Written By: Joe Maloney
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is continuing right where he left off in last year’s postseason. Posting a .375 BA in the Reds series against the San Francisco Giants in 2012, the 11-year veteran remains hot in 2013.
Ranking third in hitting for second baseman, Phillips has accumulated a .327 BA with 16 runs batted in. A key addition to his offense this year seems to be an increase in power. The eight-year Red currently has four homeruns and holds a .636 slugging percentage, the highest of his career. While this number is likely to fluctuate throughout the season, Phillips’ season-high in homeruns (30) already seems attainable.
Number four has been held hitless in only two games thus far this season, the opener against the Angels and April 9 against the Cardinals. He posted his first multi-homerun game in 2013 only 10 games in on April 12 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Phillips did not record a multi-homerun game until 42 games into 2012.
Phillips’ biggest hit in the young season came on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day, against the Philadelphia Phillies. With the bases loaded in the ninth and one out, Phillips stepped up to the plate looking to break a 2-2 tie. He fought off a pitch from Phillies reliever Mike Adams and drove it past second baseman Freddy Galvis to drive in Derrick Robinson and Zack Cozart. Phillips’ hit turned out to be the game-winner.
A huge benefit to Phillips’ game is his ability to hit both left and right-handed pitching. He is batting well over .300 against both sets of pitchers. This statistic proves Phillips to be a dangerous force all-around moving forward.
Combining to make Phillips such a force from the right side is his consistent fielding. With only one error in 2013 and a career .988 fielding percentage, Phillips has proven to be one of the most reliable infielders in the league. In order for Cincinnati to reach the postseason for the third time in four years, they will need Phillips to continue his dominance.
A little over one year ago, Phillips and the Reds agreed upon a six year contract extension through 2017. That agreement demonstrated the significance of Phillips to the Reds future plans, and an appreciation of his performance on the field.