ISO is a great stat. It's full name, for those who aren't familiar with it, is isolated power. It's the difference between a player's slugging percentage (total bases divided by at-bats) and the player's batting average (hits divided by at-bats). In other words, it measures the average number of bases a player gets per at-bat beyond getting to first base with a single.
As we all know, Ben Revere does not hit for power. He still does not have a single home run in his four years as a major league player. This year, he has only 12 extra base hits in 315 at-bats. This is shocking, not because I expect him to hit for power, but because he is a speedster, and you would expect him to have more doubles and triples. Then again, when I was recently at a game and watched his body language just hitting two regular-depth fly balls to left field, it was obvious this guy will probably never hit a home run in his career. It was a struggle for him to hit the ball 250 feet in the air.
ISO bears this out for Revere. His ISO this year is .048. That's sixth worst in the majors of the 295 players with at least 150 plate appearances. To put .048 in perspective, Domonic Brown, who leads the Phillies and is 11th in the majors, has a .262 ISO.
Revere's power futility got me wondering about where this stands historically for the Phillies. Thanks to the amazing play index at Baseball Reference, I was able to generate a list of Phillies with at least 200 plate appearances in a season since 1960. Revere's .048 ISO would give him the 21st worst ISO season for the Phillies since 1960 (out of 574 qualifying player-seasons).
For those who like a trip down memory lane, here's the list:
|556||Ivan de Jesus||.048||484||1984||31||PHI||NL||144||435||40||112||15||3||0||35||43||7||76||2||1||3||13||12||5||.257||.325||.306||.631||*6|
There are some truly horrendous seasons on this list, some of which I clearly remember, which is really unfortunate. (Though I should remember Tim Corcoran from 1985 but have zero recollection of him. None.) I'm sure others here remember some of these as well. Feel free to add your own comments about these players and seasons below, but I want to add two of mine here:
First, Ben Revere's season (so far) is by far the best on this list. His .691 OPS is an aberration on this list . As with any player with a high ISO, the only way this could really be possible is with a high batting average. Revere's .305 batting average is 34 points higher than the next closest, Manny Trillo's 1982 campaign (.271 BA, .047 ISO). Not coincidentally, Trillo has the second highest OPS on this list (.634).
Second, Bob Dernier's 1989 season brings back special memories for me. You'll note the 1 home run he hit that year. That was an inside the park home run (of course) that I remember very well. It was a 12-inning game against the Giants in the middle of a completely meaningless season. I was at the Vet and for some reason stayed for the entire game.
Going into the 12th, the Phillies and Giants were scoreless (22 scoreless half innings for a horrible team and I stayed the entire time - why?!?). In the top of the 12th, Will Clark and Kevin Mitchell hit solo home runs off of Steve Bedrosian. It sure looked like that's how the game would end, but in the bottom of the 12th, with two men on and two out, Dernier hit a liner down the left field line that rattled around in the corner. While Mitchell had trouble picking it up, Dernier raced around the bases and easily beat the throw home. The remaining crowd at the Vet went wild. And short of Game 5b of the 2008 World Series and Curt Schilling's shutout in the 1993 Series, this is my favorite memory of attending a Phillies game.
Which probably answers my question from before: This is why you stay through 12 innings in a meaningless low-scoring game. For those interested, here's the box score from that game, here's the Inquirer's writeup, and best of all, here's Harry Kalas calling the play.
Happy Monday of the All-Star Break everyone.