Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Brandon Phillips named most mediocre hitter in baseball

There are very few fans around Cincinnati who would label Brandon Phillips as a mediocre player. The veteran is a three-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, Phillips has been more mediocre at the plate this season than any other player in baseball.

On Monday, the WSJ published an "All-Average" team for 2013, compiling a starting lineup based on batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage for every position on the field. Their ultimate goal was to find the most average hitter at each respective position based on those three statistics.

Phillips took the honor for second base with a modest slash line of .259/.308/.404. Despite being on pace to set a new career high in runs batted in, Phillips' current average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage is actually slightly lower than his career norms of .272/.321/.431. So, if this was a normal year for Phillips, he probably wouldn't have to endure the dubious title.

Joining Phillips on the fantasy roster included former Reds killer and current Los Angeles Angels first basemen Albert Pujols (.258/.330/.437), Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (.252/.306/.344), and Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg (.132/.154/.184), among others.

According to STATS LLC, the Major League Baseball median for a hitter is .253/.317/.398. As fate would have it, no player on the All-Average team is closer to these marks right now than Phillips. Of course, this argument is made strictly based off BA, OBP, and SLG alone.

Nevertheless, the idea by the WSJ to put together a team like this was an interesting one, and one that is sure to stir up some debate among the baseball community.

Via Trent C. Rosecrans

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