Second Base – Brandon Phillips
It’s almost kinda aggravating that this was even allowed to happen. I need to be honest though, I wanted him gone. Geeze, he was frustrating to watch. In his lone season of any relevance with the Tribe, Brandon Phillips had 370 at-bats in 2003 and hit a pathetic .208 for a batting average. He was so bad as a rookie, that Ronnie Belliard was brought in. Belliard was at best a serviceable second basemen who thought he was a centerfielder.
At least you’d think he thought that, considering how deep he played into the outfield. As a second baseman.
Phillips would play in 12 games over his next two years with the club. He was so disappointing, I would trade him every time I picked the Indians in whatever baseball videogame I had at the time. Eventually, the Indians followed suit and traded him for real to the Cinncinati Reds for Jeff Stevens. Stevens never even made it to the big leagues with the Indians, instead he was used as a piece for the Mark DeRosa trade with the Chicago Cubs in 2009.
Phillips, on the other hand, was a stud. While officially he was only a three-time All-Star, Phillips arguably should’ve been to the midsummer classic an additional four times. He didn’t drop below 17 home runs a year for eight straight seasons, hit around .275 nearly every ear, and only once failing to hit in at least 70 RBI’s during that stretch.
The Indians during Phillips All-Star years had to rely on Belliard, Josh Barfield, an out of position Asdrubal Cabrera, Luis Valbuena, and Cabrera before finally landing on Jason Kipnis in 2012.