With Spring Training officially getting underway this week, let’s have some fun and predict who will be the Phillies’ team leaders in some offensive categories.
Ben Revere: Revere has been the Phillies’ team leader in batting average the last two seasons with a .305 average in 2013, and a .306 average in 2014. The assumption is that Revere will once again be the team leader in batting average, especially considering the fact that the Phillies’ roster consists of players that don’t hit for a high average. The only player who could really challenge Revere is Maikel Franco, who could benefit from pitchers’ unfamiliarity once he makes it to the Majors.
Prediction: .308 batting average.
Dominic Brown: This may surprise most people, but I believe Brown will have a bounce-back season, and show more of the 2013 Brown, who hit 27 homers, than the disappointing 2014 Brown who hit only 10. Why am I choosing Brown over Ryan Howard? Well, I believe that Howard will not finish the season in a Phillies uniform. Howard will produce enough to attract a team desperate for a DH by the trade deadline, leaving Brown as the next best power option for the Phillies. Darin Ruf could also be a candidate, but I’m not confident he will get the playing time he needs to be the team leader in homers by season’s end.
Prediction: 24 home runs.
Runs Batted In?
Dominic Brown: If you’re going to be the team leader in home runs, then chances are you’ll also be the team leader in RBIs. This prediction is not made solely on the fact that Brown will lead the team in home runs, but also because Brown has a career .280 batting average with runners in scoring position. If Brown is able to hit home runs with men on base, and get hits with RISP, then he should have no problem racking up the RBI numbers.
Prediction: 90 RBIs.
Ben Revere: With Jimmy Rollins gone, Revere is the only real threat on the base-paths for the Phillies. Last season, Revere established a career high of 49, and ranked fourth in MLB in stolen bases. Over the last four seasons, Revere has swiped 145 total bags, averaging about 36 per season. Also note that Revere stole 22 bases before missing significant time due to injury in 2013. This is a lock, barring another significant injury.
Prediction: 54 stolen bases.
Average with RISP?
Chase Utley: While Utley’s career is, sadly, on the decline, the 36-year-old is still one of the best second basemen in MLB. What makes Utley so dangerous at the plate is his ability to hit when it matters most; with runners in scoring position. For his career, Utley has posted a .293 batting average with RISP, and last season, hit .294. Hopefully there will be plenty of chances for him to drive in runs this season.
Prediction: .291 average with RISP.
Chase Utley: Utley is great in terms of OBP because he hits, takes his share of walks, and gets hit by pitches due to his “crowding” of the plate. In his career, Utley has a .370 OBP, and although his OBP has diminished the last two seasons (.348, .339), the Phillies don’t have many players that work the count, or have great plate discipline like Utley.
Prediction: .345 OBP
These are my predictions. Now, what are yours? Share in the comments!