2008 - .266 Avg, 15 HR, 54 RBI, .770 OPS
2009 - .257 Avg, 15 HR, 46 RBI, .779 OPS
2010 - .268 Avg, 6 HR, 28 RBI, .768 OPS
2011 Salary – $1.175 / 1 year (avoided arbitration)
Age - 29
Anybody ever heard someone say this, “Ben Francisco could be starting on a lot of other teams.” I’m sure you have. Do you agree with it? I do, if those referenced teams are Pittsburgh, or Kansas City or Cleveland. Not necessarily the NL East Champion Phillies. Unfortunately, I think we may test the above hypothesis. I was going to write up a breakdown of the rightfield job, but in my research I found one written by Inquirer writer Matt Gelb. Check it out, here.
Francisco has average power, average speed, and doesn’t hit for high average. Unfortunately for the Phils, he doesn’t fit the “righthanded power/run producing” mold that suited Jayson Werth so well. Luckily for the Phils, they are still stacked offensively with a healthy Howard/Utley/Rollins and they have enough flexibility to mix-n-match hitters into the 5-hole depending on the pitching matchups.
If Francisco sees the majority of time and gets 400+ at-bats, he’ll put up numbers similar to 2009 but with better RBI numbers due to the volume of baserunners he’ll see. My prediction:
.264, 16 HR, 66 RBI
2007 - .341 Avg, 9 HR, 67 RBI, .846 OPS
2008 - .307 Avg, 8 HR, 58 RBI, .768 OPS
2009 - .285 Avg, 10 HR, 72 RBI, .727 OPS
2010 - .298 Avg, 6 HR, 52 RBI, .726 OPS
2011 Salary - $5.25 million
Age - 35
In what is a recurring theme when reviewing the 2010 Phillies, Placido Polanco had a relatively disappointing offensive year that was severely hindered by injuries. Before Polly was hurt, he was hitting .318. After he took a Tim Hudson fastball off of the left elbow and spent 3+ weeks on the DL, he hit only .279. And although he’s not known for much power, he managed only one homer after the injury, ending the season with no dingers in his last 250+ at-bats.
Polanco had surgery on the elbow at the end of October. Expectations at that time were that he would be swinging a bat by “early January” and completely ready to open Spring Training.
Predicting how injuries will affect a player’s career is an inexact science at best, especially when the player is in the later stages of his career and may not “bounce back” like a younger player. But one thing that goes in favor of Polly is that his game does not depend on power and speed. And even with a bone spur and tendinitis, he was able to hit .279. Therefore, I’m predicting a typical Polanco year:
.292, 9 HR, 64 RBI, .760 OPS