Skip to content

McCoy: Brandon Phillips “slipping into Joe Morgan’s domain”

May 25, 2013, 11:35 PM EDT

brandon phillips getty Getty Images

If the aforementioned quote refers to a science fiction film, you can count me in. As it relates to baseball, though, I’m not on board. In a column for FOX Sports Ohio, Hal McCoy uses some dubious statistical comparisons to equate Phillips to Joe Morgan. It’s an otherwise interesting and informative column, but I can’t get past this:

Morgan played seven years for the Cincinnati Reds and Phillips is in his seventh year with the Reds. And so many of their statistics are dead-on similar that it is eerie.

Consider: Joe Morgan hit 152 home runs and Phillips has 150. Joe Morgan had 612 RBI and Phillips has 605. Brandon Phillips has 221 doubles and Morgan had 220. Brandon Phillips has 1,214 hits and Morgan had 1,155.

Consider: Morgan had a career .392 on-base percentage and led the league in the category four times. On ten different occasions, Morgan finished a season with a .400 or better OBP. Phillips has a career average .322 OBP and has never exceeded .353 in a season.

Morgan posted an .800 or better OPS on seven different occasions, going as high as 1.020 in 1976, the second of his back-to-back MVP award-winning seasons. Phillips has gone .800 or better just three times. When you adjust OPS for the quality of the league and for park effects, Morgan’s career average is 132, Phillips is at 97 (the general average is set at 100). Morgan also stole 689 bases in 851 attempts (81%) while Phillips has only stolen 154 in 215 attempts (72%). Phillips certainly has Morgan on defense and even though Baseball Reference credits Phillips at 52 career runs above average defensively and Morgan 48 runs below, Morgan easily wins the WAR battle 100 to 24.

Phillips is a great player and extremely fun to watch, but it is unfair to put him in the same conversation as one of the greatest second basemen ever to play the game of baseball.

Latest Posts
  1. VIDEO: Mookie Betts robs Jacoby Ellsbury of extra bases with leaping catch

    Aug 1, 2014, 11:19 PM EDT

    mookie betts

    Not bad for a guy who has mostly played second base in pro ball.

  2. Carlos Gonzalez exits game after aggravating ankle injury

    Aug 1, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT

    Carlos Gonzalez AP AP

    Carlos Gonzalez sprained his ankle last Saturday and he aggravated the injury tonight while making a sliding catch.

  3. John Lackey intends to honor contract and pitch at major league minimum salary in 2015

    Aug 1, 2014, 9:27 PM EDT

    John Lackey AP AP

    John Lackey will pitch at the major league minimum next season due to a clause in his contract.

  4. Giants manager Bruce Bochy doesn’t expect Matt Cain to pitch again this year

    Aug 1, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

    Matt Cain AP AP

    Matt Cain hasn’t made a decision on elbow surgery, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy doesn’t expect him to pitch again this year.

  5. Brewers scratch Jimmy Nelson from Saturday’s start due to a “blister”

    Aug 1, 2014, 7:59 PM EDT

    Brewers logo

    The Brewers have scratched rookie right-hander Jimmy Nelson from Saturday’s start, but it mostly looks like a convenient excuse to manipulate their rotation this weekend.

  6. Brett Lawrie begins minor league rehab assignment tonight

    Aug 1, 2014, 7:05 PM EDT

    Brett Lawrie AP AP

    Brett Lawrie has been sidelined since June 22 due to a broken right index finger.

  7. Matt Harvey throws off mound for first time since Tommy John surgery

    Aug 1, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT

    Matt Harvey Getty Getty Images

    Mets right-hander Matt Harvey threw off a mound today for this first time since he underwent Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his right elbow last October.

  8. Marlins place Henderson Alvarez on the disabled list

    Aug 1, 2014, 5:47 PM EDT

    henderson alvarez getty Getty Images

    Henderson Alvarez has followed up last year’s no-hitter by being one of the best pitchers in the National League this season, but the Marlins have placed the 24-year-old right-hander on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.

  9. Orioles sign Joe Saunders

    Aug 1, 2014, 5:19 PM EDT

    saunders getty Getty Images

    Earlier this week the Royals became the fourth team to release Joe Saunders this season and the 33-year-old left-hander has already found a fifth organization, signing a minor-league deal with the Orioles.

  10. Gammons: the Pirates may have made an offer for David Price that was “greater in terms of talent”

    Aug 1, 2014, 5:03 PM EDT

    Division Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox - Game Two Getty Images

    But the determining factor was likely the Rays’ belief that they can contend in 2015.

  11. Austin Jackson’s arrival in Seattle pushes James Jones back to the minors

    Aug 1, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

    James Jones Mariners AP

    James Jones has been the Mariners’ starting center fielder since making his MLB debut in mid-April, logging more than 300 plate appearances, but now the 25-year-old is headed back to Triple-A following yesterday’s trade for Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson.

  12. See your team’s logo Star Wars-ized

    Aug 1, 2014, 4:32 PM EDT

    Click Here large

    Apologies if the team you root for got a prequel logo. Braves got Boba Fett, though, so I’m happy.

  13. Cardinals demote Carlos Martinez to Triple-A

    Aug 1, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Colorado Rockies v St. Louis Cardinals Getty Images

    Carlos Martinez is no longer needed in St. Louis’ rotation following trades for Justin Masterson and John Lackey, but rather than shifting him back to the bullpen the Cardinals have decided to send the 22-year-old right-hander to Triple-A.

  14. Red Sox designate Mike Carp for assignment

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

    Mike Carp AP

    Mike Carp reportedly requested a trade from the Red Sox last week, but after failing to find a taker before yesterday’s deadline they’ve designated him for assignment.

  15. HBT Daily: Winners and losers at the trade deadline

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    We won’t really know for sure for some time, but for now let us offer knee jerk reactions!

  16. Angels place Tyler Skaggs on the disabled list

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT

    Tyler Skaggs Getty Getty Images

    Tyler Skaggs exited Thursday’s start in the fifth inning with forearm tightness and now the Angels have placed the 22-year-old left-hander on the disabled list.

  17. A’s release Jim Johnson, eat $10 million salary

    Aug 1, 2014, 2:40 PM EDT

    Jim Johnson A's AP

    Johnson saved 50-plus games in each of the previous two seasons, leading the league both years, but this season he posted a 6.92 ERA in 38 appearances for the A’s while almost immediately being stripped of closing duties.

  18. Jose Bautista, Casey Janssen “frustrated” and “disappointed” by Blue Jays’ lack of trade deadline activity

    Aug 1, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    Jose Bautista Jose Bautista

    Toronto was 38-24 and in first place by six games on June 6, but the Blue Jays have gone 22-26 since then and general manager Alex Anthopoulos did nothing at the trade deadline yesterday.

  19. Empty Yesterday: Kansas City’s trade deadline day

    Aug 1, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Dayton Moore, David Glass Getty Images

    The Royals just had an infuriating trade deadline day.

Featured video

A's, Tigers big winners at trade deadline
Top 10 MLB Player Searches