Posts Tagged ‘Slugging Percentage’

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: Corey’s Version

Posted by Corey Seidman, Thu, November 15, 2012 07:00 AM Comments: 35

My offseason plan looks different than Pat’s and Eric’s. They each outlined under-the-radar solutions to the Phillies’ problems, moves that could make the team younger and not put the Phils over the luxury tax.

Despite his deficiencies, B.J. Upton is worth a five-year deal for the Phillies.

I took a different approach. The Phillies need to improve, and I’m more concerned with upgrading the offense and bullpen than I am with getting the most bang for the buck. I see Eric’s points about what Peter Bourjos adds, but I don’t think he’s a big enough offensive upgrade. I agree that Ryan Theriot is a serviceable platoon option at third base, but he’s not much more than that and he’s very similar to Kevin Frandsen.

Here is my offseason wishlist:

B.J. Upton – five years, $78 million
Even if the elder Upton doesn’t realize his potential and has five more seasons like his previous five, he’ll be worth this type of contract. It may seem like a ton, but it’s what you pay in today’s world for a power-hitting, defensively sound everyday centerfielder.

I know about Upton’s deficiencies, his .298 OBP last season, his average of 162 strikeouts per season since 2009. But I care more about the 28 home runs he hit last season at a park that suppresses homers, the 40 steals he’s averaged over the last five years. Continue reading Phillies Offseason Plan: Corey’s Version


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: Chase Utley

Posted by Corey Seidman, Wed, November 07, 2012 10:30 AM Comments: 28

Chase Utley's 2012 on-base percentage was 89 points higher than his replacements.

How does Chase Utley do it?

For the second straight year in 2012, chronic knee pain kept him out for much of the first half of the season. But just like 2011, once Utley returned, he was good to go every day.

Utley returned in the Phillies 77th game, homered in his very first at-bat and proceeded to play 83 of the remaining 86 games, including 71 of the final 72.

He played at a high level, too. Utley hit .256, his lowest batting average since his rookie season, but had as many walks (43) as strikeouts. The result was a .365 on-base percentage. More impressive was the return of his power. Utley hit 11 homers to equal his 2011 total, but he did it in 92 fewer plate appearances.

Utley was obviously a huge upgrade over his first-half replacements. Freddy Galvis, Michael Martinez, Mike Fontenot and Pete Orr combined for a .670 OPS. Utley was at .793. Utley’s OBP was 89 points higher.

Among second basemen with at least 350 plate appearances, Utley led the NL in OBP. The only 2B in the league with a higher slugging percentage was Aaron Hill.

Defensively, Utley saved eight runs in 720.1 innings. Only second basemen Darwin Barney, Robinson Cano and Jamey Carroll saved runs at a higher rate.

On the basepaths, Utley was 11-for-12 in stolen base attempts to boost his career success rate to 89.6 percent, the highest in major-league history.

Utley is fielding grounders regularly this offseason and will try different methods to be better prepared for the start of next season. Based on how effective he was in the second half last year, there is a semblance of hope that he can re-capture the offensive magic he had from 2005-09

And even if he can’t, Utley has proven that the watered-down, 33-year-old version of himself is still one of the top second basemen in all of baseball.



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


Phillies Player Review: Carlos Ruiz

Posted by Corey Seidman, Wed, October 10, 2012 07:00 AM Comments: 74

Carlos Ruiz set career-highs in 2012 in eight offensive categories.

Beginning today, we will examine the 2012 season of one Phillies player per day. First up is starting catcher Carlos Ruiz.

The Phillies’ 2012 season was filled with disappointment and unexpectedly poor production from key players. But despite a team-wide lack of consistency, Carlos Ruiz remained steady from April to September, hitting well no matter the situation or lineup context.

A foot injury limited Ruiz to just 114 games, but he hit .325/.394/.540 with 16 home runs and 68 RBI. Every one of those numbers was a career-high, as were his 56 runs scored, 32 doubles and 16 hit by pitches.

Many kept waiting for Ruiz to slow down and, while he did in the second half, he was still among the game’s most productive catchers. He hit .313 in April, .418 in May, .337 in June, .288 in July and .271 in September after missing most of August. His lowest monthly OPS was .808.

Most impressive was Ruiz’s production with runners in scoring position — he hit .368 with a .600 slugging percentage.

Among major-league catchers with at least 400 plate appearance, Ruiz was second in batting average and slugging percentage only to NL MVP front-runner Buster Posey. He was third in OBP, behind Posey and former batting champ Joe Mauer.

To top it all off, he was extremely valuable behind the plate. Phillies pitchers are always quick to praise Chooch after a strong start — whether it’s Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels or Cliff Lee — but he also provided defensive value when it came to stolen bases. Ruiz nailed 33 of 97 would-be base stealers for a caught stealing rate of 34 percent. Only four major-league catchers played as many innings as Chooch and had better success throwing out runners: Matt Wieters, Miguel Montero, Yadier Molina and Ryan Hanigan.

For years, I personally always thought Ruiz’s balance at the plate and batting stance made it look like he was going to launch any ball he connected with. In 2012, so many of those swings actually connected, leading to plenty of doubles in the left-centerfield gap or homers to a similar location.

Ruiz’s progression into a dominant offensive player has been one of the more positive, heartwarming developments of the last few Phillies seasons. This is a guy who went from undrafted international free agent infielder, to organizational catcher, to backup backstop, to solid defensive starting catcher, to big-time playoff performer, to well above-average offensive catcher.

Ruiz, who has a $5 million team option for 2013 that Ruben Amaro Jr. has already said the Phillies will pick up, was once just another catcher. I remember four years ago — when Ruiz was dwindling in the .240-.250 range after hitting .219 in 2008 — having a conversation with Eric about how Ruiz hadn’t grabbed the job by the throat. That Chris Coste was capable of providing just as much offense. That the Phillies needed to seriously look for external catching help. That all seems absurd these days.

Now, Chooch has cemented a legacy as one of the most storied players in franchise history, the type of guy fans will give a massive ovation to every time he makes an appearance at Citizens Bank Park for alumni day when his playing days are over. He might be the most likable player of this era of Phillies baseball.

He was certainly their best offensive performer in 2012.

GRADE: A+ … he was the best Phillie offensively and had a great year behind the plate. How could you go with any other grade?

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