2009 Philadelphia Phillies Midterm Grades/Review: The Starting Eight

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2009 Philadelphia Phillies Midterm Grades/Review: The Starting Eight
(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

The Major League Baseball season has passed the halfway mark, so I thought it would be appropriate to assign midterm grades to the entire Philadelphia Phillies roster, no matter how much of a contribution the player has made.

 

1B Ryan Howard .253, 21 HR, 63 RBI

Grade: A-

Howard earned his second All-Star nod in 2009.  His defense has improved by leaps and bounds.  At the plate, he is having the year that one would expect from him.  His average could be higher, but it is apparent that his .300+ average from his MVP year was an illusion.

 

2B Chase Utley .307, 20 HR, 61 RBI

Grade: A

What is there to say about Chase Utley that has not already been said countless times?  He has having another great year that has been rewarded with his fourth consecutive All-Star Game start.  He is far and away the best second baseman in the game. 

 

SS Jimmy Rollins .227, 7 HR, 34 RBI

Grade: C+

Rollins has turned around his struggles at the plate recently.  For the first half, he earns a C+ due to his previous hitting struggles, but redeems himself for what he provides defensively. 

All indications are that his approach at the plate has changed for the better, which can only mean good things for this club in the long run.

 

3B Pedro Feliz .292, 5 HR, 41 RBI

Grade: B+

Perhaps the most underrated player on this roster.  Feliz has batted for a significantly higher average than in 2008.  Also, he has become more dependable with runners in scoring position. 

Providing stellar defense at the hot corner is an irreplaceable aspect for any club.

LF Raul Ibanez .312, 22 HR, 59 RBI

Grade: A+

Ibanez exceeded all expectations with his performance thus far.  Earning his first All-Star appearance at age 37, Ibanez is having a career year.  He brings consistency at the plate and with the glove. 

It begs the question: Pat who?

 

CF Shane Victorino .309, 6 HR, 42 RBI

Grade: A

The Flyin' Hawaiian is quietly having the best year of his career.  The Phillies center fielder is second in the NL in hits and runs scored, but needed the 33rd man vote to make his first All-Star team. 

The speedy Victorino is one of the best in baseball in terms of ability to cover ground out in center field.  His swing has leveled off and, as a result, produced more in the way of line drive hits that are finding holes as opposed to the more prominent upper cut swing he has fallen in love with in the past that produced pop outs.

 

RF Jayson Werth, .264, 20 HR, 54 RBI

Grade: B+

Werth is one of many players in this lineup putting up career years.  The only drawback about Werth is his hitting against right handed pitching, but he has proved that he is an everyday player. 

Defensively, he has a superior glove and brings great athleticism to be able to make the tough plays.

 

C Carlos Ruiz, .239, 3 HR, 18 RBI

Grade: C+

At the plate, Ruiz leaves something to be desired.  However, he has shown flashes of becoming a serviceable hitter in the eighth spot in the lineup. 

What cannot be denied is his worth to the pitching staff.  Ruiz's defensive contributions make up for his lack of offense.

 

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