2011 Philadelphia Phillies: Stats and Fantasy Projections
Spring Training will be here sooner than we think. The Phillies come into the 2011 season with some lofty expectations for themselves. They have mustered up one of the best rotations in the history of baseball with the surprising signing of former Phillie Cliff Lee.
Along with the rotation, the Phillies offense looks to get back on track after having a down year for what they've come to expect over the past few seasons. They still have the core group of players on the team, but they are all aging.
The window of opportunity for the team is closing, and that is probably why GM Ruben Amaro Jr. went all out for the next few years with the complete re-haul of the starting rotation.
Here are some fantasy predictions and the projected lineups for the 2011 Philadelphia Phillies.
No. 1: SS Jimmy Rollins
Jimmy Rollins had an all-around disappointing year in 2010. He hit only .243 and never fully recovered from his ongoing leg injuries he suffered. No matter how much J-Roll struggles, he is still the catalyst for this offense. The Phils go as Rollins goes. He must have a better season this year if the Phils want to return to another World Series.
Projections: .256 AVG, 17 HR, 69 RBI, 23 SB
No. 2: 3B Placido Polanco
Placido Polanco had by far the best first half of the season for any Phillie last year. He consistently hovered around the .400 mark for the first couple months of the season. The second half was a different story and Polanco leveled off.
Projections: .292 AVG, 6 HR, 61 RBI
No. 3: 2B Chase Utley
Chase Utley had his worst full season as a Phillie in 2010. His thumb injury limited to him to just 115 games. Utley had career-lows in the main three categories of average, home runs, and runs batted in.
Utley turned 32 this offseason, but I can't see him having a worse statistical season than last year. It was very apparent he was bothered by injuries for a good chunk of the campaign.
Projections: .289 AVG, 27 HR, 96 RBI, 11 SB
No. 4: 1B Ryan Howard
Not only did Chase Utley have his worse season, but Ryan Howard also had one of his worse seasons too.
He hit well under his career 162 game average in HR (47) and RBIs (138). He only had 31 HR and 108 RBIs. The only thing that Howard really improved on was his strikeouts.
Still, he is one of the league leaders in that category. Expect an overall improvement though as Howard readjusts himself to pitchers knowing his weaknesses.
Projections: .269 AVG, 40 HR, 116 RBI
No. 5: CF Shane Victorino
Shane Victorino provides a spark to the lineup whenever it is needed. He replaced Rollins at the lead-off position while he was out with a groin injury. Victorino will probably bat fifth this year only because he can hit from both sides of the plate. They cannot throw out three straight LH hitters and have Ibanez bat fifth. Victorino will have plenty of chances this year to drive in runs.
Projections: .271 AVG, 16 HR, 73 RBI
No. 6: LF Raul Ibanez
Ibanez, even being the oldest everyday player on the Phils, was second in AB last season, only behind Shane Victorino. He had a horrific start to the season, but came through clutch in multiple games late in the season.
The fifth position in the batting order will be the most important number in the lineup this season. They have to find someone to replace Jayson Werth and someone who can hit behind and protect both Utley and Howard. Ibanez may only hit fifth against RH pitchers, but don't expect to see it alot.
Projections: .278 AVG, 18 HR, 81 RBI
No. 7: RF Domonic Brown/Ben Francisco
Brown and Francisco are expected to platoon out in RF in 2011. They will try to replace All-Star and fan favorite Jayson Werth after his departure to Washington.
Brown will get the start against most righties, while Francisco will hit against the lefties for the most part. Brown showed some signs of his potential last year, but I expect him to struggle a little bit in his first season with the club.
In the end, Ben Francisco will end the year as the everyday starter in RF.
Projection: Brown: .267 AVG, 11 HR, 39 RBI
Projection: Francisco: .271 AVG, 14 HR, 54 RBI
No. 8: C Carlos Ruiz
Carlos Ruiz, fresh off Jayson Stark's list of most underrated players, had his best season as a Phillie last year batting .302 and knocking in 53 runs. "Chooch" was the most clutch player on the team. He hit .302 with RISP and two outs.
Ruiz is also one of the better defensive catchers in the league and is now charged with the task of catching the best rotation in the league.
Projection: .289 AVG, 5 HR, 52 RBI
No. 1: SP Roy Halladay
Coming off another Cy Young Award, Halladay looks to anchor the league's best rotation.
Projection: 21-8, 3.04 ERA
No. 2: SP Cliff Lee
Cliff Lee turned down $40 million to come back and play in Philadelphia. Lee had a very good half season when he was last in a Phillies uniform. The top two for Philadelphia are two of the best five pitchers in baseball right now.
They have the hardware and the stats to back it up.
Projection: 17-9, 3.29 ERA
No. 3: SP Roy Oswalt
Roy Oswalt finished his first season with the Phillies with a 7-1 record and a 1.74 ERA after being acquired from the Houston Astros.
Projection: 14-11 3.58 ERA
No. 4: SP Cole Hamels
Cole Hamels was dominant the last few months of the season, including the playoffs. He came back from a very poor 2009 season. Hands down he is the best No. 4 pitcher in baseball.
Projection: 15-11, 3.67 ERA
No. 5: SP Joe Blanton
After Lee signed with Philadelphia, Blanton and the $17 million left on his contract was immediately expendable. Now it looks like he will stay with the Phillies and is possibly the best No. 5 starter in baseball.
Projection: 10-12, 4.54 ERA
CL Brad Lidge
Brad Lidge quietly had a great 2010. He really came on strong in the second half when his ERA was under 2.00.
Projection: 2-3, 37 saves, 3.65 ERA