane Watson, Image- Jay Floyd

The Florida Instructional League will provide an opportunity for a pair of Lakewood hurlers that were sidelined with injuries this summer to make up for some missed time. Shane Watson and Zach Cooper will be among the Phillies prospects spending time in Clearwater at “instructs” over the next several weeks.  The pair will be able to put themselves on display for organizational coaches and brass while they take strides to excel and bounce back from injuries that forced them to miss time this year.

Watson, who has been sidelined since early July with shoulder inflammation, saw a specialist on Monday and was cleared to begin a throwing program.  The 20-year-old was the Phillies’ top selection (40th overall) in last year’s amateur draft out of Lakewood High School in California.

In 15 starts this season for the Class A BlueClaws, the six-foot-four 200-pounder posted a 4-6 record with a 4.75 ERA and a .230 batting average against.

The hard throwing righty is quite excited for his impending return to the mound but has a fair grasp of the slow type of progress he’ll need to make before actually facing live competition.

“I’ll probably start throwing (on) the 18th and then I should, hopefully, get an inning or two in the instructs.  But, if I don’t, it’s no big deal.  I’ll go home for a little bit and then come back out there to get stronger early for spring training,” Watson said on the most recent edition of the PhoulBallz Podcast. Continue reading Watson, Cooper to Make Up For Missed Time in Florida Instructional League

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Galvis Returns, Other Call-ups Announced

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, September 02, 2013 06:21 PM Comments: 10

Thanks to a tweet from IronPigs beat reporter Jeff Schuler, we got our first glance at the second wave of the Phillies’ September call-ups.

 

Some familiar faces in pitchers Tyler Cloyd, Joe Savery and Luis Garcia will return after previous stints with the big club this season. Relief pitcher Mauricio Robles and catcher Cameron Rupp will be making their first trips to Citizens Bank Park as official members of the big league roster.

Additionally, the Phillies will recall shortstop Freddy Galvis.  The five-foot-ten 170-pounder posted a .207 average with four homers and 14 RBI in 54 games with the Phillies earlier this season. Of his inclusion on the big league opening day roster, Galvis felt it was encouraging and took a lot of confidence from his time in the majors earlier this year.

Freddy Galvis, Image- Jay Floyd

“It feels good,” Galvis stated.  “You feel like you worked hard and the work you did in the off-season was good.  I mean, when you have the chance to play in the big leagues, that’s the best feeling you have.”

Since the demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, the switch-hitting Galvis has posted a .245 batting average with three home runs, 25 RBI and three steals in 62 games.

Although he was extremely pleased to have begun the 2013 season on the major league roster, Galvis stated that there was no level of dissatisfaction with being sent back to the minor leagues.

“I think there was no disappointment, man.  It’s something I think was good for me.  I wasn’t playing every day over there.  I think- I feel like I’m a young guy.  I’m 23-years-old, I should be playing every day, so sending me here was good for me to get here and be playing everyday and try to (continue) the development,” Galvis said. Continue reading Galvis Returns, Other Call-ups Announced

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Gameday: Phillies (60-72) vs Mets (59-71)

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, August 28, 2013 06:30 PM Comments: 65

Philadelphia Phillies (60-72) vs New York Mets (59-71)
Mets logo

Cole Hamels (5-13 3.62 ERA) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1, 9.00 ERA)

TIME: 7:10, Citi Field
TV: CSN
Weather: 76, isolated storms
Media: Twitter and Facebook
Game notes: August 28

The battle for third place is heating up!

Tonight Cole Hamels faces a depleted Mets lineup and will have an excellent chance to secure his sixth win of the season.  David Wright is hurt, Marlon Byrd and John Buck were traded, and the team ranks 29th in MLB in batting average.  Still, this lineup tagged the Phillies for five runs last night, and we all know the Phils aren’t exactly offensive juggernauts themselves.

The boys in red will be facing the once highly touted Daisuke Matsuzaka.  Dice-K is looking for his first win in just over a year and and is 0-5 with a 13.06 ERA in six starts since then.  In his most recent outing (also his first ML start of the season) he allowed 5 runs in 5 innings to Detroit. Last time he faced the Phillies, he came 4 outs away from a throwing a no-hitter.

Pete Orr gets the start in left field and is one of 10 current Phillies who have seen time in Lehigh Valley this year. Since the All-Star break, the Phillies are 12-24 – good for the worst winning percentage in the National League.

Lineup: Bernadina CF, Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Ruiz C, Young 1B, Asche 3B, Mayberry RF, Orr LF, Hamels P

downloadGameday Beer: Rolling Rock

Rolling Rock is a 4.6% abv pale lager first brewed in 1939 by the Latrobe Brewing Company in Western PA.  The brand was sold to Anheuser-Busch in 2006, which transferred brewing operations to New Jersey.  It is a clean, crisp and easy-drinking beer, occasionally enjoyed in pony sizes.  Drink one of these during the game with some hard pretzels.

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