Imagine for a second a world in which Carlos Ruiz hits .325, Ryan Howard hits 58 bombs, Chase Utley knocks in 100 runs, Rollins recreates his MVP season, Michael Young leads the league in hits, and Darin Ruf and Domonic Brown live up to the hype. In this imaginary land, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee are Cy Young candidates once again, Cole Hamels has a 2.79 ERA, and Kyle Kendrick has a 3.22 ERA.
You gander towards the bullpen and discover a closer named Papelbon who gathers 35 saves with a 0.92 ERA, a setup man named Mike Adams with a 1.85 ERA, and a gentleman named Antonio Bastardo with a 2.64 ERA. In the dugout sits Freddy Galvis, who learns how to hit and continues his wizardry in the field; John Mayberry, who hits like it is August 2011; and Erik Kratz, who continues the legend with one behemoth home run after another.
Now set the table, light some candles, pour some wine, throw on some Marvin Gay, and wait for Olivia Wilde to show up, because you are as likely to spend an evening with her as you are to live in such a Phillies winter wonderland.
But a guy can dream, can’t he?
What if by some strange twist of fate the madness I described plays itself out in 2013? What if every Phillies player matches his career best season in 2013?
I thought it might be fun to entertain that scenario, so I tossed logic out the window and took the best full single seasons of every Phillies player and assembled them as a team. For most of the regulars it was pretty easy to determine the best season, which for the most part meant the best ERA or the best OPS. I had to dip into the minors for some of the younger guys, but I tried to use their highest professional level (ie single-A, triple-A, or the majors).
So here is a list of the Phillies likely Opening Day roster using their career best seasons and prorated to match the Phillies' total plate appearances last season. I also compared those figures to the best NL team totals from last season. Here's how it worked for the offense.
|2012 NL Best||776||1526||307||57||202||741||567||1094||158||.274||.338||.437||.766|
That is what you call a dream team. This pretend offense would have completely obliterated the competition. The bottom row of the chart compares the Phillies totals with the NL Best stats with green cells indicating areas in which the Phillies were better and grey cells indicating areas in which they were worse.
As you can see, the Phillies score 59 more runs, hit 23 more home runs, and have 206 less strikeouts. Their batting average is 35 points higher, their on-base percentage is 39 points higher, their slugging percentage is 83 points higher, and their OPS is 131 points higher. I'm pretty sure CBP will sell out every single game with such Ruthian production.
Now onto the pitching. The pitching side is not quite as exciting, but it is equally as impressive.
|De Fratus||2011||AA, AAA||6||3||2.99||51||0||0||0||75.1||63||30||25||16||71||0.98|
|2012 NL Best||98||64||3.33||9||16||1468.1||1637||588||538||409||1402||1.22|
The Phillies beat the 2012 NL best ERA by 64 points, allow 447 less hits, 112 less earned runs, 27 less walks, and their WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) is 12 points better. To put into perspective just how huge those numbers are, the Phillies 2011 staff finished with an ERA 18 points better than the next best team vs. 64 points in this scenario. Their WHIP in 2011 was just seven points better compared to 12 points here.
What would this mean for the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies if these totals played out in exactly this manner? I'll tell you what. It would be one of the greatest single seasons in baseball history. When the Phillies won 102 games in 2011, the scored 184 more runs than they allowed, while this squad would have a difference of 356 runs, a rate nearly double that of 2011. I am not going out on a limb to say the 2013 Phillies would set the record for most wins in MLB history.
None of this means Jack squat for those of us without our head in the clouds. But what we can learn from this is just how talented a roster resides in Philadelphia. The Phils are loaded with players with tremendous past accomplishments. If they could recapture even a sliver of their prior glory, we are in store for an incredible season.comments powered by Disqus