Brandon Emil Phillips, 31, was born June 28, 1981 in Raleigh, NC and attended Redan High School in Stone Mountain, GA. Redan has produced 18 MLB draft picks (including younger brother P.J. Phillips, current Phillies OF Domonic Brown, current Rockies IF Chris Nelson, and 2,000 hit club member (and Yonder Alonso best-case-scenario) Wally Joyner), along with former Atlanta Falcon WR Terrance Mathis and musician/producer Danger Mouse.
Phillips was a 2nd round pick in 1999 by the former Montreal Expos, 5 picks after the Devil Rays took Carl Crawford and 3 picks before the A's selected current Red Ryan Ludwick. The Reds took Ty Howington in the 1st round that year and Ben Broussard in the 2nd...and now you understand why the Reds were terrible for so long: Jim Bowden was busy Tebowing Jim Bowden.
Phillips has been a part of two of the most lopsided trades of recent memory. On June 27, 2002 he was the wool the Indians pulled over the Expos' eyes as the (then) key piece of a trade that resulted in he, Cliff Lee, and Grady Sizemore heading to Cleveland in exchange for Bartolo Colon. Woof. Just over a month later, Phillips made his MLB debut at 2B for the Indians.
Following 3 uninspiring seasons with the Indians, Phillips was traded again on April 6, 2006, this time to the Reds for current Reds minor leaguer Jeff Stevens. Stevens never threw a pitch for the Indians at the MLB level.
Phillips has flourished with the Reds in his 7 seasons with the club, currently ranking 21st in club history in hits, 16th in career HR, and 1st in career Web Gems. He's also made 2 All-Star teams, won 3 Gold Gloves, had a 30/30 season, and won one Silver Slugger.
6 years, $72.5 million (2012-2017)
Signed extension with the Reds on 4/10/12, replacing existing option year on previous contract.
12:$12.5M, 13:$10M, 14:$11M, 15:$12M, 16:$13M, 17:$14M
Ratings via The Baseball Cube
Hmm. The Speed, Batting, and Power all seem about right to me, but I question the Patience being that low. Yes, Phillips swings early and often, but he also doesn't strike out much at all; if his Patience is going to be that low, I feel his Contact needs to be much, much higher than it is. Basically, though, Phillips is a low K, low BB, put-the-ball-in-play hitter with slightly above average power. Hitting 2nd in this year's lineup should suit him perfectly.
ZiPS projects BP to be his usual productive self. See here.
Fan Scouting Report Ratings via FanGraphs (career rating)
First step: (84)
Arm strength: (71)
Arm accuracy: (83)
That, folks, is elite defense...but you all already knew that. BP has consistently been one of the best defenders of any position in all of Major League Baseball, and while he's surely losing a step over his earlier exploits, he still has what it takes to be a top-class 2B.