When I heard last night that Diamondbacks had traded Mark Trumbo to the Seattle Mariners, I had three initial thoughts, one of which is relevant to this weblog. First, I thought, "Mark Trumbo isn't a very good player." Then, "well, he does hit for power, so definitely makes sense given Jack Zduriencik's dinger fetish." Lastly, and most relevant to The Good Phight, I thought, "Trumbo would look like a hitting god on the Phillies."
So, that set me off on a quest to find crappy players, who, if on the Phillies, would lead the team in some offensive category or another. Remember that this is a team that has been nearly no-hit by the likes of Chad Bettis and Mike Leake, so the standards are not exactly high. For all rate categories, relevant leaders are drawn from only those players who are currently qualified for the batting title. Below are the fruits of that labor. For reference, Mark Trumbo would lead the Phillies in OPS and wRC+.
Phillies Leader: Freddy Galvis: .275
Crap Other Player: Johnny Giovatella, Angels 2B. Currently hitting .285.
At almost 28 years of age, Giovatella is already 4 PA away from tying his single season career high. He also has never had a wRC+ within 15% of league average. Simply put, the man is not a good hitter. Nevertheless, he would lead the Phillies in batting average.
Phillies Leader: Freddy Galvis: .327
Crap Other Player: Jace Peterson, Braves 2B. Current OBP: .335.
Prior to the season, Fangraphs' Kiley McDaniel wrote the following words about Jace Peterson: "He may not even have a 55 tool" and "He would have to really outplay his tools to become an everyday player." Yet, here he is, at 25 years old, already at a point where he would be the biggest on-base threat on an actual major league baseball team. Granted, that team is the Phillies, but still.
Phillies Leader: Ryan Howard: .765
Crap Other Player: DJ LeMahieu, 2B Rockies. Current OPS: .829
LeMahieu has his merits as a baseball player, but none of them are related to his hitting. Never in his career, despite playing primarily in Coors Field, has DJ had a season with an OPS higher than .750. Park adjusted metrics put him more in line with the Phillies offensive stalwarts, but, still, he's DJ LeMahieu.
Phillies Leader: Ryan Howard: 106
Crap Other Player: Brad Miller, Mariners SS. Current wRC+: 110
Brad Miller is not good at baseball no matter how much the quantified Mariners homerism of Fangraphs might tell you otherwise. For a guy who hits for no power, he strikes out at a near-league-average rate. The following is his offensive profile: no power, low batting average, average-ish walk rate. He would be, by this one all-inclusive hitting metric, the best hitter on the Phillies.
Honorable Mention: Torii Hunter, Twins OF. Current wRC+: 114. Current Age: 83, approximately. Claim to fame: Unabashed bigot. Also, was pretty good in the previous decade.
Phillies Leader: Ben Revere: 10
Crap Other Player: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs 1B. Current SB: 10
This is unfair because of two things. First, Anthony Rizzo is actually quite good. In fact, you could make the argument that he is the best hitter in the National League. Second, he wouldn't be the outright Phillies leader in stolen bases as he has the same number of stolen bases as Ben Revere. He's included here because he is an unlikely stolen base leader as he has never had more than 6 stolen bases in an entire season in his career. Someone should do a post that is little more than videos of each of Rizzo's stolen bases because I'm sure that would be at least as compelling as the video narrative of Ben Revere's outfield assists that Jeff Sullivan compiled this offseason.
So, there you have it. Replace some current Phillies with historically crappy other players, and the Phillies would likely be better on offense. If this exercise doesn't make you fall in love with the 2015 iteration of the Phillies, well, I don't exactly blame you. However, it should inspire an appreciation of the futile endeavor that is the offensive (multiple meanings intended) half of Phillies innings. It is quite impressive that the Phillies have managed to assemble such a bad lineup. There's a skill in that, I guess.