Phillies baseball is wrapping up in Clearwater, and while there is still one very significant starting pitching assignment to come (per the Delaware County Daily Times), final grades for everyone else can be issued.
As with every classroom setting, within the Phillies we find teacher's pets and class clowns, valedictorians and delinquents.
All statistics, per philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com, through games played March 24, 2013.
Domonic Brown: It is too bad A+ is the highest grade possible. If these grades were given on a 1-100 scale, Brown's spring training performance would merit him a 110. He led the team in hits and runs scored, hit .368 and tied with Ryan Howard for the team lead in home runs. That'll do. A+.
Ryan Howard: If not for Brown's spring, the main story in Phillies' camp would be Howard's resurgence at training camp. Howard hit .329 with seven home runs and 16 runs batted in. He will not hit .329 this year, but the power numbers suggest that reports of the Big Piece's demise are premature. A+.
Ben Revere: Everyone loves the long ball, and that is not Revere's specialty. But he hit .324 with six stolen bases, and his defense has been as excellent as advertised. Shane who? A.
Chase Utley: Following a slow start, Utley's movement and bat speed have improved as camp wore on. He hit .291 with four home runs and drove in 14. Even 130 games at that clip would put Utley back in the discussion of the elite second basemen in the National League. Here's hoping. A-.
Jimmy Rollins: It is tempting to give JRoll an incomplete since he spent most of camp with Team USA at the World Baseball Classic. But Rollins hit .321 for the national team and .286 for the Phillies. He looks like a very good shortstop again. A-.
Erik Kratz: Even if Carlos Ruiz was eligible to come north before the end of April, Kratz was going to make the team. Kratz's .273 average in 12 games is not a headline-grabbing statistic, though it does ease fears that the eighth spot in the lineup could be a black hole until Ruiz returns. B.
Michael Young: The new third baseman does not have to do much to be an improvement over last season's Placido Polanco/Ty Wigginton/Kevin Frandsen platoon. Young's one home run, .273 average and .683 OPS over 22 games suggests that better than those other three is all he'll be. B-.
Kevin Frandsen: Speaking of Frandsen, he will stick because of his defense, and because he hits from the right side. His .269 spring training average was right there with his career .267 in the major leagues. Frandsen's relief on seeing Yuniesky Betancourt's release was likely palpable. B-.
Ender Inciarte: From Rule 5 pickup to overachieving Grapefruit Leaguer, Inciarte appears to have an inside track on making the team. He can thank Darin Ruf and Ruf's inability to catch a fly ball for that. C.
Freddy Galvis: Like Inciarte, Galvis came to camp and earned a job. Galvis still strikes out far too much for an infielder that should be a contact hitter, but his infield defense could be invaluable in late-inning situations where Charlie Manuel is concerned about the range of Young or Utley. C.
Carlos Ruiz: Everyone seems to love Carlos Ruiz. It's easy to cheer him in spring training when he's hitting .227. We'll see how much they love him when he's hitting .240 in July. Nothing Ruiz did in Clearwater did anything to dispel doubts that last season's breakout campaign was anything but (perhaps) Adderall-aided. C-.
Laynce Nix and John Mayberry, Jr.: These two are graded together because throughout spring training they were mentioned in the same breath all the time, i.e., "there is a competition for outfield jobs and Laynce Nix and John Mayberry, Jr. are in it." Either one of them could have nailed down a starting job with a good spring, but at press time it is hard to say which one of them wanted it less with Nix hitting .212 and Mayberry, Jr. hitting .206. What a mess. D-.
Darin Ruf: Every Phillies fan hoped Ruf would go to Clearwater, play left field adequately, hit very well and grab the left field job. Ruf did exactly the opposite: He couldn't catch the ball, he hit .246 and he got optioned to Triple-A. Sigh. F.
Cole Hamels: Your new consensus staff ace and Opening Day starter posted 16 innings with a 1.13 earned run average and a WHIP of 0.81. Hamels is right where he needs to be. A+.
Cliff Lee: It is unwise to read too much into spring training statistics where a pitcher like Lee is concerned. Opponents are not going to hit .324 against him in the regular season, and he is still posting better than a strikeout per inning. The 5.94 ERA is alarming, but Lee has earned the right to call it an anomaly. B.
Kyle Kendrick: Conversely, when Kendrick's spring ERA is over five, that is disconcerting. But the opponents' batting average of .259 suggests a bit of bad luck, and he only walked two batters in 14 innings. B-.
John Lannan: The probable fifth starter was clipping along quietly and effectively until posting this line against the Toronto Blue Jays: 4 innings pitched, 14 hits and 12 runs (all earned). Mercy. C.
Roy Halladay: Thousands and thousands of words have been written about Halladay's spring (both links per ESPN.com). Many of them were mine, so if you have read any of those columns this grade is going to come as no surprise. D-.
Jonathan Papelbon: Honestly, it never appeared like Papelbon was particularly paying attention this spring. He has (sort of) earned that right. Still, an ERA over 11? He had better wake up when the show comes back to Philadelphia. D.
Mike Adams: As it was with Revere, Adams performed in spring training consistent with or even above expectations. Adams gave up one lonely earned run in six innings, and opponents only hit .182 against him. Very promising stuff. A-.
Aaron Cook: Like Lannan, Cook has been around awhile. Like Lannan, Cook is in competition for the fifth starter position. Unlike Lannan, Cook's performance has been consistently solid (3.38 ERA, 1.23 WHIP.) Cook will either beat Lannan for the contested rotation slot or step in for Halladay if (when?) he is pulled from the rotation due to injury or the inability to get anyone out. B.
Antonio Bastardo, Chad Durbin, Jeremy Horst, Raul Valdes: Meh. C as in "collective," or "could be worse."
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