The walk rate for Phillie third baseman in 2012, when the Phils were 15th in the league in walk rate, was worse than it was in 2007, when Phillie hitters overall drew more walks than any other team in the league. The bigger problem, though, is that the team’s walk rate at the position is just terrible and has been for years.
For the last six seasons, here’s the percentage of plate appearances in which the Phillies third basemen have drawn walks, the average for the league at the position and the team’s rank in the NL for walks drawn by third basemen:
|Year||PHI 3B BB%||NL AVG 3B BB%||NL Rank BB @ 3B|
So that’s bad. Four of the last five years the Phillies have been 14th or worse in 16-team NL in walk rate at third base. 2011 was the only year in the last six they’ve been non-terrible. Polanco led the way that season, walking in 8.0% of his plate appearances as a third baseman. That was the best walk rate of his career and well above his career-average of 5.5%.
In 2012, the Phillies walked in just 4.7% of their plate appearances at third, their worst mark of any of the last six miserable years (at least for walking at the position). They drew just 32 walks for the season, which was less than any other NL team.
Polanco got about 47% of the plate appearances at third for the Phillies in 2012 and walked in about 5.1% of them. Frandsen got about 30% of the chances and walked in about 3.9% of those. Wigginton, Fontenot, Martinez, Orr and Luna combined for the other plate appearances at the position and walked in about 5.2% of them.
Michael Young looks to be the guy for the Phils at third in 2013. In 2012, he walked in about 5.1% of his plate appearances, not much better than the 4.7% of PA the Phils walked in during 2012. There’s a good chance a 5.1% walk rate for the Phillies at the position would likely still have them 16th in the NL in total walks at third in 2013. The two teams that were within striking distance for the Phils in 2012 were the Rockies and Astros — both of those team saw their third basemen walk in about 5.3% of their plate appearances.
Finally, Michael Young’s career walk rate is about 6.6%. If he managed to walk in about 6.6% of his plate appearances during 2013 and got all of the Phillie chances at third, the team would likely be around 13th at the end of the year (at least based on 2012 results).
Juan Cruz is not yet in camp due to what Amaro suggests is a communication issue.
This suggests that Michael Stutes is feeling well.
Update: Juan Cruz and the Phillies have apparently decided to “part ways.”