The Phillies struggled defensively in 2018 and should look to improve this offseason. Taking a look back, here is the all-time Phillies defensive team.
As the MLB free agency period has begun, the Phillies have numerous needs to address. One is defense, where the team had the second-most errors with 129 and ranked 29th in fielding percentage at .979. Taking a look back, we look at the top defensive players in franchise history by position.
Rolen played his first six-plus seasons with the Phillies and won three Gold Glove awards while with the team. While only slightly above the league average in range factor per nine innings, Rolen was consistently above average in fielding percentage. His fourth Gold Glove award came in 2002, the season he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals.
While in St. Louis, Rolen racked up three more Gold Glove awards and later played for the Blue Jays and Reds, earning his eighth and final Gold Glove in 2010 at the age of 35. Rolen’s eight Gold Glove awards are third-most in history for a third baseman.
Bowa enjoyed a 16-year Major League career, the first 11 with the Phillies. He earned Gold Glove awards in 1972 and 1978 and likely got robbed of the honor in 1979 when he committed just six errors with an astounding .991 fielding percentage. Bowa’s lifetime fielding percentage of .980 is one of the best in league history for a shortstop.
Bowa also played for the Cubs and Mets and went on to become a coach and later manager of the Phillies, winning 337 games from 2001 through 2004. Bowa remains in the organization today as Senior Advisor to the General Manager.
Other noteworthy defensive specialists include these players who each earned one Gold Glove award in Philadelphia: pitchers Booby Schantz and Steve Carlton, catcher Mike Lieberthal, shortstop Bobby Wine, and outfielders Aaron Rowand and Bobby Abreu.