Cincinnati Reds: Should the Reds have kept Brandon Phillips?

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 5: Brandon Phillips
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 5: Brandon Phillips

The Cincinnati Reds’ plan

The Cincinnati Reds are in the midst of a turnover. Furthermore, they are selling off veterans in order to get younger. This team has done just that over the past couple years. Also, the franchise is not afraid to trade fan favorites. Over the years they have traded off names such as: Aroldis Chapman, Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce, and second baseman Brandon Phillips.

Cincy has built up their farm system because of these hard moves. This is one of the hard truths in baseball. But in order to further the franchise forward, they needed to do it. The system is flourishing because of them, as they have 5 top 100 prospects in the MLB. The Reds are still a few years away from contention, but this is a positive of the development of these young players.

Brandon Phillip’s replacement is young second baseman Jose Peraza. He was acquired in the Todd Frazier deal. But the veteran two bagger has had a great year by his standards, while Peraza has been meh. It will be interesting to see what they do the rest of the way. Let’s compare the two and see if the Reds should have kept the veteran ball player.

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The Cincinnati Reds’ new second baseman

In 2015, Jose Peraza was ranked as the 24th best prospect in the MLB. That was when he was in the Braves organization. Furthermore, he can make contact consistently and has good speed. In the Dodgers organization, he hit .289 in Triple-A in 2015. The contact evidence was there, but his downside is little power. Between the Braves and Dodgers system in 2015, he hit a total of four home runs in 118 plate appearances.

Fast forward to 2016 with the Reds, Peraza was a good story. He hit .324 with 3 home runs and 25 RBIs. The infielder also swiped 21 bags and accumulated a 0.7 WAR. The right handed batter showcased his contact tool as well as speed. He broke out as one of the Reds’ possible future pieces. He is having an ok year, as he is batting .261 with four home runs and 35 RBIs. One problem Peraza has had over his career is his walk rate, which is at a career 3.2%.

He looks to have encountered some bad luck, as his BABIP is at .295. He his an above average baserunner with a 4.8 BsR stat. Peraza is able to utilize his speed and is smart on the base paths. That is one of his biggest strengths. The infielder has turned it around defensively this year, as he has a 3.6 Def stat over a -3.7 in 2016. This means he went from a below average glove to an above average one. So he has gotten his feet wet and looks to be an average player and a plus baserunner.

The Cincinnati Reds’ old second baseman

Brandon Phillips spent eleven years with the Reds organization. His best year with the club was in 2011, in which he batted .300 with 18 home runs and 82 RBIs. That season he produced a 5.4 WAR. He was a fan favorite with the team and was a great clubhouse presence. He has always been a defensive wizard at second base, and he has a career 104.4 Def stat.

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Phillips is an influential veteran that would have helped the young guys fit in. This year, the right handed hitter is hitting .285 with 8 homers and 41 RBIs. He has also accumulated a 1.3 WAR this season, which is better than Peraza. He is hitting well in SunTrust Park. The veteran was from Georgia, so there was a perk.

He has been a clubhouse favorite and has excelled with the young guys for the Braves. Phillips has taken advantage of this opportunity. Before Atlanta, he was rumored to be dealt to the Nationals.

But the problem was that he wasn’t willing to waive his no trade clause unless they signed him to an extension. Overall, he has been a great get for the mediocre Braves and is rubbing off on other players. Furthermore, he has been producing enough that he might actually sign a notable deal in the offseason.

Also, his glove is still shining at second, and has shown it off. In my opinion, the Reds should have held the veteran to be a presence in the clubhouse and still has value at second. On the other hand, he does take away playing time for younger guys. Cincinnati did the right thing by selling veterans for prospects, albeit this one a fan favorite.

Next: The Reds' core offense can compete with anyone