At some point, apparently when I wasn't paying close attention, Brandon Phillips has become the face of the franchise.
Can you really argue with that statement? It's not Griffey because he's never embraced the role. It's not Dunn because he's too much of a whipping boy on the radio. It's not Harang because he seems to have a laid back personality.
I think it's definitely Brandon Phillips. And I think he's probably going to get a long term deal in the next year, so I imagine he'll be the face of the franchise for awhile. It's impossible to know if he's a locker room leader, since that's generally the type of thing you'd learn from the media, and the Enquirer doesn't really tell us much that's useful, but he was definitely out in front of the "Josh Hamilton gets special treatment" brigade. If that was the locker room consensus then I imagine Phillips is in fact a leader.
I've always pictured the guy as standing on the other side of the Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn (and previously Austin Kearns and Josh Hamilton) group, which might actually put him in the majority.
But anyway, as far as performance goes, Brandon Phillips is headed into his age 27 season. I think he's going to be a popular pick to regress a little bit after hitting 30 home runs last season, but I'm going to go the other way.
I'll pick him to go .301/.351/.490, with 30 home runs, 101 RBI, 38 stolen bases, and 159 games played.
Optimistic sure, but it's his third year in the league, combined with stepping fully into the prime of his career. I think we're going to see good things this year.
You know the drill by now, leave your projection for AVG/OBP/SLG / HR / RBI / SB / Games, and add commentary saying why you feel that way.