Ben Revere, Bobby Dernier, and Other Light-Hitting Phillies

Ben Revere hits a, you guessed it, single. - USA TODAY Sports

Ben Revere's horrendous .048 ISO gave me reason to look at other awful Phillies power seasons. The list of hitters it generated brought back memories.

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:

Rk Player ISO PA Year Age Tm Lg G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
551 Larry Bowa .053 577 1970 24 PHI NL 145 547 50 137 17 6 0 34 21 1 48 0 6 3 8 24 13 .250 .277 .303 .580 *6/4
552 Steve Jeltz .050 450 1988 29 PHI NL 148 379 39 71 11 4 0 27 59 8 58 0 10 2 11 3 0 .187 .295 .237 .533 *6
553 Terry Harmon .050 227 1969 25 PHI NL 87 201 25 48 8 1 0 16 22 1 31 3 1 0 3 1 2 .239 .323 .289 .612 64/5
554 Ben Revere .048 336 2013 25 PHI NL 88 315 37 96 9 3 0 17 16 1 36 0 5 0 10 22 8 .305 .338 .352 .691 *8
555 Abraham Nunez .048 287 2007 31 PHI NL 136 252 24 59 10 1 0 16 30 5 48 1 4 0 10 2 0 .234 .318 .282 .600 *5/64
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
557 Denny Doyle .048 484 1972 28 PHI NL 123 442 33 110 14 2 1 26 31 2 33 0 6 5 9 6 7 .249 .295 .296 .591 *4
558 Manny Trillo .047 595 1982 31 PHI NL 149 549 52 149 24 1 0 39 33 3 53 3 9 1 14 8 10 .271 .316 .319 .634 *4
559 Tim Corcoran .044 219 1985 32 PHI NL 103 182 11 39 6 1 0 22 29 4 20 0 1 7 6 0 0 .214 .312 .258 .570 *3/79
560 Ruben Amaro .044 265 1962 26 PHI NL 79 226 24 55 10 0 0 19 30 4 28 1 4 4 6 5 2 .243 .330 .288 .617 *6/3
561 Kim Batiste .043 214 1994 26 PHI NL 64 209 17 49 6 0 1 13 1 0 32 1 1 2 11 1 1 .234 .239 .278 .517 *56
562 Bob Dernier .043 205 1989 32 PHI NL 107 187 26 32 5 0 1 13 14 0 28 0 1 3 1 4 3 .171 .225 .214 .439 879
563 Steve Jeltz .043 510 1986 27 PHI NL 145 439 44 96 11 4 0 36 65 9 97 1 3 2 9 6 3 .219 .320 .262 .581 *6
564 Larry Bowa .043 696 1971 25 PHI NL 159 650 74 162 18 5 0 25 36 2 61 5 4 1 4 28 11 .249 .293 .292 .586 *6
565 Ruben Amaro .042 292 1960 24 PHI NL 92 264 25 61 9 1 0 16 21 2 32 2 4 1 5 0 1 .231 .292 .273 .564 *6
566 Pete Rose .041 555 1983 42 PHI NL 151 493 52 121 14 3 0 45 52 5 28 2 1 7 11 7 7 .245 .316 .286 .602 *39/7
567 Roberto Pena .040 546 1968 31 PHI NL 138 500 56 130 13 2 1 38 34 2 63 2 6 4 11 3 5 .260 .307 .300 .607 *6
568 Larry Bowa .038 477 1973 27 PHI NL 122 446 42 94 11 3 0 23 24 8 31 1 4 1 5 10 6 .211 .252 .249 .501 *6
569 Ruben Amaro .038 218 1965 29 PHI NL 118 184 26 39 7 0 0 15 27 3 22 1 3 3 6 1 1 .212 .312 .250 .562 *6*3/4
570 Mike Ryan .037 314 1968 26 PHI NL 96 296 12 53 6 1 1 15 15 3 59 0 2 1 12 0 3 .179 .218 .216 .434 *2
571 Terry Harmon .036 248 1971 27 PHI NL 79 221 27 45 4 2 0 12 20 0 45 4 1 2 0 3 2 .204 .279 .240 .519 *4/653
572 Ted Sizemore .034 386 1978 33 PHI NL 108 351 38 77 12 0 0 25 25 8 29 1 4 5 14 8 1 .219 .270 .254 .523 *4
573 Steve Jeltz .031 228 1985 26 PHI NL 89 196 17 37 4 1 0 12 26 4 55 0 5 1 6 1 1 .189 .283 .219 .502 *6
574 John Vukovich .023 233 1971 23 PHI NL 74 217 11 36 5 0 0 14 12 1 34 1 1 2 4 2 1 .166 .211 .189 .400 *5

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.

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