HR Percentage Against Lefties Is Amazing
"Splitsville" is a series of articles on the Yankees' prospects that we'll be doing throughout their minor league careers. In version one/chapter one (v1.1) of Andy Phillips, we'll look how he's done against the right-handed pitchers versus the southpaws, how he's hit with runners in scoring position, and more.
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Equal Opportunity Masher: Combining the fact he has been on the Bronx-Columbus shuttle more than a few times this season and the fact that he's a 28-year old "veteran" playing AAA baseball, there's no wonder that Andy Phillips' home and road splits are just about as even as they could be.
A .311 hitter at Cooper Stadium this season, Phillips is hitting .314 on the road. He has exactly 9 home runs at home and 9 on the road. Its a little bit of nit-picking, but Phillips does have 7 more doubles (in 5 more games) at home. It could be something to look out for - but probably not.
Sick Success Against Lefties: It is not very surprising to find out a right-handed batter does much better against left-handed pitchers. And no, it isn't all that much more befuddling to see that his power numbers increase in those situations. But what Andy Phillips is doing to lefties this season is downright insane!
Phillips is hitting a somewhat respectable .276 off of right-handed pitchers this season. Compared to his .434 batting average against southpaws however, it doesn't really stack up. Where his numbers against right-handed pitchers are amazing are in the power department. 43.6% of his hits against right-handed batters have gone for extra bases, which is a remarkable number. Throw in the fact 47.8 of his hits against lefties were extra-base hits, it is simply amazing the Yankees haven't given him a longer look in the Majors.
But as good as his extra-base hit percentages are, what Phillips is doing to southpaws is simply disgusting...if you're an opposing pitcher. Phillips, who hits a home run once in every 15.8 at-bats against right-handed pitchers, is homering once every 7.6 at-bats against lefties this season. That pace is right up there with Mark McGwire's chase towards 70 home runs and even further testimonial that Phillips deserves ample time to prove his worth at the Major League level.
Consistency Is The Key: Let's get something out of the way - Andy Phillips has played just 55 games with the Columbus Clippers so far this season, due in large part to the Yankees shuffling him back and forth between the minors and the Majors. It is tough for anybody to get in their groove with so much else going on outside the lines.
However, as expected, Phillips has remained a professional hitter all the way through to put together another consistent season with the Columbus Clippers. Phillips did begin his stint with Columbus on a bit of a hot streak, hitting .354 in his first 12 games. But he has been hitting right along his career batting average of .296 - in fact, even higher at .313 for the year. His season batting average has never been lower than .307, epitomizing his amazing consistency.
Better At Cleanup? One of the first things you notice looking at his splits is Phillips' success while batting cleanup for the Clippers in 2005. A .292 hitter while batting third in the lineup, Phillips' average bumps up to .356 when batting fourth. In fact, his power ratios are higher in that spot as well. Despite 21 more games batting third than fourth this season, Phillips has just four more RBI as the team's #3 hitter. He also has just four more home runs batting third despite the big difference in the number of games in each spot in the lineup.
Not A Third Baseman: Disregarding his defensive ability at third base for just a moment, Andy Phillips simply isn't the same hitter he normally is while playing third base. Even though he has amassed more at-bats as a third baseman this season than at any other position, Phillips is hitting just .250 at the hot corner for the Clippers this year. Compare that to his .360 batting average as either the first baseman or designated hitter, it seems to large a difference to consider the splits to be a fluke.
Better With Bases Empty? After laying down all the facts on Andy Phillips and how great a hitter he truly is, one of the more bizarre splits you'll find is that he's actually a better hitter with the bases empty in 2005. Phillips, who is batting .333 when leading off an inning, is hitting .321 overall with the bases empty this season. 11 of his 18 home runs have been solo shots this year.
Don't take it the wrong way. Phillips has done well with runners on base, hitting .305 in those situations this season. But it is just not as good with the bases empty. In fact, Phillips' two lowest batting averages this season have come in situations one would think he would thrive in. Phillips is hitting just .262 with runners in scoring position and he is just 1-7 with the bases loaded this season.
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