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Updating the Top 100: Brandon Phillips

Swag, deferred

Brandon Phillips laces a hit as Necktat Toilet watches.
Brandon Phillips laces a hit as Necktat Toilet watches.
Andy Lyons

26. Brandon Phillips

Played as Red Primary Position Career Rank Peak Rank Prime Rank
2006-2014 2B 23 48 31
Percent Breakdown of Value Best Season Best player on Reds
Hit Field Pitch 2011 Never
68% 32% 0%
Awards/Honors as a Red Leading the League On the Reds Leaderboard
Gold Glove – 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013
All Star – 2010, 2011, 2013
Silver Slugger - 2011

-11th in career hits
-11th in career doubles
-13th in career home runs
-14th in career runs
-14th in career RBI

Here is a graphical representation of Brandon Phillips's OPS+ during his tenure with the Reds:


When third grade teachers teach story-writing and include the concept of a beginning, middle, and end, this is more or less what they have in mind.  The fact that we're nearing the end of useful Brandon Phillips should not be surprising.  Let's look at a couple graphs that are a bit scarier:


The above picture demonstrates Phillips's Isolated Power metric (SLG - Avg) by year.


And this shows the number of BP's stolen bases by year.  Any trends noticeable?

None of this is to hate on Phillips, who is enjoyable enough in the right context, but simply to suggest that the die is cast for the remaining three years of his contract.  I'm willing to suggest that Phillips will hold off sinking to sub-replacement levels of output, but it might get close.  We could pause here to complain about the contract to which Phillips was signed, but as with others, he doesn't appear to be blocking anyone of note.

From a personal standpoint, I've been foolishly and prematurely predicting the imminent demise of Brandon Phillips since before the 2011 season which was, as the top graph helpfully and pointedly depicts, his career-best.  Now that we're really, truly in the midst of it, it seems kind of passé.  I'll settle for some big smiles, eye-popping diving catches, and a handful of long blasts off anyone stupid enough to throw him a hanging curve.

Through 1,325 games with the Reds, Brandon Phillips has hit .276/.325/.434 for an OPS+ of 100.  He will secure his 1,500th hit as a Red in the coming year, and he currently has 258 doubles, 168 HR, and 734 runs scored.  On the basis of his 2014 season, Phillips has nudged two notches up the all-time list, to #26.  He also holds steady as the 4th best second baseman in team history.

Top 15 2nd Basemen in Reds history


Joe Morgan


Bid McPhee


Lonny Frey


Brandon Phillips


Miller Huggins


Johnny Temple


Ron Oester


Hughie Critz


Bret Boone


Dick Egan


Sam Bohne


Tommy Helms


Pokey Reese


Morrie Rath


Tony Cuccinello