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October 1, 2013

Advance Scouting Series

Brandon Phillips

by Nick J. Faleris

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Advance Scouting Report

Filed by: Nick J. Faleris

Player Name: Brandon Phillips

Context: 12 Games; 9/9/13 to 9/22/13

PA

AB

H

1st P

K

BB

TB

Hard

AVE

OBP

SLG

OPS

TOTALS

55

49

11

15

9

4

12

11

.224

.278

.245

.523

Sample vs. Season:

Average/on-base/slugging down from season lines; slumping, will give away at-bats; brutal stretch of at-bats.

SCOUTING BREAKDOWN

Physical/Health:

Quadriceps injured at beginning of month, lingering effects likely; slow out of box and ball not jumping off bat when squared, compared to past viewings; listed 6’0”, 200 pounds; well put together; good athleticism and strength; tender lower half limiting power at plate and mobility on bases.

Hit Tool

Aggressive hitter susceptible to expansion of zone below the knees; strong bat-to-ball ability; can vacillate between slashing line-drive approach and torque-driven swing geared to pull side; currently struggling heavily when behind in count; tendency to go out of zone and roll over soft stuff; quad injury may be lingering, as swing lacks lower-half explosion and squared balls are not carrying in the outfield; with step lost out of the box and limited power, overall hit tool is a grade below previous viewings. -- Grade: 4

vs. LHP

vs. RHP

Aggressive early in count against LHP, with first-pitch swings in nearly half of at-bats; just one hit in 12 plate appearances against opposite-side pitching; has struggled to get barrel through on inner half, rolling over soft stuff down; just one hard struck ball vs. LHP (flyout); historically not a bad oppo-side hitter – current splits likely result of overall struggles, rather than issues unique to LHP.

Even with struggles, shows ability to produce hard contact up the middle vs. same-side pitching, with focus on middle-out location; best early in count, with eight of 10 “hard contact” outcomes vs. RHP occurring in first two pitches of applicable at-bats; will chase soft stuff down and out of zone late in count, with likelihood of bad swings increased as at-bats extend.

Notable At-bats

Date

Description

9/14/13

Third at-bat vs. Hellweg (RHP): down 1-2 in count, hanging curve squared but ball did not carry – ended up hard-struck ball to moderate depth CF; pitch typically driven by hitter, lacked explosion in lower half; first observation quad injury may still be limiting lower-half strength.

9/14/13

First at-bat vs. Figaro (RHP): chopper up the middle, hitter was slow out of the box and clocked 4.6 to first base – well below-average and atypical of hitter; continued evidence quad injury (or effects thereof) may be lingering.

9/17/13

Second at-bat vs. Lyles (RHP): first pitch, FB (92) middle-up for swinging strike; second pitch, FB (93) down-out, hitter let travel and squared up for line drive single to RF; brief at-bat but demonstrative of hitter’s bat-to-ball ability and feel for barrel; lots of bad at-bats during this spread of games, this at-bat was hitter in his element.

9/17/13

First at-bat vs. Humber (RHP): first pitch FB (91) down-out, fouled away; second pitch, FB (91) middle-in, turned on for double to left field; still able to clear inner half against average FB velo, even with lessened explosiveness in lower half.

Power

Power is not currently manifesting; hitter is able to barrel the ball, but struck balls lack explosion observed in past viewings; current game more tailored to gap-to-gap slashing; proposed explanation for lack of current pop is lingering tenderness in lower half from early-month quad injury; not currently a threat to hit for power, but still capable of turning on average velocity and taking the ball up the middle and oppo. – Grade: Low 4

vs. LHP

vs. RHP

Non-existent power against LHP during observed period; one “hard contact” outcome even with multiple squared offerings.

Power not currently manifesting; hitter demonstrating ability to square pitches, but saddled with “wet newspaper” production; not a power threat.

Notable At-bats

Date

Description

9/14/13

Third at-bat vs. Hellweg (RHP): first pitch, FB (93) up-in for ball; second pitch, FB (93) down-out for strike looking; third pitch, CB (81) down-out for swinging strike, hitter expanding; fourth pitch, CB (82) middle-out, hung, squared for F8; hitter produced hard contact but ball lacked any carry once struck; in past, would have been ball hitter drives for extra bases.

Speed/ Baserunning

Clocked one slightly below-average time to first and one well below-average time; generally tick above-average runner; observed speed down, but reads and jumps seem intact; still threat to steal off strength of reads, jumps; likely not risk to bunt for hit.

Conclusions and Means of Attack

Hitter is struggling greatly to find success at the plate; ability to find the ball with barrel still present, but production limited to line-drive approach with little threat of power; plate coverage light on inner half and hitter can be enticed to chase down when behind in count; hitter is aggressive and can get impatient as at-bats extend; soft stuff down and away and hard stuff in as put-away pitches; go after hard and don’t give away bases – biggest threat is as baserunner forcing fastballs to Votto and Bruce.

Late-inning matchups, don’t let hitter dictate bullpen usage; plan for Choo/Votto/Bruce and have confidence arm can attack hitter; still dangerous line-drive bat that will spray gap to gap, no reason to give away pitches in fat of the plate; premium velocity in and quality secondaries away should be roadmap.

Matchup Stats at a Glance

First Pitch Swing

15/55; 27.2 percent

Bunt Threat (Sac, Push, Drag)

Will show sacrifice with a runner on first and/or second base; down trend in speed out of the box makes bunt for hit less likely.

Defensive Positioning

Straight up.

Outfield

Straight up.

Splits

vs. LHP

.100/.250/.100

vs. RHP

.256/.279/.282

Nick J. Faleris is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Nick's other articles. You can contact Nick by clicking here

Related Content:  Scouting,  Advance Series

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