Brandon Phillips Player Projection No. 48

Key Stats: Brandon Phillips has been ranked as one of the 110 best players in fantasy baseball for five straight seasons according to the Yahoo rankings. Most recently he was ranked 37th this last season as he contributed in all five of the major categories. He was 9th in home runs, 7th in steals, 5th in RBI, 5th in runs, and 3rd in batting average among second basemen. When you draft this guy you are drafting dependability and a chance for help in every category.

Skeptics Say: Phillips’ line drive rate was significantly higher last season (about 4%) than it had been from 2008 through 2010. As a result his batting average was 29 points higher than it had been during that stretch of time. Bill James is one person that does not believe Phillips can sustain a high average as he projects that he will hit .279 next season. I agree with James.

Peer Comparison: Check out this Player A versus Player B comparison:

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

Age

ADP*

Player A

94

18

82

14

.300

30

61

Player B

86

18

63

14

.285

28

107

Player C

72

21

66

17

.236

24

141

*ADP based on Mock Draft Central every user not just expert users

Player A is Phillips. Let’s consider what was said in the skeptics section about his .300 average not being there at the end of this season and the possibility that it could be even worse than Player B. Doesn’t Player B look a lot more appetizing 46 selections after Phillips? And 80 selections after Phillips if your team can find a way to replace the average of Phillips, you can get a player with higher power and speed potential than Phillips. That also looks like a decent fix. Player B is Howie Kendrick (who by the way also could see some benefits with Albert Pujols on his team) and Player C is Danny Espinosa.

Team Outlook: Don’t wake him from his sleeper status, but did Chris Heisey really hit 18 home runs last year in only 279 at-bats? He is a big upgrade to Jonny Gomes when you also consider that he won’t kill you in the field. The Reds will also be better at shortstop where Zack Cozart will take over for the light-hitting Paul Janish. If we kick in expected improvements from Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce, this lineup has the potential to produce over 750 runs and be one of the five best offenses in baseball – after all they weren’t far from this last season.

What They’re Saying: CBS Sportsline: #8 Second Baseman; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com: #5 Second Baseman & #56 Overall; Yahoo: #6 Second Baseman & #56 Overall; Mock Draft Central ADP: #5 Second Baseman & #49 Overall; RotoChamp: #64 Overall

Projection: Phillips stays on par with the course of his career.
89 R 20 HR 84 RBI 15 SB .280 AVG .338 OBP .790 OPS