Placido Polanco vs Pedro Feliz
When a former all-star, silver slugger, championship series most valuable player and two-time gold glove winner joins your ball club, you think you would hear more than just a day or two of minor rumblings. Unfortunately for Placido Polanco, the Phillies were in the process of swapping Roy Halladay for Cliff Lee, thus stealing font page headlines.
Placido Polanco is the epitome of a ball player, a guy who will do virtually anything for his team whether it is stepping in to a pitch, sacrifice bunting, or advancing a player. This past season he finished 12th in the American League in hit-by-pitches, 16th in Sacrifice Hits, and 32nd in Sacrifice Fly Outs.
While he will not steal too many bases he is a great base runner with a career 70% stolen base percentage, a figure that is due to improve with Davey Lopes as the Phillies first base coach.
Over past two seasons, the Phillies have been witness to 4 players reach 100 or more strikeouts. So, a small ball type of player is just what the strikeout prone Phills need in the lineup. For $18 million over the next three years, the Phillies brought back a fan favorite that has led the league in at-bats per strikeout three times and finished in the top 7 on 8 occasions.
Pedro Feliz vs Placido Polanco
We all thought we knew what we were getting when we picked up Pedro Feliz two seasons ago, a great fielder with some pop in his bat. However he would hit a combined 26 home runs after 4 consecutive seasons of 20+ home runs with the San Francisco Giants. And after a good 2008 season in which he made only 8 errors in the field, he would make 15 this past season.
Placido Polanco has a career batting average that is 49 points higher and an on base percentage that is 55 points higher than Pedro Feliz. But what does this exactly mean for the Phillies? For this we turn to Project VORP, or Value Over Replacement Player.
VORP is the number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement level player at the same position would contribute given the same percentage of team plate appearances. Projected VORP for Placido Polanco is 26.7 and only 3.0 for Pedro Feliz, which equals to a difference of 23.7. This formula projects that with Polanco in the lineup the Phillies will score roughly 24 additional runs and win an additional 6 games.