Hey folks! Sorry about the delay in getting you the rest of your infield recap! Today we’re going to talk about third base and shortstop! Later in the week and over the weekend, we’ll be talking about the outfield and pitching staff! Without further ado, third base!
Placido Polanco:90 games, .257/.302/.327, 15 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 19 RBI, 28 R, 18 BB, 25 K, 70 OPS+, 0.3 WAR
Polanco just turned 37 years old earlier this month. He had a horrible season in almost all aspects of the word. He didn’t hit well and he couldn’t stay healthy. He had a mutual option available for the 2013 season, and the Phillies might bring him back, but I doubt it. The emergence of Kevin Frandsen as a viable option at third base should fill that role. If Polanco does come back, it won’t be as a starter and it won’t be for $6 million.
Kevin Frandsen:55 games, .338/.383/.451, 10 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 24 R, 9 BB, 18 K, 124 OPS+, 1.5 WAR
Like I’ve already mentioned, the 30-year-old Frandsen had a great season filling in for the injured Polly. He doesn’t hit for a lot of power, but the Phillies aren’t built around the long ball. He only struck out in 195 at bats this season and it looks like he has a good feel for the ball. If he ends up being the starter at third base, I’ll be perfectly fine with it.
Jimmy Rollins: 156 games, .250/.316/.427, 33 2B, 5 3B, 23 HR, 68 RBI, 102 R, 30 SB (5 CS), 62 BB, 96 K, 98 OPS+, 2.3 WAR
The bulk of this column will come from my feelings on Rollins. I made it well known during the season that Jimmy Rollins should no longer be hitting in the leadoff spot. I still stand by that argument and I plan on defending it here.
In a leadoff hitter, there are several qualities that I think are important. In no particular order, we’ll talk about them. The first is speed. Rollins still has a significant amount of that as evident by his 30 steals in 35 attempts. I have no arguments that he still has his legs. The second most important thing is a hitters ability to reach base. Batting average is not nearly as important as on-base percentage, however, I’m going to make a point. Rollins has never (save for his 14-game appearance in 2000) hit better than .296. You’d probably have to ask me, “Andrew, does that mean he isn’t walking as much?” That’s a good question and a valid thought. He walked four more times this year than he did last year. It was a career high. He also struck out 37 more times and got only six more hits over 65 more at-bats.
J-Roll still shows us the pop and decent power. He can still steal bases, but he has never been a leadoff hitter. I’m not sure how he’s made it this long without having Stephen A. Smith tear him apart for seven minutes. I love Jimmy and he’s a good glue for this squad, but he should be hitting in the six or seven hole next season. Even Derek Jeter won’t hit leadoff forever.
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