Friday, November 13, 2009

Phillies Phlashback Phriday: Greg Gross

Greg Gross is the case of local boy done good (pardon the grammar). He was born in York, Pennsylvania and was drafted in the 4th round of the 1970 amateur draft by the Houston Astros. He made his MLB debut with Houston 3 years later in 1973, and played for them until 1976. The following 2 seasons he spent in Chicago with the Cubs, and then finally in 1979 he became a Phillie. It was as a Phillie that Gross cemented his place in baseball history as one of the best pinch hitters of all-time. He spent a decade with the Phils (1979-1988) racking up 117 pinch hits (club record). For his career, which ended after one more stint in Houston in 1989, he collected 143 pinch hits (ranked 5th all-time).

Gross played all three outfield position and a little first base, but his primary use was as a bat off of the bench. He was only an everyday player for 3 seasons with Houston at the beginning of his career, and actually finished 2nd in the Rookie of the Year balloting in 1974 batting .314 in 156 games. Problem was, Greg had virtually no power and lacked the speed to make up for that deficiency and was on a Phillies team with many talented outfielders which pushed him into a platoon/reserve role.

Career Totals: .287/.372/.351, 449 r, 1073 h, 130 2B, 46 3B, 7 HR, 308 rbi, 39 sb.

Struckout only 250 times in 3745 career at bats. Made 2 appearances as a pitcher (1986 & 1989) with a 10.80 ERA. Went 8 straight seasons without a homerun (1979-1987). Has been a hitting coach in the Phillies minor league system since 2005, and is currently with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.



GM-Carson said...

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

For what it's worth, Chase Utley won his 4th straight Silver Slugger Award.

SirAlden said...

Greg Gross and Jay Johnstone

Lefty get on base - Lefty Double him home.

Best Phillies Lefty Bench Combo ever.

Please a shout for Jay next Friday.

Imagine you take the 2007 - 2008
Gregg Dobbs. Then put him in a magical copying machine. On the left you dial down the Power and increase the singles and on-base 20% for Gregg Dobbs #1; on the right you dial up the Power and give it to Gregg Dobbs #2.

Always getting hits. Always.

Rename Gregg Dobbs #2. Jay Johnstone.

You would then have the best Phillies Left Handed Bench Combo in History.

SirAlden said...

Figgins, Type A: A corner infielder with 31 career homers? Talk about a new wave, an appealing antidote to a power-hungry era. That's not to say Figgins doesn't have gap punch -- Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder were the only others with 30-plus doubles and 100-plus walks.

Would be great. Two Negatives:
1)He is most valuable if they moved Jimmy Rollins to 8th, not Victorino to 7th. They most likely
won't do it. 2)Loss of 1st round draft pick for the second year in a row.

Beltre, Type B: Beltre was 19 when he broke in with the Dodgers, and now is 30 as a second-time free agent. The difference is that the first time -- off his 47-homer 2004 season with the Dodgers -- his aim was to cash in. Now, after five disappointing seasons in Seattle, his goal is to regain elite status. That incentive, as much as his tools, could entice clubs.

Could be greater. Ever a defender of Pedro Feliz - I went and looked at Defense Zone Ratings - Feliz was range has been steadily
going down to just above average.
Betre's were OFF THE CHARTS Schmidt - Rolen type even last year. Three Negatives: Staying Healthy all year, Staying Healthy all year, Staying Healthy all year to produce more Runs and RBIs than Feliz.

Upside back to NL, Seattle Ballpark vs. the Cit, WE KEEP OUR FIRST ROUND PICK.

DeRosa, Type B: Again one of the most popular players on the market, DeRosa has a versatility that especially appeals to teams that would like the flexibility of plugging him in elsewhere should someone else surface at third. DeRosa has played all over the field, with occasional flashes of power. Yet he's a low on-base percentage, high-strikeout guy coming off a contract similar to that of Feliz.

LOW ON BASE!!! HIGH STRIKE OUT GUY! - Plus Penn Guy. Flexible but
does not want to be. If he is moved around, who plays 3rd?

Miguel Tejada, Type A: The rankings are position-specific, hence Tejada's reflects his value at shortstop, the only place he has ever played. However, at 35, there are clear indications that Tejada's best market may be as a third baseman. His power drain continued -- since 2004 he has gradually gone from 34 to 14 homers -- but he was still a .313 hitter for the Astros.

Negatives - Power is going DOWN,
giving up 1st round PICK.

GM-Carson said...

Sir Alden- I almost compared Dobbs and Gross in my post. Glad to see I'm not the only one who the connection.

On 3rd base- I think DeRosa would be a mistake. He's decent, but not great. Truth is, aside from Figgins, nobody is a big improvement over Pete Happy.

Dr. Steve said...

Basically, if you don't get Figgins, you should resign Feliz for less money and acquire a third base prospect/really work hard at getting one of our big outfield prospects into a 3Dman.

THE problem with Figgins is he had a breakout year. Breakout years can be misleading.

SirAlden said...

I am in the Beltre and Pray Camp.