Originally written February 12, 2013 on Baseball Professor:
Mlb_may_17_9f10
Brandon Phillips has registered at least 587 plate appearances in each of his seven full season, all with Cincinnati. In those seven years he’s batted over .276 just three times. Two of those times have come in the last two years.In 2007 Phillips was a 30/30 player. In 2008 and 2009 he was a 20/20 player. In the last three seasons he’s failed to reach 20 homers or 20 steals even once. While Phillips is clearly declining — he’ll be 32 this June — he’s actually reinvented himself over these last two seasons and become a more balanced hitter.His strikeout rate has sat around 12.5% over the last three seasons after hovering around 15.5% in his first three, and his line drive rates in 2011 and 2012 (19.8% and 20.6%, respectively) were the two best of his career. Better strikeout rates and higher line drives generally yield better batting averages, and Phillips’ .294 and .290 xBAs in ’11 and ’12 only serve to reinforce this logic.It should be noted that Phillips had a career high 40.6% O-...
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