The Phillies had a lot of players play for them in the last decade. Lots.
In all, 126 different players suited up and played a position that wasn’t pitcher for the Phils from 2010-19, most of them largely forgettable. These players range from the guy who played more games than any other Phillie in the 2010s, Ryan Howard (840) to Steve Susdforf, who logged three games in 2013 and had one hit in seven at-bats. In between there was some good, some not-so-good, and some downright awful.
On Episode 340 of Hittin’ Season, Justin Klugh of Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus as well as Liz Roscher of Yahoo! Sports joined me in a four-round snake draft of the “best” Phillies of the past decade.
In this draft, Liz got the honor of drafting first, followed by Justin, then me.
With the No. 1 overall pick, Liz selected the obvious choice, Chase Utley. Utley led all Phils players in bWAR over the last decade (19.6), even though his OPS from 2010-15 was just .773. He certainly lost his elite status once the 2011 season rolled around and his degenerative knee issues popped up, but the guy was the most valuable player of the past decade and is a Phils legend. There really was no other choice as Utley is a borderline Hall of Famer.
With the No. 2 overall pick, Justin went with Jimmy Rollins, the Phillies’ all-time hits leader. Again, not a difficult choice, as Rollins’ had the 3rd most bWAR (11.4) of the decade and also has an outside chance of being inducted into Cooperstown. Rollins slugged just .390 from 2010-14, so again, this was the downside of his career, but it was fun while it lasted.
Holding picks No. 3 & 4, I went with Bryce Harper first. Sure, he’s only been with the team for one season, but his signing signaled the beginning of a new era of Phillies baseball. He’s the marquee star and, when all was said and done, had a solid 2019 season, with an .882 OPS. He’s already 10th on the Phils’ bWAR list, by the way (4.2).
With the No. 4 pick, I surprised the gang by selecting Carlos Ruiz, but the move made a lot of sense. Ruiz had the 2nd-most bWAR of any Phillies player last decade (17.1!!!), just behind Utley and far higher than Rollins. Chooch actually had a higher OPS (.759) than Rollins, Cesar Hernandez or Odubel Herrera during his run from 2010-16, and remains one of the most underrated players in team history. He was worth 4.0 bWAR in 2010 and 4.6 in ‘12.
With the No. 5 pick, Justin went with Shane Victorino, who was 4th in bWAR among Phils players (10.4). Victorino was traded during the 2012 season and probably could have piled up some more numbers had the Phillies kept him. Instead, Victorino played in 380 games and had a .780 OPS in a Phils uniform. Not great, but not terrible. That’s the kind of decade it was.
With the No. 6 pick, Liz selected J.T. Realmuto who, like Harper, was brilliant in his first season with the team last year. His 4.4 bWAR was 9th-best over the last decade, and he was worth even more according to fWAR (5.7). He won the Silver Slugger and the Gold Glove Award last year and could soon be named to the All-MLB team, too. After a slow start, Realmuto really picked it up in the second half and deserves to be a second-round selection.
This is where things get a little iffy. At No. 7, Jayson Werth went off the board to Liz. That was just one season of Werth, but it was a very good season. That year he had a .921 OPS, hit 27 home runs and knocked in 85 runs and a 4.5 bWAR.
At No. 8, Justin took Ryan Howard, and it’s frankly amazing it took this long. Howard wasn’t good towards the end, with a -2.1 bWAR that ranked 125th out of 126 players (the only player with a lower bWAR was Nick Williams’ -2.2). Still, Howard’s 160 homers were by far more than any other player (Maikel Franco’s 102 was next-closest), his 554 RBIs were also the most (Franco had 343), and his 725 hits were 2nd-most, behind Cesar Hernandez’ 807.
With the No. 9 selection, I grabbed Placido Polanco, really for want of anything better. Polanco was 7th in bWAR (5.5), and although he hit .281 from 2010-12, his OPS of .686 was pretty awful for a third baseman. I probably should have taken Cesar here.
With my final pick, I took Rhys Hoskins at No. 10. Hoskins had a terribly disappointing second half last year and has yet to put a full season together as a productive hitter. But he was 12th in bWAR (3.9), 3rd in dingers (81), and had an OPS of .858 that was dragged down by a very low batting average.
At No. 11, Justin’s final choice was Freddy Galvis, whose defensive wizardry was unmatched by anyone else during this decade. Not only that, Galvis provided a surprising amount of power as he hit 52 home runs, 8th-most among all Phils players in the 2010s.
And with the last pick in the draft, Liz selected Hunter Pence, who was only with the team for part of 2011 and part of 2012. But while he was here, he was very good for the calendar year he was a Phillie.
Odubel Herrera certainly would have been included in this draft had his domestic violence situation not sullied his time with the team. Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco’s slide affected their standing as well, although Hernandez probably deserved to be mentioned among the 12 best Phillies of the past decade. Ben Revere was discussed, as he led the league in hits in 2014 (184).
Other names not mentioned include Domonic Brown, who finished 7th among Phillies hitters in homers last decade (54), and John Mayberry, who was 9th (48). And of all the players not mentioned here, only one other Phillie compiled at least a 3.0 bWAR from 2010-19, and that was Cameron Rupp, at 3.0 on the nose.
Next week, we’ll have a snake draft of the decade’s best Phillies pitchers, so rate and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts!