Brandon Phillips was the kind of pickup I hoped I'd see Wayne Krivsky do more often, but it hasn't seemed to work out that way.
BP was such an uber prospect at one point that he was virtually considered the centerpiece of what the Indians received for Bartolo Colon, despite the fact that Grady Sizemore and Cliff Lee also came to Cleveland in the trade. He struggled with the Indians in 2003 at the age of 22 and never really got another chance. That made him the epitome of a player with all kinds of upside. It seemed fairly obvious that Phillips could benefit from a change of scenery, and most prospects as highly thought of as Phillips have enough talent to play respectably at the major league level. Not always, but often enough to make Brandon a great risk.
The Reds ended up picking him up for a player to be named later, who turned out to be minor league pitcher Jeff Stevens. So for the cost of practically free, Phillips put up a line of .276/.326/.427. I'll certainly take that out of a middle infielder who provides solid defense. You'd like to see the guy get on base a little more, but I think the power helps make up for it.
Going forward the big question concerning Phillips is what position he'll be manning come Opening Day 2007. The Reds are lacking a shortstop, and it'd be a lot easier for Krivsky to pick up a second baseman as opposed to a shortstop. Phillips came through the minor leagues as a shortstop, so presumably he'd be ok if moved there.
Questions to get the ball rolling for BP:
- Where do you think Phillips should play in 2007?
- How do you feel about his 2006 season? Are you satisfied with that?
- Do you see Phillips getting better, or do you think 2006 was about as good as it gets?