Grading the Philadelphia Phillies Offense for the Month of September: Player By Player

By Cody Swartz
Howard Smith – US PRESSWIRE

The Philadelphia Phillies were one of the better teams in the month of September, winning 17 games and even fighting their way into some last minute wild card hopes.

The Phillies ultimately couldn’t gain enough ground that they had lost earlier in the season, and they’ve since been officially eliminated from any hope of playoff contention. The offense batted just .256 with a .717 OPS for September, finishing just 14th and 15th in the major leagues in those respective statistics, numbers that just weren’t enough to make up enough ground.

Carlos Ruiz: Carlos Ruiz returned from his injury to appear in 16 games in September, posting very solid offensive numbers once again. His transformation as a .219 hitter in 2008 to the team’s best all-around hitter in 2012 has been fun to watch. For this month, he batted .294 with enough walks that he posted a .390 on-base percentage, finishing with a 0.6 WAR that tied for third-best on the team. Grade: A

Ryan Howard: Oh, Ryan Howard. I’ll write some of this off to injury – first the torn Achilles tendon he is still recovering from and then the broken toe he suffered. But a .181 batting average and nearly five times as many strikeouts than walks is just brutal. Howard hit four home runs and drove in 22 runs, which is a solid total, but he will have a lot to prove in 2013. Grade: D-

Chase Utley: Chase Utley really seems to be playing at full force once again, which is really exciting news as we get ready to close out the 2012 season. Utley batted .299 with a .405 on-base percentage and .838 OPS in September. He scored 20 runs, drove in 19, and added seven doubles and two home runs. Grade: A

Jimmy Rollins: Jimmy Rollins was arguably the best player in the major leagues in the month of September. He batted .287 with a ridiculous eight home runs. Eleven of his 20 hits were extra bases. He scored 24 runs, drove in 17, and even drew 16 walks – that’s a phenomenal total for a player that has never had great plate discipline. Rollins stole six bases in six attempts, played stellar defense, and posted a 1.7 WAR that ranked third in all of the MLB in the month. Grade: A+

Kevin Frandsen: Kevin Frandsen continued his solid season with a pretty good month of September at the hot corner. He batted.286 with some pretty good defense, helping the Phillies by batting anywhere from leadoff, second, or sixth and below in the lineup. Grade: B

Juan Pierre: What a steal the Phillies have gotten with Juan Pierre. He batted .375 in the month of September, collecting 21 hits and 14 runs scored. He stole five bases and showed phenomenal plate discipline, striking out just four times in 67 plate appearances. Grade: A

John Mayberry, Jr: It was an adequate month for John Mayberry, Jr., which is about how he is as a ballplayer. Mayberry hit .247 with six doubles and one home run, driving in eight runs and scoring 13. He posted a .776 OPS and finished with a WAR of 0.1. Grade: C+

Domonic Brown: Domonic Brown had a rough month, batting just .210 during September, which is unfortunate considering he just needed a strong finish to likely be given a starting outfield spot in 2013. Brown did hit four home runs and drive in 15 but his low batting average and subpar defense brings down his ranking. Grade: C-

Erik Kratz: Erik Kratz really regressed in the month of September, which could be frightening if the Phillies think he can be a legitimate major league backup catcher next year. Fortunately, he was so good early on, because his September stats were bad: .156 batting average, two walks, and 13 strikeouts. Grade: F

Laynce Nix: It was just a boring, uneventful month for Laynce Nix, who batted .214 in limited plate appearances and posted an OPS of .624. Grade: D+

Darin Ruf: I’m really excited to see what Darin Ruf can do, and he’s off to a terrific start. Ruf is batting .320 with two home runs and a .828 OPS in 26 plate appearances, and he’s going to play every day until the season is over. Grade: B

Pete Orr: Pete Orr had a strong month if you remember he only had 11 plate appearances. But he did hit .455 with two steals. Grade: A

Ty Wigginton: Ty Wigginton struggled in September, which means it was just a typical month for him. He batted .200, drove in two runs in 31 plate appearances, and struck out in over a quarter of his trips to the plate. Grade: D

Nate Schierholz: Nate Schierholz is looking less and less like a major league hitter. He batted .258 with no power, resulting in just a .290 slugging percentage. Grade: D

Placido Polanco: Placido Polanco saw the plate once and got out. Grade: C

Michael Martinez: If you didn’t know how bad he was, he could have fooled you with his month of September. Michael Martinez batted .273 with three doubles. That’s amazing for him. Grade: B-

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