2010 Player Reviews

2010 Year in Review: Placido Polanco

Placido Polanco’s first year back in red pinstripes was definitely an interesting one.  And after taking this assignment to recap Poly’s first year back, I left myself wondering how to sum it up.

While his average didn’t drop much from the beginning of the season, Polanco lost any and all power he had before getting plunked on the elbow. Over the course of the season, Polanco missed 30 games, causing us to see a little too much of the now departed Juan Castro, and the new fan favorite Wilson Valdez.

Polanco peaked in mid August, sporting numbers like .325/.357/.430, however over the final six weeks of the season those numbers dropped to .298/.339/.386 as Polanco nabbed just nine extra-base hits after July 31st.

The one aspect of Polanco’s game that didn’t fade over the course of the season was his glove. Coming into the season, many, including myself, were very worried about the transition from second base to third base. Poly was the fourth best defensive third baseman in the NL, sporting a UZR/150 of 11.3. Not bad for a guy just turned 35 years old.

But how would you describe Polanco’s year to somebody who didn’t see him play one game. What is the first word that comes to mind? To me, I’d sum him up as: there. He was just kind of “there” this season. Unfortunately, the first comparison that comes to my mind is Raul Ibanez’s 2009 season. Polanco started off very hot before fading big time down the stretch after an injury.

Hopefully next season, Polanco can find the form he had earlier in his 2010 campaign, because if not, the Phillies will have a two full years of a slow third baseman who has absolutely zero power and struggles to draw a walk. Polanco will be the definition of a replacement player.

NICK’S GRADE: 6.2/10

PAUL’S GRADE: 7.0/10 – His defense was good, not great, and he made more outs than we’d like to see (just a .339 OBP with his .298 AVG), but I give the guy credit for playing a huge chunk of the season with an elbow rearranged by Tim Hudson. Hopefully he regains form for the last two years of his deal.

Tomorrow: Jimmy Rollins

90 Comments

90 Comments

  1. Chuck

    October 29, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    How was just kind of “there” ??

    What the hell does that mean??

    The guy played a stellar defense, played through a lot of pain, was among the league leaders in batting average for a lot of the season…..and still ended up hitting .298. he also had many clutch hits…or started rallies with hits.

    Yeah, I guess that’s just “there”

  2. Chuck

    October 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    ^HE was just…..

  3. Andrew R.

    October 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    I agree with Chuck… how can you give the guy a 6.2??? Who are we comparing him to, Ryan Zimmerman? David Wright? We wanted a guy to play good defense, hit .300 and not strike-out too much….

    What did we think we were getting? A lot of people thought he was old, and unable to make a transition to third-base. And a lot of people have been proven wrong. He did play great defense and did everything we asked him to while also playing through pain. What can you complain about? That he should’ve had a couple more homers and 5 more doubles?? Please. Polanco gave us everything and more we could have hoped for.

    He definately was worth more than a 6.2.

  4. Bart Shart

    October 29, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    WAY TOO HARSH AN ASSESSMENT OF POLANCO !!!! WAY TOO HARSH.
    He was our leading hitter. He was our best hit-and-run player. Up until he missed those games with an injury, I would say that he was our BEST player. His defense was stellar. He played consistently smart baseball. Give me a break on this. Polanco deserves at least an “8”.
    Get real !!!!

  5. NJ

    October 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Does that mean he gets like a 9 if he went on the DL when he got hit on the arm and only played like 60 games instead of playing most of the year in what must have been excruciating pain?

  6. therookie300

    October 29, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    “struggles to draw a walk” – He doesn’t walk because he’s a guy that goes for a lot of contact. Walking is not part of the game he brings.

  7. fred

    October 29, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I think that’s pretty much a fair assesment, if not slightly harsh. Polanco played an excellent 3B, there’s no doubting that. However third base is a power position, an infield corner, and 35 XBH’s doesn’t cut it. Yes he hit .298, but that is a VERY empty average. And just 32 walks in a season is very pedestrian. If Polanco could run like Rollins or Victorino it would be ok to hit an empty .300, but he just doesn’t. Good, solid player, but maybe a tad overrated by some of the fanbase. Pretty affordable the next 2 years at 5/6 million, and hopefully he’ll play better when injury free. However, he is 35 so a comeback is not a certainty.

  8. NJ

    October 29, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    sorry to belittle Nick but “…if not, the Phillies will have a two full years of a slow third baseman who has absolutely zero power and struggles to draw a walk”…

    Yes because the Phils really need another power/speed guy who gets into pitchers counts and strikes out a lot… As oppose to a gritty contact hitter who puts balls in play with a great glove and top-notch baseball smarts… Polanco was everything expected and more (despite the injury) adding another dimension to an all or nothing offense.

  9. Chuck

    October 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    “empty average” ??

    Ok, so just what the hell does THAT mean??

    Am I missing something here?? ”

    “Just there” “Empty average”

    What??….the dude was just an apparition out there at 3rd base.?? I seriously don’t know what some of you people are looking for in a player..

  10. Phylan

    October 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    .726 OPS from a 3B is not really ideal. I’ll give him some leeway because he was clearly hampered by an elbow injury but ya’ll are going nuts with the “best hitter on the team!” stuff. I think Nick’s grade is fair.

  11. Al

    October 29, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Did Polanco always choke up on his bat prior to getting hit in the elbow? I know that he choked up in 2-strike counts, but he was choking up regardless of the count later in the season. That may be why he lost power in the latter half of the season.

    I also would like to see him walk more, but I doubt that he’ll learn better plate discipline skills at this stage of his career (they’re hard to learn at any stage). He puts the ball in play and doesn’t strike out too much, and that makes him a pretty good balancing force in the lineup.

  12. Phylan

    October 29, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    An “empty average” is a high batting average wherein you still make a lot of outs (i.e. have a low OBP) and/or produce very few extra base hits. Both are the case for Polanco, who had a .339 OBP (not very good) and a .386 SLG (very bad).

    This is why just looking at batting average is silly, because in a vacuum it does not tell you very much about the value of the hitter’s production.

  13. NJ

    October 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    You absolutely cannot just players on OPS as an absolute expecting every guy to have a stellar OBP. OBP from certain positions don’t mean anything anymore because teams players skill-sets have changed from the past so the Phils have had power in non-power positions negating the need for a power hitting high OPS 3rd basemen.

    The Phils added Polanco because they needed a guy who would make contact and have a high AVG but not a great OBP. The line-up needed a guy who could spark the team with hits and make productive outs to move runners not another OPS guy who stats were inflated by extra base hits that probably didn’t contribute to runs.

    Polly is a contributor not a creator and the expectation every hitter can produce OBP/OPS and every pitching can have a low WHIP, high K/9 is how you put together a team that doesn’t win because how many OPS teams are consistently winning in this league?

  14. fred

    October 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Couldn’t have put it better myself Phylan.

  15. Kate

    October 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Wow.

    Harsh. Polanco was an anchor in this line-up and on the field when he wasn’t on the DL. His defense was a lot neater than Chase Utley’s and he was fighting through an injury almost the whole season.

    Too harsh.

  16. NJ

    October 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    ^BTW before someone jumps on my point I’m not discrediting guys who produce high OPS’s but a team needs to supplement those guys with the gritty glue that moulds the team, your Polly’s and Ruiz’s who’s style of play loosens it up for the big money guys.

  17. The Dipsy

    October 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Are you guys serious? This guy was steady freddy all year and played, not a good third base, a GREAT third base. I don’t know who you guys were watching but Placido was a Gold Glove candidate this year and don’t be surprised if he wins it. Good lord. OPS this.

    The Dipsy

  18. fred

    October 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    And when Polanco swung at the first pitch grounding into a double play, would you call that a productive out ? To give some perspective on the ’empty average’ issue, Jayson Werth (who is regularly slammed on this site) hit 2 points lower in terms of batting average, yet had 75 XBH’s compared to Pollys 35, and walked 82 times in comparison to 32 times by Polanco. So Werth got on base more, and was more of a threat to clear the bases when at bat. So to call Polanco the teams best hitter is just ridiculous. I know you all hate VORP, but Polanco actually ranked 7th out of the hitters on the team, only beating Rollins who was a regular.

  19. Phylan

    October 29, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    If you get to use vague hand wavy terms like “gritty” and “glue” and a player’s “style of play” I get to ask you what the heck that means, and how it changes my assessment.

    If you’re saying that the Phillies didn’t need a big bat at 3B because they have them elsewhere, I’m not going to argue. But I thought we were just trying to evaluate the kind of season he had here.

    Polly is a contributor not a creator and the expectation every hitter can produce OBP/OPS and every pitching can have a low WHIP, high K/9 is how you put together a team that doesn’t win because how many OPS teams are consistently winning in this league?

    That’s actually exactly how you put together a team that wins. Or at least 3 good things to look at. I’m not a fan of WHIP really.

  20. NJ

    October 29, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    The point is you can’t have it all everywhere. This team fell below expectations because they made unproductive outs waiting on extra base hits that didn’t come because when it came down to it the San Francisco pitching didn’t give them pitches to hit.

    You need guys who can produce without creating runs through extra-base hits because your not always going to get them and the Phils have too many guys who are hit or miss.

    Polly plays the game right so other players (like Werth) can play it great. You need a team of players that compliment each others skillsets on the field and in the clubhouse… As in Polly

  21. Chuck

    October 29, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Guys that postpone surgery til the end of the year and play through pain and guys that tough it out for 6 innings with a groin strain….

    ….I’ll take those players on my team EVERY SINGLE DAY..

    That’s the “gritty glue that moulds your team”

    Everything isn’t always numbers and averages. There are those INTANGIBLES that certain players possess that can sometimes far outweigh some stat.

    Of course, people like Phylan will poo poo what I’m saying in favor of looking at just the numbers…that’s why he thinks this is a fair grade.

  22. NJ

    October 29, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Interesting argument put forward Phylan- Do you define the success of a season on stats or whether the player has succeeded in his role? It goes through to the differing schools of thought on do you want a guy who creates lots of opportunities for runs or one who produces more consistently but doesn’t create as much opportunity for others.

    Polly’s probably the most interesting guy on this team to evaluate because your looking at apples and oranges, you take Howard or Werth and its oranges or oranges.

  23. fred

    October 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Playing hurt is admirable, but when it hurts the team due to a lack of production is it really a great intangible ? Polancos numbers were downright poor after July, wheras Halladay still performed to a high level hurt. I’m not getting on Polanco in anyway, but often playing hurt actually has a negative impact on the team. Polancos skill set does compliment some of the teams power hitters, but his skill set as a whole is pretty average. A nice player to have hitting 7 or 8 perhaps, but probably not at second in the order.

  24. Phylan

    October 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    NJ, I guess if you asked me “Did Polly have a great season?” I would say no, based on his offensive production (with the caveat that the elbow injury hampered that significantly). But if you asked me “Did Polly make a good contribution?” I would say yes, based on his defense and what we needed from him in an already potent lineup.

  25. Phan in the outfield

    October 29, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I guess like the others, I expected a higher grade too. Somebody help me understand the grading process, please. Are the grades based strictly on numbers, or are intangibles involved?

    Funny you said that Dipsy b/c all season long I used that phrase talking about Polanco, I called him the Phillies’ Steady Freddy. He was so consistent until the DL. He could always be counted on to PUT THE BALL IN PLAY. He almost never struck out & always seemed to make the smart defensive play.

    Re fred’s discussion: I’m not deliberately trying to sound like a fence-sitter. But I understand what he’s talking about (though 2 pts lower isn’t exactly a MASSIVE diff). I would never have called Polanco the team’s best hitter. And prior to today, I had no idea where he ranked among the hitters. A guy who hits the way he does will never set the world on fire. He isn’t power. But he puts the ball in play, he generally gets a hit. But isn’t he performing a function, isn’t that his job?

  26. fred

    October 29, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Phan in the outfield, I agree that Polanco did his job pretty well, especially on the defensive side, but I also believe that it is every hitters job to try and get on base, and to hit their fair share of XBH’s. Not necceserily home runs, but the odd double, or perhaps the odd stolen base. Personally I think Polanco is a good hitter, above average for a major league third baseman, but not by much. Hence a 6.2 isn’t a bad grade as far as i’m concerned.

  27. Chuck

    October 29, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Pedro Feliz last season for the Phillies:

    OBP — .308
    SLG — .386
    OPS — .694
    AVG — .266

    fielding pct — .966

    Placido Polanco this year with the Phillies:

    OBP — .339
    SLG — .386
    OPS — .726
    AVG — .298

    fielding pct — .986

    Does this not reflect a decent upgrade at the position for the Phillies?
    And…if you answered “yes”…then what’s the issue?

  28. fred

    October 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Chuck nobodys comparing Polanco to Feliz, that’s not the point. And i’m sure most would agree that whatever fielding percentage says, Feliz was a damn good third baseman.

  29. Phylan

    October 29, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    “Better than Pedro Feliz” isn’t really a standard for evaluation, nor should it be since Feliz is godawful.

  30. Phylan

    October 29, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Also not to be too blunt but fielding percentage is a worthless metric.

  31. Chuck

    October 29, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Fielding percentage is worthless??

    Ok, next time a player either makes an incredible play or committs a costly error, I’ll just ignore it…because it’s worthless.

    And, my point with the Feliz comparison is to point out that the Phillies wanted to upgrade at the position…which they did. The numbers don’t lie. Are they fantastic numbers?? No, of course not. I don’t think any one of us thought they would be going into this season.

    But…again…it’s a clear upgrade…stats-wise..and also Polanco brings that other element to the equation…the “grit” , the “glue”…you know…that word…(shhh)…i n t a g i b l e.

  32. Phylan

    October 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    a) it’s “intangible” and b) Yes, you always say that, and the problem always is that you can never define these terms you use, nor tell me how much of an impact they have on a player’s contribution, or how much bad offense they offset. And I can never contest them for that reason. Do you not see how tremendously convenient for you that is?

    And yes, fielding percentage is worthless because errors are at the complete discretion of the scorer, and it penalizes players with good range and rewards those with poor range. Remember Pat Burrell’s errorless streak?

  33. Phan in the outfield

    October 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    fred: No, I get it. Polanco essentially does 2 things 1) put the ball in play; and 2) field (darn well) at 3rd.

    Versus the Werth comparison–a legit “threat”: HRs, doubles, walks, works the count (wears down pitchers), SBs, speed, fields (good arm), plays diff positions; arguably a 5-tool guy. (And he wasn’t on the DL this season, btw, we should sign him …)

  34. PizzaBagel

    October 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Sorry Nick, but this article was a joke. He was just “there”? Are you kidding yourself? He was one of the most consistent players on the team, even after the injury. The man gets the cajones of the year award for dogging it out with bone chips in his elbow. Freaking fragments of freaking bone, in his arm, as he’s still hitting the ball. Dude deserves an 8.5 at least.

  35. Phylan

    October 29, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Don’t you see why sportswriters ramble on and on about intangibles all the time? Because you can literally invoke them for any player, and nobody can really argue with you because you’re not making any definitive statement. It’s the last easy out card to protect a player you have an emotional attachment to from criticism; in the case of sportswriters, usually the one who gives the best quotes. Jeff Francoeur is absolutely awful at baseball, and sportswriters fall all over themselves to say things about his intangibles, and it doesn’t even matter if he has whatever those are or not — he gives the best interviews.

    You’ve either been consumed by this media parlor trick or you’ve adopted it for your own purposes here. Time for some self-reflection perhaps.

  36. Phylan

    October 29, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    That last one was directed at Chuck in case that wasn’t obvious

  37. Chuck

    October 29, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Look up the definition of intangible…and then try to argue with me some more about the word. I use it because it applies.

    Baseball is more than just the stats. It’s what we see with our own eyes, what we FEEL. It’s that certain something that a player brings to his team that a stat can’t be placed upon. It can win games.

    Stats are great. I look at them. I understand them. I appreciate the fact that they can be tremendous tools for evaluating players. But I don’t consider them the gospel truth. To do so would degrade the game of baseball and take away it’s human element, something that makes the game so special and intoxicating more than any other sport.

  38. Phan in the outfield

    October 29, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Phylan: I used the word “intangible”. Were you speaking to me or Chuck?

    I could waste a minute and define what I meant when I used that word. Unfortunately it’s my feeling that any amount of defining would be a loss as you honestly don’t reflect any discernable care with regard to other’s ideas. It seems we’re all wrong in the absolute, straight ‘out of the gate’ because we just aren’t you.

  39. Chuck

    October 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    And stop it with the media sh*t. You tried that with me during the Wilson Valdez argument some weeks ago, trying to insinuate that I was somehow duped by the media into thinking that he was better than he really is….or than you think he is.

    No, Phylan, I don’t use the media to make my conclusions. I’ve been around too long and seen too much to fall into that trap. I can see with my own eyes and feel with my on heart what’s going on.

  40. Lefty

    October 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    This exercise is ridiculous. These ratings are a waste, and many of you haven’t a clue what you are talking about. This is all subjective BS.
    Opinions are cheap, we all have em, we also all have a-holes.

    “3b is a power position” Really Fred???

    The ML average for third baseman was 8 HR’s and 37RBI.

    Of course that 8 HR average was spun way upwards by a guy on roids that hit 54. (yes Bautista played 48 games at 3rd therefore counts in that position’s averages)

    Here are the Major League third baseman’s averages- vs. Polly’s-
    BA .261- Polly .298
    HR 8 (skewed higher by Roids man) -Polly 6
    RBI 37 (skewed higher by A-Rod’s 125- former roids man) – Polly 52
    SB 3 -Polly 5

    Despite the almost season long INJURED ELBOW, Polly beat nearly every average. It is also extremely important that Polly is a contact hitter and that stat is not figured into OBP, you have to look past the numbers and understand that a contact hitter keeps an inning going in his way and a patient hitter that gets more walks does it his way.

    Oh and RISP? Look closer- His RISP average was brought down only when he had bases loaded. With runners on he hit .311, with two out and RISP- .308!

    Don’t believe me?
    Link
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6049

  41. Phylan

    October 29, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Baseball is more than just the stats. It’s what we see with our own eyes, what we FEEL. It’s that certain something that a player brings to his team that a stat can’t be placed upon. It can win games.

    Hey more words wherein you don’t actually say anything concrete.

    Yes, there is more to baseball than stats. Specifically, scouting. To build a good team it’s imperative to combine statistical analysis with the informed opinions of experienced scouts. And guess what, not only are those scouts seeing much more than you do, they’re looking for bat speed, athleticism, range, arm strength, plate discipline, and a host of other things that make up a good player. They’re not looking for a “certain something” that they can “feel” in their gut or whatever.

    Look, I like a player with a good work ethic too. It’s fun to watch guys that run stairs and throw bullpen sessions after a dominant start. It’s great to have guys that show up weeks early for spring training, guys that aren’t afraid to play through pain, guys that have a certain swagger. But these are bonus traits to players that are already great, not something that can be used to wave away sub-par performance, or that make up for it. Especially when you’re not saying anything nearly as specific as I am — you’re just saying that Polanco has “something” that you cannot even begin to describe for me, and that this makes him a 9 instead of a 6 or whatever. That means nothing.

  42. Phylan

    October 29, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    OBP includes singles so I don’t see how you could possibly argue that being a contact hitter doesn’t “factor in.” I’m just going to ignore all the dumb ROIDS stuff.

  43. Lefty

    October 29, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    And I didn’t even mention defense! There is no Perfect Game without Polly. All of the incredible pitching performances this season were aided by our defense, and Polly (diving constantly on the INJURED ELBOW that needs surgery most of the year) was a HUGE part of that.

  44. Lefty

    October 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Dumb Roids stuff? It’s all anyone has talked about all year with that guy.

    Ignore me all you want, I think I was addressing someone named Fred anyway, why do you butt in?

  45. Chuck

    October 29, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    I never said he should be a 9. That was YOUR assumption.

    And….Polanco didn’t have a “sub-par performance” this year. Reference Lefty’s post at 2:38.

    Phylan, I don’t know how old you are and it really doesn’t matter. But you remind me of a snot-nosed know-it-all kid that loves to talk down to people in a condescending manner because it makes him feel more important than he really is.

    You may THINK you can come on here and push around the rest of us with that attitude of yours, but, I can assure you, you will make few friends and gain little respect doing so.

  46. Phylan

    October 29, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    It’s all total idiots have been talking about, anyway.

  47. Phylan

    October 29, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    It being the Roids thing, I mean.

    And Chuck, you really didn’t respond to anything I said, other than to call me a snot-nosed know-it-all-kid.

  48. Richard

    October 29, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    lefty, where did you get those MLB 3rd basemen averages? There’s no way they are correct. (Also, Polanco did not play the night of the perfect game. Also part 2, steroid are irrelevant in general. Also part 3, no one has seriously accused Bautista of using steroids–in fact there’s been a lot of work done into his changed approach.)

    Here is the list of 3rd basemen who actually played the most this year:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=3b&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=0&season=2010&month=0

    You’ll see that every single player has at least 10 hr, except for Polanco, so I don’t see how the average can be 8.

    I like Polanco though. I think his defense was great and his final numbers were heavily damaged by his late season slump.

  49. brooks

    October 29, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Its kind of interesting isn’t it – our hosts are gracious enough to drop this stink bomb and not comment anymore on it – like defend their positions, debate the opposing viewpoints.

    Regardless, I believe most of us are on the same page. Poly was one of the most valuable players on the Phils this past year. Steady-Freddy, and when he came to bat with men on base, we anticipated something happening and were usually pleased with the results.

    The fact that Poly got hurt, he did not complain, he still maintained a very decent glove and average – he is a vast improvement over what the Phils have had at third base in a long, long time.

    And, if we can squeeze 1 or 2 more years of the same out of him (130 games or more, .300 ba.) that is all we ask for.

    Poly gets at least good “B” in my book.

  50. SJHaack

    October 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    **And I didn’t even mention defense! There is no Perfect Game without Polly. All of the incredible pitching performances this season were aided by our defense, and Polly (diving constantly on the INJURED ELBOW that needs surgery most of the year) was a HUGE part of that.**

    Actually, Juan Castro played 3B in the perfect game.

    Wilson Valdez played 3B in the no hitter.

    Polanco wasn’t there when the team needed him most.

    4.7/10 (on the Aberworth Clutch-Grit Alignment)

  51. Greg

    October 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Quote Lefty: “There is no Perfect Game without Polly…”

    Actually, there is. And a no-hitter. Polanco didn’t play in either of Halladay’s No-No’s. At 3B on May 29 was Juan Castro. Utley was at 2B.

    On Halladay’s Postseason No-hitter, Valdez got the start at third because Polly had back problems.

  52. Chuck

    October 29, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I didn’t respond to anything you said, Phylan?? That’s all I’ve been doing. Just becasue I choose to make comments that you don’t agree with…you now think that I didn’t respond to you.

    And…you ARE a snot-nosed, know-it-all kid…until you can prove me otherwise.

  53. The Original Chuck P

    October 29, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I come back to this…

    What’s his role? To be a good situational hitter – adept at making contact (moving runners along) and not killing rallies, able to drive in a runner standing on third base, plays defense and scores runs. He’s not a run producer – even in his best year when he hit .341, he only drove in 67 runs with 9 HR. He’s a singles hitter that can drop one onto the warning track if guys play him too shallow. He doesn’t strike out and he puts the ball in play – and that makes him a great hit and run guy (putting the guy in front of him in position to score). He played awesome defense and scored enough runs to make me happy (would have scored 85 runs if he had made it an entire season). I’m not sure what you really expected Polly to do… he’s the setter on a volleyballl team. He’s the fullback on a football team. You need guys like Polly that do the little things.

  54. Phylan

    October 29, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Chuck, I mean you didn’t rebut anything in my 2:40 PM post. But I don’t actually care anymore because if you’re just going to insult me it’s not really worth partaking in this “discussion.”

  55. Bart Shart

    October 29, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Hey, I like it when we get passionate about a player. I really like Polanco and am real happy he is a Philly. It is healthy to argue about a player on a blog, especially when the parties know baseball. Goes to show you that two people can scrutinize the same thing and have totally different perspectives. After all, I hate to be right ALL THE TIME !!! This was, in my humble opinion, a harsh evaluation of Polanco. He deserved an “8”.

  56. Ted Bell

    October 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    The average STARTING thirdbaseman is well above the 8 HR, 37 RBI cited by Yahoo. I think Yahoo must have factored in anybody that even played a handful of games there – which really makes their numbers irrelevant.

    I’m Ted Bell.

  57. Andrew from waldorf

    October 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    He got lower than Howard and Utley?
    thats priceless

    utley and howard AKA 1 and 0 rbi (respectively) both 4s
    Polly is a 7

  58. Kate

    October 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Polanco was grinding all season long.

    I was annoyed by the YiRs on Howard and Utley.

    This one angers me. It relegates Polanco to a place he doesn’t deserve.

    Honestly, I would skip Jimmy Rollins, guys. The guy played, what, seventy games all year? Assessing his year would serve no purpose, other than simply letting out the frustration.

    If you’re going to take your frustration out on Howard and Polanco, take it out on everyone or take it out on no one.

    Polanco was MUCH better than he was portrayed. Like Howard, he deserves better.

  59. Kate

    October 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    @Andrew: That’s what’s wrong with doing a year in review when all people are still thinking about is the pitch Howard stared at and the two errors Chase made that cost us Game 6. You can’t possibly be fair to these guys before the World Series is even over.

  60. Chuck

    October 29, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    I’m insulting you??

    Just the tone of your posts directed at me…and the rest of us…is insulting.

    You act like you know it all. Maybe you do. Good for you.

  61. Andrew from waldorf

    October 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    @ kate
    its a blog for discussing the team the good and the bad.
    so thats what they do. ill go away when some of the stuff doesnt interest me. I dont really care abotu the minor leagues. I am glad some are and that they will fill me in. But Ill make my decisions when they are here. Not by reading others opinions.
    But thats what its for. To get people talking about the team good or bad.

    They probably shuold take a few weeks before anything too serious. We are all still is a crappy mood.

  62. karen

    October 29, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    I would agree with the grade of 6/7. He was okay, a bit more consistent than some but I am not overly in love but he was injured most of the season…..Hold off until next year after full season post surgery

  63. Manny

    October 29, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    I think Polly is gonna win the Gold Glove… call me crazy, but is there any other good candidate?

  64. The Beerman

    October 29, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    You’d think I would have said Polanco was awful. Polanco is servicable. If Ryan Zimmerman is a 10 and Pedro Feliz is a 2, then wouldn’t you say Polanco falls in the middle?

    Jesus people. If you look outside the box and look at things other than batting average, maybe you could open your eyes to some perspective.

    Who this season had a really good year offensively? Carlos Ruiz and Jayson Werth…THATS IT! The offense was the worst it had been in 4 years!

    Do you know why Ryan Howard didn’t drive in the runs he normally did? BECAUSE THE GUYS WHO HIT LEADOFF AND SECOND HAD ON BASE PERCENTAGES AROUND .350!

  65. Bart Shart

    October 29, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Polanco is an excellent #2 hitter. He is a good defensive third baseman and provided the Phils with what they were seeking. He played hurt and he still batted close to .300. He can hit-and-run, make contact and
    put leadoff hitters into scoring position. Overall, we do not have to think outside the box to realize that Polanco was a real contributor last year. We lacked this last year.

  66. Bart Shart

    October 29, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Hey, the Twins let Nick Punto , and ex- Phillie, go into free agency. He plays outfield and all infield positions, is a swich-hitter and has hit 13 homers in ten years with a .240 batting average. God bless him in his search for a team. He also made over $7 million in the last decade. Not bad.

  67. George

    October 29, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Screw “concrete.” Concrete is a totally lifeless and rigid substance. I’m tired of someone demanding a definition of “intangible.” The very word itself means something that can’t be quantified, but the fact the word exists means that there ARE things which are more than the sum of their parts.

    Also, the argument put forth by fred that “Playing hurt is admirable, but when it hurts the team due to a lack of production is it really a great intangible ? Polancos numbers were downright poor after July, wheras Halladay still performed to a high level hurt.” The potential replacements for Polanco were Greg Dobbs and (at those times he wasn’t playing SS) Wilson Valdez. Valdez was maybe okay, but he still wasn’t close to an injured Placido, and Dobbs was downright useless.

  68. Chuck

    October 29, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I did look at more than batting average. Look at my post at 1:50 PM. I mentioned 4 different offensive stats, comparing Polanco to Feliz. You know, the Pedro Feliz that helped us win 2 pennants and one World Series….

    … And Polanco is an upgrade over him.

    And I even included fielding stats…which your buddy Phylan labeled as “useless”

    The thing that really set me off about your article, Beerman, is the statement, “He was just kind of “there” this season.”

    That is just about the most ridiculous thing I have read in awhile on this site. It implies that it’s referring to someone who hit about .250 and had other slash stats lower than what Polly actually had…and who played a just ok defense instead of being a player that should be considered for a GG at his position. All while having bone chips causing him a lot of pain.

    That’s your definition of someone who’s “serviceable” or “just kind of there” ??? Really???

  69. Chuck

    October 29, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    ^^^Sorry, the word “worthless” was what was used to describe the value of fielding percentage. Not useless. Just clarifying.

    Basically the same thing.

  70. Andrew from waldorf

    October 29, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Errors are over rated
    Because if you have good range you get more chances so thus you commit more errors.
    Most people dont get that. Total chances or chances per game way out shines total errors.

    Batting average is the most over rated stats in professionsal sports.
    Lets say you got 500 AB in a season. The difference between a .250 and .300 hitter is 25 hits. Or less than a hit a week during the regular season.
    Its value is overall comparative stat. But you can be a better hitter at .250 than at .300.

  71. Nick "Beerman" Staskin

    October 29, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Fielding percentage is overrated. If you go to fangraphs.com and study the fielding stats you will see fielding percentage only shows the balls you got to.That being said, I said Polly’s glove was great, but if you really want to discuss this I’m more than happy to.

    You compared Polanco to one of the worst offensive third base options in baseball. Pedro Feliz…

    OBP — .308
    SLG — .386
    OPS — .694
    AVG — .266

    Placido Polanco this year with the Phillies:
    OBP — .339
    SLG — .386
    OPS — .726
    AVG — .298

    Those numbers are pretty damn close. The difference was the .32 point batting average. Which equated probably to all singles. I’m not saying Polanco sucks, but fans in Philadelphia overrate him big time. When you are only marginally better than Pedro Feliz, perhaps you aren’t that great?

  72. Kate

    October 29, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Ninety-seven wins is a fantastic season for any ball club.

    Getting past the first round of the playoffs isn’t something they all do. Most teams don’t even SEE the playoffs.

    Getting to Game 6 of the Championship series in a best of seven is more than most of the major league did.

    I think we need some perspective here and these reviews are coming far too early.

  73. Lefty

    October 29, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    @Richard,
    I put the link to my stats at the bottom of my posting, from Yahoo.

    Your stats certainly look to be accurate. I don’t know why the Yahoo stats are wrong, but apparently they are. I was mislead in making comparisons to other 3b’s.

    Thanks for the fangraphs link, I’ll use it frequently.

  74. Nick "Beerman" Staskin

    October 29, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Kate,

    When you get content on just getting there you are only cheating yourself. Anything less than NL pennants is a disappointment for the group of players this team had this season. Between the talent, the payroll and the risk the future to get here now attitude the Phillies have taken, you can’t be satisfied to just get to the postseason anymore. This isn’t 2007, where the Phillies hadn’t been to the playoffs in 14 years. We aren’t the Cincinnatti Reds, this is a team that is getting older with each passing day. Whether you want to admit it or not, this season was a letdown.

  75. Lefty

    October 29, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    @George,
    Excellent post.

  76. The Dipsy

    October 29, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Nick – Uhhhh, Polanco is better than him in three categories and is tied in one. Polanco kills him in batting average. Why did we get him in the first place? To put the ball in play, to hit to the other side, to not strike out. To bat 2nd. Thats what he does. The man does not try to hit homers with a man on. He tries to move him. Ask him to bat third and you get 20/90/.300.

    The Dipsy

  77. The Dipsy

    October 29, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    The Phils blow.

    The Dipsy

  78. Chuck

    October 29, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Nick, I agree that Polanco’s offensive numbers aren’t light years better than Feliz’s. I only said that between the offense and his defense…which was excellent…that Polanco represents a nice upgrade over Pedro Feliz. And, given his injury, I think that upgrade is even more clarified.

    I’m not one to “overrate” many players. If fact, I think ratings are pretty silly….it’s really hard to put a number on something like this. What one person says is a 6…another might say 7.5. And both might be right with their different arguments as to why they rated them the way they did.

    As for your statement about this season being a “letdown”…I have to agree…to a point. I think we all thought at the beginning of the year that we were the team to beat. On paper, we had it all. We were poised to dominate. And we did for the first…what? …8 games??

    Then the injuries came and Charlie had to mix and match all season with guys coming and going from the DL.

    At the 48-46 mark I think a lot of us thought we were done ….

    ……(even though I constantly came on here and said that once Utley and Howard and Rollins were healthy…we would probably be a playoff team…at least make a charge).

    We made that charge….dominated all of baseball for like the last 70 games…and ended up with the best record.

    For some…that represented what we were supposed to do all year anyway. Dominate….and be on the cusp of greatness. Winning it all would just be a formality.

    For others….it was an achievement all in itself….coming from 7 games back to win the division by 6 games…in the space of a month or so.

    So, yeah…it was a letdown in that we didn’t get to where we set out to be at at the start of the season…..WFCs…

    ….but the fact that we made the playoffs at all after where were were on July 21st….that’s pretty amazing.

    I’m not content by any stretch.

    I disapppointed. I’m angry. I’m sad. STILL. After almost a full week. I can barely watch the Series. I’m only doing it a little bit because I love the game of baseball and realize that that’s pretty much it until March.

  79. Andrew from waldorf

    October 29, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Most teams didnt have Doc and Oswalt and Hamels.
    Most teams didnt have 2 former MVPS and supposed future one in their infield. All 3 still in thier “primes”.

    It was a tremendously disappointing season.
    Last year losing to the yankees wasnt. Because Colse sucked and Pedro was average at best.

    Its all about expectations. This should have been the best phillies team ever.
    On the bright side? I feel with the right moves next years team could be very special and the bitter disappointment of this year is only feul to that fire.

  80. Bob

    October 29, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    How can a 97 win season, a 4th straight NL East title and 3rd straight appearance in the NL Championship be a disappointing season?

    All the moments from the comebacks to Doc’s gems, all the sellouts.

    APPRECIATE WHAT WE HAVE HERE.

    Yes the ending was heartbreaking, but you just can not win every year. The Billion Dollar Yankees dont win every year, the Red Sox needed 2 years from their 04 title to win their 2nd of the era in 2007.

    The only disappointment was the ending of the season, not the season itself.

    Amaro will make the necessary moves to put this team back in position for a 4th straight legitmate run at a World Series.

    We need to remember to enjoy this era because we are gonna be hardpressed to see sustained success like this in the future.

    I’m proud of these guys, despite falling short and despite the big team disappointments at the plate. They never quit, they just fell short.

    Spring Training comes soon.

  81. Al

    October 29, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    On defense, Polanco owned Feliz this year. It may have been some statistical noise for Feliz, as his UZR/150 went from +9 runs last year to -5 runs this year, but Polanco’s UZR/150 this year was +11 runs. Most of Polanco’s good UZR came from simply not making errors. 2009 Feliz had above-average range, while 2010 Polanco had slightly below-average range (2010 Feliz fell of a cliff).

    Also, as I was thumbing through some stats, I noticed that Jimmy walked more than he struck out this year. If he can fix his swing next year and get his BABIP up, our leadoff man may be back.

  82. Andrew from waldorf

    October 29, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    No you cant win it every year.
    But you can win every year you have Halladay Oswalt and Hamels on their A+ game and in thier prime.
    If hamels sucked in 2010 like he did in 2009 it would be more understandable.
    Who is to say that in 2011 all 3 arent on the DL by July?
    Then you are proud to win the NLDS.
    I get it. We had fun. Its a great team to follow.
    I cant wait for first pitch 2011 opening day.
    On the disappointment scale 2010 was a 10 and 09 was only a 5.

  83. Andrew from waldorf

    October 29, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    And in 5 years we could just miss the playoffs by 1 game and it could be the most satisfying season ever.
    For me 2010 is more disappointing than 93 or 09 or 07 or any one of the last place years.
    I was here after the 09 loss and was very positive about it.
    Its perception.
    This was the best phillies team ever assembled.
    2011 could be very special. Historicly.

  84. brooks

    October 30, 2010 at 3:41 am

    I was at work yesterday, able to glance infrequently at these posts and in the middle of the monotony, my friend sends me a text – “and what were you doing Oct 29th, 2008?”

    Almost made me cry – I certainly stopped for a bit and reflected. I want that feeling again, and again and again. I think this Phillies team can do it – 2 former MVP’s, probable CYA winner this year, an all-star studded offense – and like Andrew said, these guys are in their “primes”.

  85. MikeB.

    October 30, 2010 at 6:18 am

    You have to give this guy at least a 7.5 rating for the season that he did have putting up with a painful elbow thanks to getting hit by a pitch from Tim Hudson. Is truly a “gamer”.

  86. Kate

    October 30, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    @Andrew: But six of the best Phillies team ever missed significant playing time this season and Charlie had rely on his back-ups and utility players to grind it out until the injuries ended.

    You can’t just look at this team on paper and then look at the result and call this a disappointing season. You’re missing the human element, the injuries and the slumps and things like “The Ballad of Wilson Valdez: SS, 3B, and 2B” and “Left Fielder Roy Oswalt” and the Game of Halladay’s Groin.

    These guys did everything they could, gave it all they possibly could. Yes, it all fell apart in Game 6 of the NLCS, which in my opinion was the only TRUE and complete disappointment of this season, but to say the entire season was a disappointment is selling this team far too short.

    Remember when everyone was saying that our season was going to come down to that last series against Atlanta in Atlanta? Well, it did. Their season, not ours.

    A season with a September like September 2010 cannot be called a disappointment.

    Games 1, 2, and 6 were a disappointment.

    The 2010 Phillies season was spectacular.

  87. Kate

    October 30, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    *Whoops, that would be Games 1, 3, and 6. My bad.

  88. biz

    October 30, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    LoL

    What did these guys give Utley again?

    Polly had a much better season than Chase. Not even comparable.

  89. biz

    October 30, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Polanco was hitting .325 in late August.

    We’re talking about a possible batting crown if he never takes that Hudson pitch off of his elbow.

    Polanco is the very definition of a number 2 hitter. He doesn’t K and he can hit the ball to the right side of the field on cue. And that’s just what he does.

  90. Kate

    October 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    What biz said, both times.

    This is the guy who should have gotten a higher score than Howard, not Utley.

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