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Saturday, May 25, 2013

McCoy: Brandon Phillips playing to Joe Morgan’s level?

Is “Parks and Recreation” playing to “The Office’s” level?

Ever so quietly, though — as quiet as the flashy Brandon Phillips can be — Phillips is slipping into Joe Morgan’s domain.

Morgan played seven years for the Cincinnati Reds and Phillips is in his seventh year with the Reds. And so many of their statistics are dead-on similar that it is eerie.

Consider: Joe Morgan hit 152 home runs and Phillips has 150. Joe Morgan had 612 RBIs and Phillips has 605. Brandon Phillips has 221 doubles and Morgan had 220. Brandon Phillips has 1,214 hits and Morgan had 1,155.

...Reds manager Dusty Baker played against Morgan and The Big Red Machine, in 1975 with the Atlanta Braves and in 1976 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. And now he manages Phillips.

“They’re different,” said Baker. “Morgan was less flashy, more conventional. Joe had more speed and equal power. When Joe came up stealing bases was Joe’s thing. He has a ways to go to catch Joe.”

When he was mentioned that Morgan had two MVPs, Baker smiled and said, “Brandon is working on that.”

Baker agrees that Phillips is better defensively than Morgan was, but Morgan had the edge offensively.

“That’s a true assessment,” said Baker.

 

Repoz Posted: May 25, 2013 at 04:58 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, sabermetrics

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   1. The District Attorney Posted: May 25, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4452147)
Morgan played seven years for the Cincinnati Reds and Phillips is in his seventh year with the Reds. And so many of their statistics are dead-on similar that it is eerie.
Annnnnnnd, some of them aren't.
   2. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 25, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4452150)
I could cite the walks and crap, but shooting fish in a barrel isn't fun.
   3. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: May 25, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4452153)
What's 45 points of OPS+ in the grand scheme of things?
   4. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: May 25, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4452157)
What's 45 points of OPS+ in the grand scheme of things?
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 25, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4452159)
Hoo boy. Just...no.
   6. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: May 25, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4452160)
This could be a fun game.

1961: Roger Maris playing to Babe Ruth's level?

2001: Do Zito's 205 K's put him on par with Tom Seaver, or Phenomenal Smith?
   7. I Am Not a Number Posted: May 25, 2013 at 05:36 PM (#4452161)
A guy starts racking up a bunch of ribbies, Tom Herr style, and the local media loses all sense of perspective. (Or maybe Daugherty and McCoy had no perspective to begin with?)
   8. Walt Davis Posted: May 25, 2013 at 05:49 PM (#4452169)
To put it in perspective, with the Reds (through 2012), Phillips has had a 446 SLG. With the Reds (first 7 years), Morgan had a 419 OBP.

And I'm not above shooting fish in a barrel, especially when they're astounding fish.

Phillips: 269 walks
Morgan: 778 walks

500 more times on base in 7 years is rather a lot. Also interesting:

Phillips: 127 GDP
Morgan: 40 GDP

I tend not to hold GDP "against" hitters but 12 more GDP per season ... also Morgan's incredibly low 6 per year despite coming up with guys on base all the time.

Anyway, there is no shame in not being Morgan and Phillips is having a fine season. But if you want to comp him to an HoFer, it's Sandberg 90-91 or Kent's "MVP" year of 2000.
   9. BDC Posted: May 25, 2013 at 05:52 PM (#4452170)
WAR helps identify a much closer comp among Reds' second basemen:

Rk             Player Rfield OPSWAR/pos    G   Age   PA  SB   BA  OBP  SLG
3          Lonny Frey     89  103    29.7  941 27
-35 4121  68 .265 .358 .365
4    Brandon Phillips     47  102    24.5 1099 25
-32 4735 150 .280 .329 .448 


Of course, "Brandon Phillips playing to Lonny Frey's level" is not going to grab readers by the lapels.
   10. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 25, 2013 at 05:56 PM (#4452171)
Does feet above sea level count? They're probably pretty comparable that way, except for Morgan falling behind whenever Cincinnati plays the Rockies.
   11. Steve Treder Posted: May 25, 2013 at 05:58 PM (#4452173)
It's a measure of the sheer foolishness of this article that what it actually demonstrates is just what an incredibly great player Morgan was. Because Phillips is a terrific all-around ballplayer, and Morgan just dwarfs him. There isn't any comparison to be made.
   12. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: May 25, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4452224)
Phillips blows Morgan away in the all-important "Traded to Make Room for Ramon Vazquez" category.
   13. Squash Posted: May 25, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4452229)
Do Daugherty or McCoy have an MVP vote this year?
   14. AJMcCringleberry Posted: May 25, 2013 at 08:06 PM (#4452231)
How is Phillips' D? I know he's considered good, but listening to the Mets announcers this week they made it sound like he was Mazeroski reincarnated.
   15. bobm Posted: May 25, 2013 at 08:37 PM (#4452246)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, Playing for the CIN, From 1901 to 2013, Played 50% of games at 2B, (requiring At least 500 games), sorted by greatest Adjusted OPS+

                                                                                             
Rk             Player OPS+ Rfield Rbat    G From   To   Age   PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS      Pos
1          Joe Morgan  147      6  285 1154 1972 1979 28-35 4973 .288 .415 .470 .885       *4
2      Miller Huggins  104     22   29  783 1904 1909 26-31 3373 .260 .362 .310 .672     *4/5
3          Lonny Frey  103     89   29  941 1938 1946 27-35 4121 .265 .358 .365 .723  *4/9876
4    Brandon Phillips  102     47   23 1099 2006 2013 25-32 4735 .280 .329 .448 .777     *4/6
5       Johnny Temple   93    -18   -6  984 1952 1964 24-36 4223 .291 .372 .361 .733   *4/639
6          Bret Boone   90    -12  -33  684 1994 1998 25-29 2712 .260 .316 .412 .728     *4/5
7          Ron Oester   87     -2  -81 1276 1978 1990 22-34 4666 .265 .323 .356 .679    *4/65
8           Sam Bohne   83     40  -50  602 1921 1926 24-29 2409 .265 .324 .365 .689 *465/937
9           Dick Egan   83     14  -42  642 1908 1913 24-29 2641 .255 .322 .304 .626    *4/65
10       Hughie Critz   82     73  -83  802 1924 1930 23-29 3427 .280 .320 .373 .692     *4/6
11        Tommy Helms   75      7  -97  851 1964 1971 23-30 3386 .269 .297 .339 .635    *45/6
12        Pokey Reese   70     40 -100  604 1997 2001 24-28 2275 .250 .308 .363 .671    *46/5
   16. Walt Davis Posted: May 25, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4452264)
But it is interesting and maybe a good way to show the value of OBP/getting on base (and maybe era context) to the extreme old-schoolers:

From 2006 to 2012 for Phillips, 1972 to 78 for Morgan, Phillips first:

H 1160 1046
D 209 194
T 27 26
HR 142 143
TB 1849 1721
RBI 563 580
GG 3 5

They really are nearly identical and Phillips had only 92 more PA. As we know:

R 610 746
BB 269 788
SB 150 378

I suppose the old-schooler will point to the SB difference but could you come up with a clearer example of the importance of walks and plate discipline? Phillips and Morgan are nearly the same player except for that teeny little difference of 500 walks.

On context, average park-adjusted batters for this period:

BP era: 269/340/428
JM era: 262/331/384

The big difference of course is ISO/SLG. If you took Phillips' raw numbers compared to Morgan's context, his OPS+ goes from 101 to 115 which moves him to within 37 points of Morgan.
   17. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: May 25, 2013 at 10:21 PM (#4452284)
Joe Morgan is 69 years old. I'd hope a relative youngster like Phillips would be able to do better than play at his level.
   18. alkeiper Posted: May 26, 2013 at 09:22 AM (#4452348)
I'm actually amazed at how comparable some of the counting stats are. Doubles, 221-220 for Phillips. Triples, tied at 27. Home runs, 152-150 for Morgan. RBIs, 612-605 for Morgan. Phillips will pass Morgan in games played for the Reds later this season barring injury. It's not crazy in a way. But alas, the walks.
   19. Matt Welch Posted: May 26, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4452363)
Lonnie Frey was a fine ballplayer.
   20. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 26, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4452365)
Is Repoz dissing Parks and Rec? Was The Office in its prime really that much better than Parks and Rec?

I feel there's a Chris Pratt/Joe Morgan/Moneyball joke here, but I can't make it.
   21. The District Attorney Posted: May 26, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4452405)
I'm hoping he meant the British Office.

I will say that it is at least interesting to note that many of the two players' stats are so similar. As #16 and 18 say, it's ultimately an illustration of how important walks are (or, as I prefer to put it, how important it is not to make outs...), but if McCoy had stopped at pointing out the similarity rather than claiming it meant they had equal value, it would have been a fun fact.

NL 2B:

bWAR: Carpenter 1.9, Punto (!!!) 1.7, Murphy 1.6, Utley 1.6, Phillips 1.5, Scutaro 1.4
fWAR: Carpenter 2.1, Phillips 1.6, Utley 1.5, Scutaro 1.5, Punto 1.5, Murphy 1.5

I'd still vote Phillips onto the All-Star team, but there are certainly arguments to be made.

Don't forget Bid McPhee when discussing all-time Cincinnati 2B. 2,138 games played; 107 OPS+; 52.7 WAR; Hall of Famer. Part of that was in the old American Association, but if you want to limit it to the Cincy NL team, it's still 1,227 games of 107 OPS+/33.1 WAR.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: May 26, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4452430)
but if McCoy had stopped at pointing out the similarity rather than claiming it meant they had equal value, it would have been a fun fact.


I think one key point in evaluating this pieces is to remember that McCoy absolutely loathes Joe Morgan.
   23. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 26, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4452439)
it is something that when you go to the reds ballpark there is minimal mention of arguably the best second baseman in baseball history.
   24. BDC Posted: May 26, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4452461)
   25. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 26, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4452468)
bdc

well that's good to see. thanks

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