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The Red Report: Brandon Phillips

Brandon Phillips

#4 / Second Base / Cincinnati Reds





Jun 28, 1981


Fast Facts:

  • Brandon Emil Phillips was born in Raleigh, NC, but grew up in DeKalb County, Georgia, where he still lives today.  Similar to Reds teammate Jay Bruce, while he was growing up Phillips idolized a former Reds great, Barry Larkin.  He attended Redan HS, where he excelled at baseball and football, garnering scholarships to the University of Georgia for both sports. 
  • In the 1999 draft, he was selected in the 2nd round by the Montreal Expos with the 57th pick overall (ahead of players like John Lackey, Justin Morneau, Aaron Harang, and J.J Putz) and decided to sign. 
  • Phillips started his career in the GCL shortly after being drafted.  He had a fine debut season, going .290/.358/.408. 
  • Starting at his age 19 season, he began to rise up the Expos minor league ranks.  In 2000, he played for the Cape Fear Crocs in the South Atlantic League, posting a rather pedestrian .242./.306/.378 with 35 errors at the SS position, the most he would have of any year in his career. 
  • He was still looked upon as a high upside prospect, and began his 2001 season as a Jupiter Hammerhead in the Florida State League.  He had somewhat of a breakout season there, earning a promotion after posting a line of .284/.414/.428 in his 55 games. 
  • He was rated the #3 prospect in the FSL in 2001, even earning a stint in the Arizona Fall League where he continued to excel, hitting .344 in 25 games.
  • In 2002, he started the season ranked as the #1 prospect in the Expos system, and the #20 prospect in all of baseball. 
  • He earned a call-up to AAA Ottawa after hitting .327/.380/.506 in AA, and continued his assault through the minor league system. 
  • At the 2002 trade deadline, he was traded, along with Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee, and Lee Stevens to the Indians for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew.  Upon arriving in Cleveland, Phillips was asked to move positions to 2B to accommodate the Indians' longtime SS Omar Vizquel. and ended up getting a cup of coffee in Cleveland, and ended the season as the Indians' top prospect by Baseball America.
  • In 2003, Phillips won the starting 2B job out of spring training, and it was assumed he would continue to excel.  However, in the 112 games he played that season for the Indians, he hit just .208/.242/.311, and walked 14 times while striking out 77.  He ended up getting sent down in the middle of the season.  When asked by Cincinnati reporters about his Cleveland experience years later, he cited the 2003 season. 
"The year 2003 just killed me," he said. "It was my rookie season and I got caught up in the atmosphere. I started good and I hit a walk-off home run and said, 'Man, that was good' and then all I heard was 'The rookie did this and the rookie did that' . . . all the talk and all the publicity, and I got caught up in all that. It hurt me."
  • He had a semi-bounceback year in 2004, where spent most of the season in AAA hitting .303/.363/.430, and joined the major league club after the AAA playoffs.  He struggled in the majors once again, and saw himself in AAA Buffalo for the third straight season to start 2005.  He played well enough to make the AAA all-star team, but only saw another short stint in the majors.
  • On April 7th, 2006, he was traded from the Indians to the Reds for a player to be named later (Jeff Stevens).  Things were quiet to start, but Red Reporters started clamoring for Phillips to take over for Womack at 2B, and JD's comment on a game recap was surely a sign of things to come.
I keep saying it, but I really like watching Brandon Phillips play. I'm hoping more and more that he'll have a long term future with the Reds.
  • This came after a breakout game by BP where he went 3-4 with 4 RBIs and the Reds went on to beat the Marlins (behind Brandon Claussen's 7 shutout innings!).  In the game thread, Slyde started the search to find Phillips a sweet nickname, while teb7 came up with the best suggestion of the evening.  Neither one is widely used today.  He really broke out a few nights later, where he went 3-6 and had two homers (including one grand slam) against the Brewers, inducing praise from even the most noted BP detractors.  He went on a tear that week, batting .452 with 17 RBIs in a 7 game span.  He went on to start 138 games in the 2006 season (ironically, batting everywhere except 4th in at least one start).  He ended up batting .276/.324/.427 in his first season with the Reds.
  • In his second season with the Reds, he picked up right where he left off.  He hit .288/.331/.485, and became the 3rd player in Reds history to hit 30 HRs and steal 30 bases, along with Barry Larkin and Eric Davis.  Not bad company to be a part of.
  • On Feb. 15, 2008, he signed a long-term deal to be part of the Reds through 2011.  Red Reporters generally were in support of the deal.
  • The 2008 season was another good one, and Phillips kept producing, especially on the defensive side, where he won his first Gold Glove.
  • Since the departure of Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr., Phillips is the face of the franchise (along with Bruce and Votto).  He's also known for his easy-going personality, as shown in the following video:

Contract Status:

MLB service time (as of Opening Day 2009): 4.022
Signed by Scout: Darryl Monroe
GM when drafted: Jim Beattie
Current Contract Status: Year 2 of a 4 year/$27M deal (2008-2011), with a club option for 2012 ($1M buyout). Makes $5M in 2009.

Career Stats:

(BBRef | FanGraphs | THT)


Brandon Phillips 583 2177 295 570 101 16 74 285 84 27 126 382 .262 .308 .425

Scouting Report:

(via The Baseball Cube)

Power: 70
Speed: 78
Contact: 57
Patience: 21

2009 Projections: 


140 550 22 20 .271 .325 .455
22 25 .268 .320 .440
525 20 22
.272 .325 .448
Bill James
154 601 21 22 .263 .313 .431


RR Projected Wins Above Replacement:  2.03



Click any link below to view the graph above

Hot Zone Graphs Spray Charts

All Pitches
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vs. RHP - Fastball
vs. RHP - Slider
vs. RHP - Curveball
vs. RHP - Change Up

vs. LHP - Fastball
vs. LHP - Slider
vs. LHP - Curveball
vs. LHP - Change Up

All Batted Balls

vs. RHP
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All Fly Balls
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