The Phillies are currently an offensive juggernaut. You may cite Raul Ibanez, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino as reasons for this. But one notice further down the lineup will show you just the potency this Phillies lineup:
Pedro Feliz: 83 AB, 27 H, 11 R, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 9 K, 9 BB, .325 AVG, .383 OBP, .458 SLG
Feliz is having a career season, and he’s already a quarter of the way through his 2008 non-power numbers (in just 24 2009 games). What stands out most to me is that on-base percentage – the .383 is far above his career .293. He’s walking more (he averages just 30 walks per 162 games) and striking out less (average of 88 per 162).
What makes Feliz so valuable is his lineup placement. By getting on base, he prolongs innings that may normally end with the No. 8 hitter. He also allows the No. 8 hitter (and even the No. 9 hitter) some RBI opportunities. In some cases, he’s given Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino RBI chances (four times in the past 10 games Vic has driven in Feliz). And of course, by prolonging innings, he’s naturally turning the lineup over more and quicker, giving the big boys more chances to rake. By staying hot and reaching base, Feliz is hugely instrumental in keeping this offense scorching hot.