Phillies offense - overrated or under performing?
by Scott Butler 6/16/19

Phillies Offense

After compiling the numbers for the Phillies monthly review post for May, it amazed me how poorly the ranked the Phillies are in the National League in offense. Those rankings have dipped further in the last couple weeks to the following:

Runs: 7th

Slugging and OPS: 9th

Home Runs: T-11th

"How could that be?" I thought to myself at the time. The Phillies weren't bashing it like many thought they would with the cast Matt Klentak assembled, but it seemed like most of the hitters were at least playing OK.

If that is true, it is a frightening concept. It means what we thought we had may simply not good enough. During a time where baseballs have become as hard as golf balls and they have been carrying out ballparks at historic rates, the same has not been true for the Phillies. It's like everyone got a raise except the Phillies.

The reality is worse in the framework of this discussion because the team as a whole is actually hitting more home runs than their career rates.

Let's compare a few of the 2019 statistics of Phillies hitters to those of their career averages, excluding Scott Kingery (only one previous season), Jay Bruce (not here long enough), and Odubel Herrera (not on the active roster). To do that, I prorated their 2019 numbers on 162 games and compared it to their career 162-game rates.

Take a look:

Note: the number displayed for batting average, OBP, SLG, and OPS is in points (.330 is 30 points higher than .300, for example)

Phillies hitters 2019 vs career 162-game averages

McCutchen +3 -5 -3 0 -23 -24
Segura +4 +16 -1 +8 +45 +53
Harper -4 +20 -28 -32 -38 -7
Hoskins -4 +2 +18 +24 +2 +26
Realmuto +7 +15 -3 +4 +9 +13
Hernandez +6 +25 -14 -32 -37 -4
Franco -3 -6 -42 -23 -5 -73
Total +9 +67 -73 -51 -47 -16

Anything that stands out positively is highlighted in green, while the negative outliers are highlighted in grey. I don't want to get lost in the details here, but this looks like a group that might be slightly under performing, yet not to an egregious level. This obviously leaves out Scott Kingery, whose 2019 destroys his rookie campaign and makes his 2018 season look like it was actually his twin brother playing. Kingery's production is somewhat offset by Odubel Herrera's abysmal season.

Getting back to the original point, it is hard to look at anyone in the Phillies lineup outside of Maikel Franco and say that they are under performing at a level that would suggest they have a major hot streak around the corner.

At the same time, it also says that nobody outside of Scott Kingery is having a particularly good season. The rest are having a mostly typical season or a slightly down year. Given the lofty expectations most of us had for this offense heading into the season, you would figure it would put in the top third in the league, not the bottom third.

Which begs the question, does the roster itself have enough talent? Or is it just a pack of decent players in a decent offense?

It is certainly something to ponder as the season progresses.

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