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.