Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Phillies Franchise Deep Six

Franchises that haven't historically been cloaked in glory are often more interesting to me than those that have. The Phillies are one such franchise. They've had their periods of prominence, but they've generally experienced more downs than ups. Today we're going to look at their positional depth chart.

1stPete AlexanderJack ClementsJohn KrukChase UtleyMike SchmidtJimmy RollinsEd DelahantyRichie AshburnBobby Abreu
2ndRobin RobertsDarren DaultonRyan HowardNap LajoieDick AllenLarry BowaSherry MageeRoy ThomasJohnny Callison
3rdSteve CarltonCarlos RuizDolph CamilliDave CashScott RolenDave BancroftDel EnnisLenny DykstraChuck Klein
4thJim BunningAndy SeminickFred LuderusJuan SamuelWillie JonesBob AllenGreg LuzinskiGarry MaddoxGavvy Cravath
5thCole HamelsSpud DavisVon HayesTony TaylorPinky MayGranny HamnerPat BurrellBilly HamiltonSam Thompson
6thCurt SchillingBob BooneDon HurstOtto KnabePinky WhitneyMickey DoolinMorrie ArnovichCy WilliamsElmer Flick

The Phillies are surprisingly strong at pitcher and in the outfield. In center and right fields, respectively, Shane Victorino and John Titus were fine players who just missed the cut.

Left field was a funny one. The top five were easy choices (as well as the franchise's top five in games played at the position), but after that the cupboard was pretty bare. I went with Arnovich on the 6th Team only because he had some degree of longevity, but he's hardly a clear-cut choice. There were plenty of other unnotables who could've been argued for.

The Phillies have never had an all-time great catcher, as you can see, but they've had a lot of good ones. That spot on the 6th Team came down to Boone, Clay Dalrymple, and Mike Lieberthal, and it was almost a coin-flip. The catcher on the 1st Team, Jack Clements, is sadly underrated.

The infield is an area where the Phillies are surprisingly weak. Chase Utley was so far and away the top choice at second base it was almost laughable. Nap Lajoie was an immortal, but his time with the Phillies was relatively brief, and before he blossomed into a legend. Third base and shortstop are both top-heavy.

It might be hard for some people to believe, but the Phillies have never had a truly great first baseman. Ryan Howard may have the longevity there, but John Kruk, in his brief-but-glorious run as Phillie first-sacker, was simply a better player.  And after them, there's not a whole lot to get excited about. Any young, talented first baseman who wants to be on some franchise's 1st Team should try to find his way to Philadelphia.

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