MLB Season in Review: Philadelphia Phillies Hitting
By Eno Sarris //
Biggest Surprise: Carlos Ruiz
After spending most of his career as a sub-.260 hitter, Carlos Ruiz finally had some luck on batted balls (.335 BABIP this year, .280 career) and put together a terrific and surprising .302/.400/.447 season that would have ranked him higher if he had managed more than 433 plate appearances. Shane Victorino‘s power surge (18 homers, .170 ISO in 2010, .150 career) also qualifies as a nice surprise, but it came from hitting more fly balls and negatively affected his batting average.
Biggest Bust: Jimmy Rollins
It may seem like nicks and cuts are keeping Jimmy Rollins out of the lineup more often these days, but 2010 was the first time he didn’t amass 625+ plate appearances since his rookie year. Given his injury-riddled year, it’s not surprising that Rollins had the fewest home runs and stolen bases of his career, as well as the lowest batting average. He’ll be a 32-year-old shortstop next year, and more years like this will come in the future, even if his BABIP (.246) and ISO (.131 in 2010, .163 career) rebound in the short term.
2011 Keeper Alert: Domonic Brown
This is a great team full of solid keepers, but most of the Phillies’ regulars are also over 30 years old. Fantasy owners looking to the future should consider Domonic Brown, who will most likely replace Jayson Werth when Werth leaves in free agency. Across Double- and Triple-A in 2010, Brown showed power (.262 ISO), speed (17 SB), and a great batting average (.327). His strikeout rate was a little high (21.5%), but he’s an elite prospect.
2011 Regression Alert: Jayson Werth
Werth has been great since joining the Phillies three years ago, averaging 29 home runs, 18 stolen bases, and a .279 batting average over that time. But he’s looking for a paycheck that will most probably take him away from the ever-more-expensive Phillies team. That would be too bad, because he has a .529 slugging percentage in Philadelphia (.481 career), and has benefited both from the hitter-friendly ballpark and a strong lineup conducive to counting stats. With the steals already declining, a few fewer home runs in his future, and a high strikeout rate (28.9% career) that will most likely produce a mediocre batting average, he will be a less exciting fantasy player next year.