Posts Tagged ‘Slugging Percentage’

Ryan Howard Is The Hottest Man In Philadelphia

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, May 22, 2015 10:10 AM Comments: 6

A few weeks ago, we noted that Ryan Howard seemed to be heating up at the plate. He was seeing the ball well, getting lots of solid contact, and finally started to hit some home runs.

Since then, he’s hit .324/.370/.632, with five home runs–including one off a lefty yesterday–and 11 RBI. His 1.002 OPS is 7th in the NL among qualifiers over that time, and his .309 ISO (isolated power, or simply slugging percent minus average) is 5th. His hard hit % (46.8%) is third in the NL, and, if you want to really get advanced, both his wOBA (.429) and wRC (15) are good for seventh in the league as well.

Every single one of those numbers–OPS, ISO, hard hit %, wOBA, and wRC–leads the Phillies not only in May, but for the entire season as well. He also leads the team in home runs (9), and RBI (21).

He went from hitting .194/.247/.417 in April, to hitting .257/.307/.521 for the season, as of yesterday. That’s about a 24.5% increase across the board in three weeks. Prior to the season, ZiPS projected Howard to hit .234/.310/.415, with a total of 18 home runs on the season. He has half that, and it’s not even June yet. So far, he’s outperforming expectations. According to FanGraphs, he’s the most valuable hitter on the Phillies (excluding baserunning).

Trade value status: increased. He might even be on track to hit his way out of Philadelphia. 

He’s been good. Really good–just not Bryce Harper good. But there’s always a catch, right? He’s still striking out a ton–actually a bit more (27.5%) than he was in the first month of the season (25.6%). His line drives are slightly down as well. His BABIP is at .405 in the month of May, which is just a bit higher than his mark of .208 in April.

Putting those things together, it’s easy to say that no, he won’t be able to keep up this outstanding pace. He’ll likely come down to earth. ZiPS projects him to hit .238/.310/.436 the rest of the way, with 15 more home runs and 57 more RBI. He’s been hitting a home run every 16.78 plate appearances this year (once every 14.6 PA in May). ZiPS says that’ll come down to about once every 22.8. And stats aside, I simply can’t see this continuing for much longer, especially from a guy of his age and injury history. 

But he is the hottest player on the Phillies right now. That’s a fact. Who thought we’d be saying that, almost two months into the season?


Braves Get to Martin Early, Hold On to Win

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, August 13, 2013 09:41 PM Comments: 3

Rookie righty Ethan Martin got his second crack at the Braves Tuesday night and improved upon his first showing against his favorite team from his childhood. Martin threw five innings, giving up three runs, all earned, while striking out six and walking just two. Yet, the three runs Martin gave up early, one from a second inning Kris Medlen double and two more via a NL batting leader Chris Johnson homer were all the Braves needed to put away the Phils 3-1.

Medlen Crafty

Medlen went seven strong for the Braves, giving up just one run, earned, while scattering five hits and one walk. David Carpenter pitched a perfect eighth as a bridge to Craig Kimbrel in the ninth. Kimbrel earned his 37th save of the year.

Utley Earning Keep

Chase Utley had another three-hit game, his 24th multi-hit game of the season, to raise his average to .286, just one point off his career average. As Pat pointed out when Utley signed his extension, Utley is still a very good player. Utley now only trails Cardinals late-bloomer Matt Carpenter among NL second baseman in FanGraph’s calculation of the advanced stat WAR and currently ranks as the 37th best hitter in all of baseball by the same measure.

Small-Sample Silver Linings

Darin Ruf reached base twice with a single and a hit by pitch. In 125 PA, Ruf is hitting a respectable .274 with a slugging percentage of .515, which is second on the team, behind Domonic Brown. Bill Baer of ESPN’s Sweet Spot blog recently cautioned that Ruf likely isn’t a .300 hitter and that some of his success has been do to random chance and small sample. While I tend to agree with those sentiments, Ruf continues to be one of the lone bright spots on the Phillies offense and, despite never playing there, looks comfortable in right field. At least to the standards that Delmon Young set.

Phillies relievers Luis Garcia and Jake Diekman pitched the sixth and seventh and appear to be two of the salvageable pieces from the 2013 bullpen in small samples as well. Garcia continues to flirt with 95 and 96 MPH pitches, enough gas to let him challenge hitters. Garcia pitched a perfect sixth before getting into trouble in the seventh. Diekman bailed out Garcia with a double play. Both have struggled with keeping runners off base, particularly Garcia who, in 14.1 innings pitched, has a 1.40 WHIP, which would put him around 79th out of 103 if he had enough innings to qualify. Meanwhile, Diekman’s WHIP sits at 1.76, which would put him about 103rd. If either can control their walks, but have effective enough stuff to be contributing arms in the 2014 bullpen.

The Phils look to win the series tomorrow as John Lannan squares off against Brandon Beachy.


Pros and Cons of Chase Utley Extension

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, August 08, 2013 09:39 AM Comments: 45


1. He’s still good:

Although injuries have kept him off the field for large chunks of three of the last four seasons, Chase Utley still performs when healthy, as you’re seeing this year. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs had a fantastic tweet last night, noting Utley is still 27th in baseball over the last three seasons with an 11.7 WAR. That’s better than Joe Mauer, Prince Fielder, Carlos Beltran, and Hanley Ramirez, among many others. Since the beginning of 2012, he’s ranked 5th in WAR among all second basemen.

2. They still need power:

You’re definitely seeing Utley begin to decline, but the numbers are still solid. He’s hitting for power in a lineup that mostly lacks it with 15 home runs. If Utley had enough plate appearances to qualify, his .505 slugging percentage would rank 15th in the National League.

3. It’s fair market value:

If you asked every GM around baseball whether or not they would ink Chase Utley to a two-year, $27 million deal, the overwhelming answer would be “yes.” And over the next two seasons would you rather have Chase Utley at $13.5 million or Robinson Cano at $23.5 million? Because that’s what it would cost to get Cano, except you’ll have to tack about four more seasons on the contract. If the third season was guaranteed I would have a major issue with it, but Amaro seemingly held firm. Plus, money really isn’t an issue with this team anyway with a massive TV contract just up the road.

4. Second Base is ugly:

Over pretty much every other second baseman that would be available to the Phillies, he pushes them closer to being a winning team in the short term. Save for Robinson Cano, there isn’t much available in free agency. And say what you want about Cesar Hernandez, but he too is an unknown. I, as much as anyone, wants to see what Hernandez can do. But does it make sense to risk that position on an unknown when you have something that works there right now? My colleague Eric Seidman posted a fantastic tweet on the subject stating that even with Utley playing 110 games and Hernandez/Galvis filling in for the rest, the Phils would probably still get 4.5 WAR from that position, which would be among the tops in the game. So even if Utley is in the fold, Hernandez can give positive contributions. Continue reading Pros and Cons of Chase Utley Extension


Prospect Nation 2013: #16 OF Zach Collier

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, February 07, 2013 07:00 AM Comments: 0

Last year, outfielder Zach Collier finally made the kind of impression the Phillies had long hoped for since they made him their supplemental 1st round draft choice (34th overall) in 2008. As a member of the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, Collier put forth exceptional output and followed up the regular season with a tremendous campaign in the highly competitive Arizona Fall League, to display the type of skills that earned him high praise and a hefty professional signing bonus as a high school talent.

Following his 2011 season, it was announced that the 6-foot-2 185-pound Collier had tested positive for amphetamines and would have to serve a 50-game suspension to kick off the following season. That down time didn’t hold the Carson, CA native down, however. In the Florida State League last year, Collier, who once got a signing bonus of over $1 million from the Phillies, posted career highs in OBP (.333) and slugging percentage (.399). Despite missing time due to the suspension, Collier sported a .269 average with six home runs, 32 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 78 games for Clearwater.

In order to make up for some of that time missed, the Phillies sent Collier to play with Peoria in the Arizona Fall League, where he slapped four doubles, laced three triples and stroked four homers while placing in the league’s top five in batting average (.371) and OPS (.993).  Collier feels the time spent in the AFL was advantageous to him and he is grateful for the experience. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2013: #16 OF Zach Collier


Phillies Sign Young to One-Year Deal Worth $750K

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, January 22, 2013 03:03 PM Comments: 98

Another Young joins the Phillies. (MLB)

From the Phillies:

Outfielder Delmon Young has agreed to a one-year, $750,000 contract with the Phillies, Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced today. The contract includes performance bonuses.

Young, 27, batted .267 with 27 doubles, 18 home runs and 74 RBI in 151 games for the Detroit Tigers last year. Against left-handed pitchers, he hit .308 (56-182) with a .500 slugging percentage and, defensively, made 29 starts in left field. In 13 postseason games, Young batted .313 with three home runs and a team-best nine RBI and was named MVP of the American League Championship Series.

“Delmon is an experienced major league bat who will add some depth to our relatively inexperienced outfield and another layer of competition for playing time there as well,” said Amaro.

The first overall selection of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, Young is a .284 career hitter with 89 home runs and 482 RBI in 880 games for the Rays (2006-07), Minnesota Twins (2008-11) and Tigers (2011-12). He has made 526 career starts in left field, 156 in right field and 29 in center field. Young has batted .310 (281-905) in his career with runners in scoring position and .336 (115-342) in 89 career interleague games against the National League.

Opinion: As I stated just a few hours ago, I don’t really see how this move changes the dynamic of the team. Unless the Phillies are so down on Darin Ruf and Domonic Brown that they thought they needed to do this.

Will this be a RF or LF platoon? Where does he fit in the lineup? If Domonic Brown does not get the opportunity to play a full season because of this move, then it’s an awful job by the front office. At some point, we have to see what Brown can do.

Ruf is different because he’s only done it at the minor league level. However, don’t you want to see what the kid can do after hitting 50-plus bombs?

Amaro is hoping that Young can be the low-risk, high-reward player he’s been seeking.


Hot Stove: Phils Offered Ichiro $14 Million

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, December 13, 2012 10:00 AM Comments: 43


Update, 12:40 pm Thursday: According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Phillies offered Ichiro a two year, $14 million contract before he decided to stay with the Yankees.

Wow. Really? Ichiro is one of the best to ever suit up, but $14 million at 39 years old is extreme. The guy got on-base at just over .300 last season and has a career slugging percentage of just .414. How he fits in an outfield with Ben Revere makes little sense, especially at that price.

If this report is true, thankfully the Yankees got him.

-Pat Gallen


Ichiro Likely Headed to Yankees, Phillies Offer Pushed Yanks to Two Years

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that Ichiro Suzuki will sign with the Yankees yesterday evening. David Waldstein of the New York Times tweeted yesterday that the Phillies were “making (a) big push” for Ichiro and their offer has pushed the Yankees to offer Ichiro a second year. No agreement has been signed yet, per Waldstein, however, the two sides are expected to announce an official agreement some time this week.

Cleveland Hot and Heavy on Swisher

ESPN’s Jim Bowden reported late last night that the Cleveland Indians are in hot pursuit of outfielder Nick Swisher. Swisher is a targeted and coveted by the Phillies, Red Sox, Mariners, Rangers, and others. The Indians are seeking Swisher to replace the recently-traded Shin-Soo Choo.

Phils Were in On Lefty Reliever Burnett

Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi reported yesterday that the Phillies had interest in left reliever Sean Burnett, who ended up signing with the Angels yesterday. Morosi accurately noted the peculiarity of the move, noting that the Phillies already employ lefties Antonio Bastardo, Jeremy Horst, and Raul Valdes. The Phillies also have Jake Diekman and Joe Savery from the left side in their back pocket, as well. The news of this has led people to believe that one or any of the lefty relievers the Phillies employ may be on the trading block, however, Burnett has a longer track record than any of the pitchers listed above and is coming off a career year. He would be a solid pick-up for most Major League teams regardless of how many lefties they employ.

Mets Get Closer with Hairston, Phils Also Interested

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York is reporting that the Mets are close to bringing back outfielder Scott Hairston. Hairston has been linked to the Phillies, Yankees, Giants, and Cardinals this offseason and is seeking a two-plus year deal.

Dempster Close to Agreement with Red Sox

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting this morning that Ryan Dempster is close to a deal with the Red Sox. Dempster was the winner of the informal Phillies Nation reader straw poll for which starter should the Phillies pursue on our Facebook fan page.


Phillies Offseason Plan: Pat’s Version

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, November 14, 2012 10:51 AM Comments: 30

Span would be a nice fit in Philly. (NBC Sports)

Yesterday, Eric Seidman unveiled his offseason plan for the Phillies, which included Nick Swisher, Peter Bourjos and others. Today, it’s my turn. Tomorrow, Corey will let us know what moves he wants the Phillies to make.

Here is my offseason plan.

Outfield: Trade for Denard Span

-I would love for the Phillies to grab this guy. He quietly contributes in Minnesota and would be a nice leadoff hitter here. Span got on base at a .342 clip last year, will steal 20 bases, and doesn’t strikeout much. Perhaps the Phillies throw some pitching prospects and one of their highly rated catchers at the Twins to get a deal done. Span is well worth it.

Span’s contract is friendly, as it pays him $4.75 million in 2013, $6.5 million in 2014, and he has a $9 million in a club option for 2015. It’s the type of contract that doesn’t tie you to a guy on the wrong side of 30, but gives you the option to re-up him, should he be deserving.

The 28-year old centerfielder is also one of the best defensive players at his position. Among CF’s with at least 2,000 innings since 2010, Span ranks fourth in UZR according to Fangraphs, just behind Bourjos, Chris Young, and Michael Bourn. Pretty good company.

Outfield: Sign Cody Ross (3 years, $23 million)

This signing has more to do with the fact that I do not want the Phillies to spend $80 million-plus on B.J. Upton or Bourn, which is what seems to be the asking price. Instead, go for a cheaper corner outfielder in Ross, who can provide power in the middle of the order. It might take a three-year deal, but Ross is only 32, so it’s not as if he’s ready to fall apart.

Ross hits lefties very well. His numbers against southpaws over the last three years: .352 OBP, .530 slugging percentage in 401 plate appearance with a wRC+ of 135 (weighted runs created).

Continue reading Phillies Offseason Plan: Pat’s Version


Phillies Player Review: Placido Polanco

Posted by Eric Seidman, Wed, October 17, 2012 08:00 AM Comments: 26

Placido Polanco

It was a chilly season at the hot corner (Phillies Nation Photo)

Placido Polanco is finished as an everyday major league player.

Whether it’s his precipitously declining offensive ability or his inability to stay healthy, Polanco simply cannot productively withstand the burden of a lengthy season. He could latch on elsewhere and play out a few one-year deals as a utility infielder and defensive replacement, but this season cemented the notion many fans had last year that he is mostly finished.

Polanco remained stellar defensively, but proved so brutal at the plate that he ranked as one of the very worst with the bat in the National League. In 90 games and 328 plate appearances, he hit a measly .257/.302/.327, with a .279 wOBA. After adjusting for park effects, he hit 30 percent worse than the league average, a mark bottomed by very few.

Among the 137 NL players that tallied 300+ PAs, here are several pertinent Polanco ranks:

  • 12th-lowest wOBA
  • 7th-lowest ISO (Slugging Percentage – Batting Average)
  • 20th-lowest Walk Rate

Polanco walked even less, swung even more, made less contact, and the contact he made was predominantly weakly-hit grounders easily fielded by the opponent. He had the 9th-highest groundball rate in the league. He hit for absolutely no power whatsoever and was such a dismal hitter that fans would have preferred to see the pre-2012 Kevin Frandsen play third base.

However, Polanco remained a very good fielder, saving four runs above average with his glove. His fielding rating ranked 7th among the 50 NL players to man third base this year. That was his only saving grace this season, as the difference between him and Frandsen and, to an even greater extent, Ty Wigginton, was quite evident. Still, this was a waste of a season for such a formerly-talented player. While it was great to see him record his 2,000th career hit, it was awfully tough to watch him struggle to connect with pitches he used to line up the middle.

Continue reading Phillies Player Review: Placido Polanco


Cloyd, Ruf Named Owens Award Winners

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, August 29, 2012 02:36 PM Comments: 0

The Phillies have announced their Paul Owens Award winners for the best pitcher and position player in their minor league system:

Right-hander Tyler Cloyd and outfielder Darin Ruf have been named the recipients of the 2012 Paul Owens Awards as the best pitcher and player, respectively, in the Phillies minor league system, Joe Jordan, Director, Player Development announced today.

The awards will be presented on the field on September 21, prior to the Phillies’ 7:05 p.m. game against the Atlanta Braves.

Cloyd, 25, is 15-1 with a 2.26 ERA and one shutout in 26 combined starts for triple-A Lehigh Valley and double-A Reading this year.  The starting pitcher for the International League in the Triple-A All-Star Game, Cloyd has pitched at least 6.0 innings in 25 of the 26 starts, falling one out shy of accomplishing the feat in every start (5.2 innings on May 26 at Charlotte).  He has held opposing hitters to a .214 batting average and had an ERA under 2.00 in three of the five regular season months.  His teams are 20-6 in his starts.  Currently, Cloyd leads the International League in ERA (2.35) and is tied for second in wins (12).  Overall, his 15 wins are tied for the most in all of minor league baseball.

Continue reading Cloyd, Ruf Named Owens Award Winners


Bullpen Falters After Rally

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, August 08, 2012 11:30 PM Comments: 26

The Phillies lost the final game of the series to the Atlanta Braves, 12-6.  The Phils had a huge rally, but the bullpen could not keep the game close.


-Kyle Kendrick finished the night with an unpleasant line: 3.1 innings pitched, seven hits, six earned runs, and three walks.   The Braves had a four-run second inning, with the biggest hit of the inning coming off pitcher Tim Hudson.  Hudson doubled to center field, driving in two.  The Braves would add two more runs off Kendrick in the fourth inning, thanks to Michael Bourn’s ninth home run of the year.  You know a pitcher is struggling when an opposing pitcher gets a huge hit and a player with a career .367 slugging percentage goes yard.

-After the game, Charlie Manuel discussed Kendrick’s role on the team.  According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Manuel said he was unsure if Kendrick will remain in the rotation.  A discussion with pitching coach Rich Dubee will take place, determining Kendrick’s fate.  “We don’t have too many options,” Manuel said of the rotation.

Continue reading Bullpen Falters After Rally

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