2015 Best/Worst Case: Grady Sizemore
With the season fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about what kind of team the Phillies may have in 2015. This look at Grady Sizemore is the second in the series of articles looking at the best and worst case scenarios for each player that is likely to be on the 2015 Philadelphia Phillies squad.
Today’s Player: OF #24 Grady Sizemore
Grady Sizemore came back into the Majors last year after a two-season hiatus from baseball. He started the season with the Red Sox, but after a poor showing through 52 games, Boston released the veteran outfielder. Six days later, the Phillies, in need of some offensive spark, snatched him up.
In 60 games, and 36 starts, Sizemore batted .253, hit three home runs, and recorded 12 RBI. That earned him another year with the club, as he signed a one year deal in October.
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Sizemore, like Darin Ruf, will have a chance to start right out of the gate. The 32 year old seems well prepared to compete for the starting job in leftfield with the younger Ruf, and may have an easier path to that starting role if Ryan Howard is no longer with the team and Ruf becomes the 1st base starter.
There is more competition possibly coming from the likes of Rule 5 pickup Odubel Herrera, veteran signees Jordan Danks and Jeff Francoeur, and possibly even youngsters like Aaron Altherr and Kelly Dugan.
Best case scenario: .280/ 10 homers/ 50 RBIs and Opening Day starter
While Sizemore had a bad start in 2014, it seemed like he turned his year around with the Phillies. He changed his game though, batting more for average than for power. In his prime years with the Indians, Sizemore was hitting more than 20 homers a year. With the Phillies, Sizemore only hit three home runs.
Before leaving the league, Sizemore had a .269 batting average, and he averaged roughly 57 RBI a year. If Sizemore is able to start everyday, and is able to return to pre-hiatus form, he may be able to find his stroke and become reasonably productive for one more year.
Another piece to a best-case scenario for Sizemore is for him to have a great fielding year. Sizemore has a career fielding average of .993. The Phillies were fourth last year in the league in fielding, and in order for them not to embarrass themselves in 2015, they need something that distinguishes themselves from the league. That something may be fielding.
Worst case scenario: .190/ 0 homers/ 11 RBIs and not having a complete season
Sizemore has had problems with injuries throughout his career. The reason why he left the league for two years was due to injuries, as he had both hernia and knee surgeries. He is now 32, and there is some risk of re-injuring his knee. While he looked good in 2014, I don’t trust his endurance.
The other thing to worry about in regards to Sizemore is that slow start last year. All of his numbers with the Red Sox were way down from his career averages including on base percentage (.288), slugging percentage (.324) and wins above replacement (0.1).
Sizemore hasn’t hit higher than .250 since 2009. He hasn’t recorded more than 30 RBI since 2009. He hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2009. A lot of things could go wrong in 2015, and a lot less could go right. If I had to guess, I would say Sizemore would be around a .235 hitter and will end up in a platoon situation with Darin Ruf.
It isn’t an ideal situation for Grady Sizemore, but even he would have to admit that his best years are past. For the $2 million dollar paycheck that he will be earning at age 32, I would say he should be happy to just have the continued opportunity to compete in the big leagues.