Results tagged ‘ Phillies ’
Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer Tweeted…Twit…Twated…whatever…on Tuesday:
@magelb Matt Gelb
Domonic Brown is 23-years-old, stands 6’5″, 205 pounds, and is a potential superstar. He is so important to the Phillies that he wasn’t a part of the Hunter Pence trade, and, quite possibly, never would be a part of a deal. He is hitting .246/.335/.393 in 183 at bats in Philadelphia, playing semi-regulary, as he has been sharing time with Ben Francisco in right for the Phillies. Now, Hunter Pence is in right, Francisco is the 4th outfielder, and John Mayberry, Jr. hangs around as the 5th outfielder. There just isn’t room with Raul Ibanez and his 39-year-old-type-of-production taking up a roster spot.
Don’t get me wrong, Ibanez is a good player, though his .247/.293/.419 is a far cry from his .281/.343/.473, but he shouldn’t be blocking someone who could be more productive. Ibanez’s 74/24 K/BB doesn’t match Brown’s 34/25 K/BB, and his WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is -1.2…NEGATIVE ONE POINT TWO. He has cost the Phillies 1.2 wins compared to an average replacement. Brown’s WAR is just 0.2, but he wasn’t costing the Phillies anything by having him there. With Howard, Ibanez, Rollins and Utley getting older each year, the Phillies need to get Brown some experience and really see what they have.
Brown will be 24 in September. He has nothing left to prove in the Minors, especially after hitting .327/.391/.589 with 22 doubles, 20 homers and 17 steals in just 93 games in Triple-A last season. The Phillies have had success, winning a World Series, losing another, and getting several key pieces in trades, acquiring not only Pence, but Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay, in the last couple of seasons. They signed Cliff Lee, they extended Ryan Howard, and they are developing mediocre talent to sell high, like J.A. Happ (who hasn’t done anything close for the Astros) and now Vance Worley. They let Jayson Werth walk instead of overpaying him like Washington did. They let Werth walk because they had Brown. Now they are blocking him again. If they want to do the right thing, they need to start Brown and make Ibanez a part-time player.
Domonic Brown has offensive superstar potential. He can get on base, hit for power, and run. He is a left-handed hitter, as are Utley, Ibanez, and Howard. The only thing that has held Brown back is that. He needs to be in left. The Phillies won’t win a World Series with Raul Ibanez in left this season. For all of the right moves Ruben Amaro, Jr. has made as GM, continuing the up and down with Brown isn’t one of them. Get the kid up, put him in the lineup, let him shine.
Hunter Pence is a good baseball player. Good, not great. You could even say that he is so good that he isn’t great enough to be worth the type of talent that it is rumored that he will cost a team trading for him. Pence is batting .309, good for 18th in MLB. His .356 OBP ranks 50th, his .472 slugging percentage ranks 54th, and his .828 OPS ranks him 49th in MLB. Value has changed to where OPS is a pretty good indicator of run production, as a high OPS shows that a player gets on base and can drive the ball. Pence ranks behind names like Casey Kotchman, Seth Smith, and Yunel Escobar, players that no team are throwing the names of their top prospects around for in a trade.
Hunter Pence will be 29 in April. He makes $6.9 million this year and is eligible for arbitration, which will make him capable of making $10 million or more next season based on his current salary and production. But…is he worth it, let alone the amount of talent a team will be giving up to get him? www.baseball-reference.com has a ranking system based on age-level production. Hunter Pence is nearly equal to…Bobby Higginson…at this point in his career. Bobby Higginson’s best season came at the age of 29, in 2000, when he hit .300/.377/.538 with 30 homers and 102 RBI. Higginson did one thing that made him better than Pence…he walked. Pence’s .339 career OBP makes him a liability for his long swing as he ages. His strange approach to hitting has long been questioned. John Sickels of www.minorleagueball.com wrote: “The question now is, when he gets into his late 20s, does Pence stay where he is now (which is really good) or does he take a further step forward into genuine superstardom? Most scouts would doubt the latter possibility. Many have never been comfortable with his unorthodox stance at the plate. But it works, and if he can make even a marginal improvement in his plate discipline, such a breakthrough is possible.” This was posted on February 4, 2008 (http://www.minorleagueball.com/2008/2/4/18526/90212).
Pence is good, not great. He was an All-Star this season, but so was damn-near everyone in baseball, as well as in 2009. He hit 25 homers in 2008, 2009, and 2010. His on-base skills have bounced up and down like Aubrey Huff’s last few seasons. Pence is a very good player. He isn’t Carlos Beltran, who was traded for a legitimate top prospect in Zack Wheeler. It is rumored that Philadelphia and Atlanta are in on Pence. Philadelphia may offer Domonic Brown, Jonathan Singleton, and/or Jarrod Cosart, all top prospects for the Phillies. The Astros are asking for Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, Arodys Vizcaino, and/or Randall Delgado from the Braves, all top prospects. It doesn’t make sense for these teams. To get over the hump and then have to pay the type of money it will require in arbitration to Pence…it isn’t worth it. He is a good player. Not a great one. If Philadelphia or Atlanta deal a group of top prospects for Pence, they will get a solid hitter, a great fielder, and a 3rd-tier star.