Click Here To Visit Our Sponsor
Baseball America Online - Teams

scoreboards
Stats
features
columnists
news
draft
minors
NCAA
High School store
contact
contact

   
   
Indians Top 10 Prospects

By Jim Ingraham
December 11, 2002

Want More?

Prospect Handbook
Does 10 prospects per team only whet your appetite? How does 30 sound? If you want the more of in-depth information you're finding here on three times as many players, Baseball America's 2003 Prospect Handbook is for you.

1. Brandon Phillips, ss/2b

Age: 21. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 185. Drafted: HS–Stone Mountain, Ga., 1999 (2nd round). Signed by: Darryl Monroe (Expos).

Background: Of all the prospects the Indians reeled in with trades in 2002, Phillips was clearly the biggest trophy. Rated the Expos’ No. 1 prospect before the season, he was the marquee name in the package of prospects the Indians acquired for Bartolo Colon. It didn’t take Phillips long to establish himself as the best prospect in the Cleveland organization. After settling in at Triple-A Buffalo, Phillips flashed the five-tool ability that has always excited scouts. He earned a cameo on the big league roster in September and made several eye-popping plays at second base, his new position. He moved from shortstop because of Omar Vizquel’s presence on the big league club.

Strengths: Phillips is a premier athlete who projects as an all-star at either middle-infield postion. As a shortstop, Phillips has drawn comparisons to a young Barry Larkin or Derek Jeter. Hitting out of a Jeff Bagwell-style crouch, Phillips has the bat speed and athletic skill to be a top-of-the-order hitter. Few middle infielders offer his combination of hitting for average and power. He has average range and plus arm strength at shortstop, and those tools play even better at second base. Phillips also has a charisma about him that stamps him as a special player. His confidence and flair sometimes annoy opponents. But he also enjoys playing the game and doesn’t hide it.

Weaknesses: Phillips sometimes tries to do too much. He’ll overswing when ahead in the count. He needs to drive the ball to right-center to counter the adjustments pitchers have made to attack his holes. He’s an average runner to first base and could develop into a basestealing threat, though he’ll have to read pitchers more effectively. He’s still learning how to turn the double play as a second baseman. Most important is his weight transfer as he comes across the bag, which can lead to him short-hopping throws to first.

The Future: Phillips will get a long look for Cleveland’s second-base job, especially with incumbent Ricky Gutierrez a question mark following spinal surgery. Even if he returns to Triple-A, it won’t be long before he joins the Indians for good.

2002 Club (Class)

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

Harrisburg (AA)

.327

.380

.506

245

40

80

13

2

9

35

16

33

6

Ottawa (AAA)

.257

.297

.457

35

1

9

4

0

1

5

2

6

0

Buffalo (AAA)

.283

.321

.453

223

30

63

14

0

8

27

14

39

8

Cleveland

.258

.762

.419

31

5

8

3

1

0

4

3

6

0

  Copyright 2002 Baseball America. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.