The 2024 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot has been released. Among the 12 players making their debut on the ballot is former Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips.

After playing in parts of 17 seasons in the big leagues, Brandon Phillips retired after the 2018 season. From 2006-2017 he was an every day player for Cincinnati, and then Atlanta and Los Angeles (Angels). He would finish out his career by playing in nine games with the Boston Red Sox in 2018. His career began in Cleveland where he played in 135 games over a span of four years before he was traded to the Reds in what has to be one of the best moves in franchise history.

From 2006 through 2016, Brandon Phillips played in 1614 games with the Reds and hit .279/.325/.429. He picked up 1774 hits, 311 doubles, 32 triples, 191 home runs, and he stole 194 bases. In 2007 he had 30 home runs and 32 steals and is one of just 46 players in Major League Baseball history to reach 30 in both categories in the same season – and the third Cincinnati player to do so, joining Eric Davis (1987) and Barry Larkin (1996).

Phillips was a 3-time All-Star (2010, 2011, and 2013). He also was a 4-time Gold Glove Award winner (2008, 2010, 2011, and 2013). He also picked up a silver slugger award in 2011 when he hit .300/.353/.457 and posted a career best 118 OPS+.

When his career was over he finished with 2029 hits, 211 home runs, 209 stolen bases, 1005 runs scored, and a career line of .275/.320/.420. It was a strong career and one that made him $100,000,000.

But was it a Hall of Fame career? No, it probably wasn’t. While I am a stats guy, I’ll be the first to tell you that WAR isn’t infallible and it’s merely a general guide that you should then take a deeper dive into. But Phillips WAR for his career was just 28.4. The typical Hall of Famer has at least twice that. The average Hall of Fame second baseman has 70 WAR with a 7-year peak WAR of 44.4.

However, let’s make the counter argument….

This play alone should warrant at least 20-30 votes. You’ve never seen anyone else do this. And you may never see it again.


28 Responses

  1. Tar Heel Red

    Based on his numbers Phillips has an outside chance, but he probably won’t get in…unless he is inducted by the veteran’s committee years down the road. Too bad, because he was a good guy, a great team leader and someone who gave his all every game.

  2. TR

    I enjoyed the way Brandon Phillips played the game and he obviously enjoyed playing for the Reds.

  3. Jim t

    Loved watching him play the game and him interacting with the fans before the game. The kids at the game loved him.

  4. JC

    He always had that smile and appeared to be someone who loved playing the game. He was a joy to watch.

  5. JB WV

    Best Reds second baseman behind Morgan. Dazzling fielder and big part of a team that seemed jinxed in 2012. Could have easily won it all if not for untimely injuries.

  6. Rick

    He was the Ozzie Smith of 2nd basemen. Not often that a 2nd baseman dazzled in so many games on the defensive side. Good guy in the community helping kids. Out Not a HOF resume though.

  7. Reaganspad

    Got me to hate Molina and the cards.

    He has my vote.

  8. CFD3000

    Not a Hall of Famer, but a Reds HoF for sure, and the kind of player that was easy to root for on both sides of the ball. Arguably the best smile in Reds history, at least a career SVA+ (Smile Value Added+) of 150. Here’s hoping he gets a few votes to acknowledge a solid major league career.

  9. Michael Wilson

    There were a few seasons when I thought he was the best 2B in the game and a Reds MVP even over Votto. He saved a lot of hits with his highlight plays. He had great range and athletic skills. If I was choosing up teams I would take him over Sandberg, a HOF. But longevity is the key and I doubt Brandon has a chance at HOF.

  10. LDS

    A great Red, but probably not a HoF’er. But his addition to the ballot this year will drive the Reds’ news cycle for a couple of days.

  11. MK

    Even if he is not in the National Hall of Fame, he should be honored for his service to the Reds, maybe more so than the Reds Hall of Fame.Maybe a B P Day. a certainty is that Joe’s poor defense would have certainly been in larger display if not for him.

  12. RedBB

    Pretty safe bet that CTrent won’t be voting for him! LOL

    • Nick in NKY

      I also thought of this. Hahaha.

  13. George M.

    I hate to say this because I enjoyed watching him in Buffalo and later in Cincinnati. He is probably closer to being a member of the Hall of very very good.

  14. MBS

    Phillips is my favorite Red since Barry Larkin. Geno is a close 2nd to Phillips, they are both good players that were also fun to watch. The funny thing is if Votto let his personality out early in his career, I would have liked him as much as those 2.

  15. Beaufort Red

    Going to spring training every year, Phillips was the most accessible of all the ball players. He would spend countless time with the kids. Swapped a bag of Skittles with my daughter for batting gloves. Said he saw my daughter everywhere and smilingly gave her an autographed bat. Unfortunately there were some players, including some mentioned, that never spent time with the kids. Maybe later but not then.

    • old-school

      @ BR, Loved watching BP play 2b and in his early years he was a great leadoff hitter who could run and hit for extra bases and played the game with energy and flare. I have pictures of him with my kids as well at summer camps where he is down on their level with his arms around them beaming for my wife’s camera. Had some unfortunate moments, but then again who hasnt. Love BP. He should be in the Reds HOF for sure.

    • David

      Beaufort Red:
      That’s a great story.

      It’s odd that so many Major Leaguers do not cultivate the fans more. Is it they are arrrogant, shy, can’t be bothered? I mean, what is it?
      Some years ago, I was at a Reds-Cards game in Cincy. Mark McGwire was then their hitting coach, and he spent a lot of time before the game signing autographs along the third base line.

      Brandon Phillips was a character, and no doubt about that. And apparently he had issues (behind the scenes) with Dusty Baker, at times. He also did not like Josh Hamilton. Perhaps he smelled a phony there.
      Brandon was a terrific guy, and a very talented ball player. Maybe not a HOF player, but he was pretty good, no doubt about that. Brought up as a SS with the Indians, they thought he would not be willing to convert to 2nd base. Oooops, on their part. And good for the Reds.
      EDLC might be close to comparing with Brandon. EDLC seems to be having a lot of fun playing baseball, and also seems to have a very charismatic personality.

    • Votto4life

      That’s a great story Beaufort. thanks

  16. RedsMonk65

    Good for him. Enjoyed watching him play and interact with the fans. Not sure he will get in, but just being nominated nonetheless is worthy recognition of a very good career.

  17. Votto4life

    I didn’t realize he had 2,000 hits. I liked Brandon a lot but never considered him a HoF player. It would be cool if he made it though.

  18. RedsGettingBetter

    Phillips was a good player , barely above-average. But he wasn’t elite…

    • JB WV

      India, whom I like, is barely above average. Phillips, if you bother to look at his stats, was way above average.

  19. RedsMonk65

    Not making a case for him to get into the HOF, but he was way above average as a 2B. Lifetime .275 BA, over 2,000 hits, 200 HRs, and 200 SBs. Four Gold Gloves, One Silver Slugger, and three All-Star appearances. Also received MVP votes in 2007 and 2012. Probably not HOF-worthy, but that record and those accomplishments are nothing to sneeze at.

  20. doctorrockett

    I’m not saying it’s apples to apples here but if Omar Vizquel and Bobby Abreu are still being considered for the HOF, Brandon has to have a chance.

    I have no doubt that if Brandon had been allowed to flourish as either a leadoff hitter or a run producer (when we were in need of a guy to move around in the order to produce the best possible outcome for the team, Brandon would answer that call time and time again – lower batting avg/higher rbi guy in those spots and higher avg/“lower” power numbers in the top spots), he would have put up the consistent numbers that might prove him more HOF comparable to his contemporary’s.

    Nonetheless, loved him as a Cincinnati Red.

  21. redfanorbust

    I was watching the game and saw the play that Doug posted. BP was one of my all time Reds favorite players to watch. Great he is getting the recognition but I agree he is probably not HOF material but uber talented, great personality and one of the best trades Reds ever made IMO. Brett Boone was a blast to watch play as well!

  22. Melvin

    A borderline Hall Of Famer who probably won’t get in. However, I saw him make plays in the field that I’ve NEVER seen anyone else do and haven’t seen it since. He was amazing.