Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips often mentions that he’s ready to assume a greater leadership role. So, like Reds middle infield captains Davey Concepcion and Barry Larkin before him, he wants the Reds to be “his team.”
Now, finally, he’s playing like it.
Chalk it up to an extra year of maturity, or the greater sense of purpose in the Reds clubhouse (Cincinnati finally crashed the playoff party last season), or the fact that Phillips is in a contract year and searching for an extension.
Regardless of the reason, the Reds Gold Glover has been scalding hot out of the gate.
With a .331 batting average, Phillips has teamed with incumbent-MVP Joey Votto to keep the Reds (starting pitching woes be damned) afloat in a tightly-packed National League Central race.
At 13-13, the Reds were understandably unsatisfied with their April. However, since then, they’ve reeled off 11 wins to go with six losses, and continue to be a character-rich, never-say-die squad; a trait that developed last season and has been influenced largely by Phillips.
Watching Phillips perform at such a high level so far this season as been enthralling. A specimen at the plate and an acrobat at second, Phillips’ explosive first month-and-a-half has Reds fans wondering just how epic the future of the right side of the infield can be (assuming Phillips gets signed to a long-term deal).
And, in that vein, the Cincinnati right side tandem has this fan wondering if a better duo exists anywhere in the game.
Read on for my top 10 first/second base duos.