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Grading the 2012 Philadelphia Phillies: Infielders

Almost a month removed from the season, it’s easy now to see why the Philadelphia Phillies are not in the shoes of either the San Francisco Giants or Detroit Tigers at the moment: They were mediocre, injury-prone and not balanced enough to win different types of games that these elite teams can. With that being said, here is analysis of the Phillies position players, which left much to be desired.

SS Jimmy Rollins (.250 AVG/.316 OBP/23 HRs/68 RBIs)

Rollins was quite inconsistent (via Getty Images).

The Good: Rollins seemed to find his stroke at the plate in the second half, and ended up with 102 runs which led the team. His 23 home runs also led the team, and he continued his stellar play of defense all season.

The Bad: Rollins carried a .316 on base percentage, which is way below what a contending or even mediocre team would expect from its’ leadoff hitter. Rollins had hot streaks, but never could seem to stay consistent at the plate.

The Ugly: Rollins had several brain farts/ hustle issues during the season, and seemed to lack the focus that once made him an MVP caliber player. On top of that, as an elder statesman and leader of the team, Rollins seemed to lack the spark and desire that the team needed through the grind of a long season that saw many key pieces on the shelf.

Grade: C-

3B Placido Polanco (.257 AVG/.302 OBP/2 HRs/19 RBIs)

The Good: Polanco, when on the field, provided solid defense for the Phils . . . that’s about it.

The Bad: INJURIES; Polanco simply couldn’t stay on the field, and had a back that seemed to play more games than he did. When on the field, Polanco never looked quite healthy either, especially offensively.

The Ugly: It was clear that this may have been Polanco’s last year of professional baseball, or at the least his last playing anything but an occasional pinch hitter/bench guy role. Polanco’s injuries really put the Phillies in a carousel of instability, and made third base a patchwork operation.

Grade: D+ (Incomplete)

2B Chase Utley (.256 AVG/.365 OBP/11 HRs/45 RBIs)

The Good: After finally returning about half way through the season, Utley was able to stay on the field. Utley had 11 home runs and 45 RBI’s, but projected over a full season of 600 at bats would give him 22 home runs and 90 RBI’s. Utley also had a .365 on base percentage, a positive sign that he continuing to have productive at bats.

The Bad: Missing half of the season: self-explanatory.

The Ugly: Read above.

Grade: B-

1B Ryan Howard (.219 AVG/.295 OBP/14 HRs/56 RBIs)

The Big Piece showed flashes of what he can do, but not enough (via Getty).

The Good: Even with a newly healed Achilles, being out of shape, and batting under .220, Howard was able to rack up 56 RBI’s in only 260 at bats.

The Bad: Ryan Howard was out of shape, and looked to be behind the learning curve and groove at the plate all season.

The Ugly: 99 strikeouts in 260 at bats, .295 on base percentage, and durability concerns heading into 2013.

Grade: C-/D+

3B Kevin Frandsen (.338 AVG/.383 OBP/2 HRs/14 RBIs)

The Good: Frandsen was a great story for the Phillies this season. He stepped into playing 3rd base after not playing there since high school and offensively delivered consistently all season. Frandsen also brought a ton of hustle, energy, and situational baseball smarts that the Phillies seemed to lack this season.

The Bad: Frandsen had several critical errors at third base, most notably in a 9th inning meltdown loss to Atlanta.

The Ugly: None. Frandsen exceeded expectations this season and looks to play a role as a utility guy/platoon 3rd baseman in 2013.

Grade: A

SS/3B Freddy Galvis (.226 AVG/ .254 OBP/3 HRs/24 RBIs)

The Good: Galvis proved beyond the numbers that he has serious upside as an everyday Major League shortstop. Great glove, good at bats, and his baseball instincts are way beyond his years. He also brought like Frandsen a burst of enthusiasm and hustle to the club. Freddy could be a diamond in the rough if he can improve his bat.

The Bad: Galvis’ bat is still a work in progress. Though he got hot a few times, he also went ice cold through several stretches at the plate.

The Ugly: Galvis missed much of the year with a back fracture and steroid suspension. Still hasn’t proven beyond a reasonable doubt he can handle the grind of a full major league season.

Grade: B- (Incomplete)

C Carlos Ruiz (.325 AVG/.394 OBP/16 HRs/68 RBIs)

He’s always been a good defender, but Chooch was an offensive beast in 2012 (via AP).

The Good: EVERYTHING. Defensively, offensively on-fire all season. Everything Chooch touched this year turned to gold. IF the Phillies would have been in contention and Ruiz stayed healthy, he would have been in the top three of the MVP conversation.

The Bad: None.

The Ugly: None.

Grade: A+

Catcher Erik Kratz (.248 AVG/ .306 OBP/9 HRs/26 RBIs)

The Good: Kratz was a great story this season, giving the Phillies a power source and solid defensive back up to Carlos Ruiz. Kratz also did a great job starting for an extended period of time filling in for the injured Ruiz.

The Bad: His “inconsistent” bat; .248 average wasn’t spectacular.

The Ugly: None

Grade: A

UTIL Ty Wigginton (.235 AVG/.314 OBP/11 HRs/43 RBIs)

The Good: Wigginton was a good bench guy for the Phillies this year offensively, occasionally adding power off the bench.

The Bad: Poor defense, streaky, and less mobile than a tireless tractor trailer.

The Ugly: Wigginton never seemed to play his way into regular time even though third base was a platoon all season.

Grade: C- 

“Too irrelevant or too injured to be graded”:

Pete Orr, Jason Pridie, Hector Luna, Brian Schneider, Steven Lerud

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Categories: Editorial, Phillies

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