Brett Phillips played very well in the parts of the 2017 season that he saw. It is enough to create questions on where the Milwaukee Brewers will use him in the upcoming year.
With his arm, he projects as the right fielder. However, there is a Domingo Santana sized blockage there. And with Lewis Brinson projecting to be the centerfielder, along with Keon Broxton as well, it is crowded.
In a perfect world, Broxton gets traded this offseason. That lets Santana play left, Brinson take over center, and Phillips can be in right. That allows Braun, who has turned in a rather injury prone veteran, to be the fourth outfielder.
The question now is simple, can Phillips improve on his 2017 showing?
Through only 37 games, he hit .276 and four homeruns. With such a small amount of exposure, it will be hard to predict what is to come. During his years in the minors he hit just over .280. So the batting average is pretty consistent.
One thing that Phillips will need to keep in check is the strikeout rate. He actually posted a better number in the MLB than in the Minors. But all that means is that it is subject to change in 2018. Not that it will, but it might.
His four bombs are subject to go up as well. He will be a consistent 15-20 homers a year guy once he becomes an every day player. A solid bat to rely on in the lineup. Phillips will not blow anyone away at the plate, but he will certainly be productive. Plus he is a great guy to have in the clubhouse.
Defensively is where he shines. He is a Statcast dream because of his cannon for an arm. Year in and year out he will top the rankings for fastest throws from the outfield. Not to mention how well he plays the field. It can’t get better as far as that is concerned.
Phillips is a huge part of the future for the Milwaukee Brewers outfield. He will anchor the defense and continue to grow offensively. The outfielder is turning out to be a great acquisition. There is no doubt that he can sustain and build upon his success.
The emergence of Phillips is a great thing for the Milwaukee Brewers. It makes the 20/20 season of Broxton tradable for the Crew. They can get value and still enjoy a hefty overstock in outfield talent.