Advance Scouting Report

Filed by: Nick J. Faleris

Player Name: Brandon Phillips

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




1st P






















Sample vs. Season:

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



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




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.


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.


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.


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 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




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.


Straight up.


vs. LHP


vs. RHP


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Another injury issue - he left Saturday's game and sat on Sunday after fouling a ball off his shin. The Fox broadcast got a shot of a huge lump on his shin through his uniform. Between the quad and the shin, tender lower half indeed.
Nick - while this wasn't explicit in the article, I think the implication is that Phillips is still playing hurt. Is that correct? Do you see any chance of this injury healing without extended rest?
I would not feel comfortable stating affirmatively that "Phillips is still hurt", but it was observable that even with very solid contact he was upper-half heavy and the ball simply didn't have the same explosion we've seen in the past.

I am not qualified to express an opinion on dangers of further injury, particularly when I do not have knowledge of specifics regarding any particular current ailment. I think the Reds are looking to win a World Series and will continue to try and run out the best players they can to achieve that -- can't fault them at all if they did in fact decide to allow Phillips to play at less than 100% (I mean, who is really at 100% by the end of the season anyway, right?).
Fair enough. Thank you.
Having watched Phillips every day and closely following the team, I would guess that he is beat up head to toe right now. I don't think he's still recovered from getting hit on the hand in late May. Just my unscientific opinion.