Brandon Phillips is playing in his 12th Major League Season, his 8th with the Reds. He is without a doubt the best second baseman in the National League right now, but he is still not the best second basemen to ever play for the Reds. Without any questions, the best second baseman in Reds history is Joe Morgan.
Morgan was a Hall-of-Fame Major Leaguer for 22 years, his first year was in 1963, his final year was 1984. Now he owns a Honda Dealership in Monroe, Ohio. Morgan put up great numbers, his career batting average was .271, he hit 268 home runs, and knocked in 1133 runs, he also stole 689 bases.
Brandon Phillips is 32 years old, he might be able to play until he’s 40. Joe Morgan played until he was 40. If Phillips can play 8 more years of baseball, he’ll probably pass Joe Morgan in home runs, Phillips already has 158, he needs 110 more homers, he could probably accomplish that in six or seven years. When it comes to RBIs, he probably won’t pass Morgan. Phillips has 654 RBIs right now, but is on-pace to knock in well-over 100 runs this year. Perhaps in BP keeps hitting in the clean-up spot, he could at-least come close to Morgan’s mark. When it comes to batting average, Brandon should pass Morgan. Right now Phillips has a .274 career batting average, 3 points higher than Morgan’s.
The one thing that separates Joe Morgan and Brandon Phillips is defense. Brandon Phillips is probably the best defensive second baseman to ever play the game of baseball. Morgan was pretty good at defense, but through 22 years, he committed 244 errors. Phillips has made only 74 errors though out his career.
If you compare Joe Morgan’s and Brandon Phillips’ stats as just members of the Reds, Phillips has better stats. Reporters have been asking Dusty Baker about the comparisons between the two second basemen.
“He has to already be in the Reds’ Hall of Fame, that’s for sure,” Baker said. “We’re approaching another Hall of Fame in time, who knows where he’s going to end up? He has to play a few more years and there haven’t been many second basemen that have had better years than he’s had the last three or four years. He’s got a couple of Gold Gloves, a couple of silver bats and he’s going to get some more. He knows how to play, but he’s really learning how to apply it on a daily basis.”