Who’s On Base?: Brandon Phillips On The Rise

By John A. Poole
Updated: November 16, 2007

Brandon PhillipsGLENN BURNIE, MD.— Well, the feeling of utopia is just about over for the players down in Florida or over in Arizona.

Spring Training is about to come to an end and reality will set in when they leave the beautiful 70-90 degree weather these players are enjoying at the present time. Soon it will be back to wearing sleeves under their jerseys and blowing into their hands trying to warm themselves up in the field. But for some it won’t even matter because the weather will be the furthest thing from their mind. For some they will be living out a childhood dream of playing professional baseball.

If you are reading this than most likely you are a sports fan. Which means that at some point in your childhood you had a dream of standing at home plate with the game tied in the seventh game of the World Series going up against Bob Gibson or maybe even Satchel Paige. You had a dream of getting that 95-mile per hour fastball and planting it in the seats over the eight-field wall.

Or maybe standing on the mound staring Willie Mays or Hank Aaron in the eyes as you blow a fastball by them or fool them with a curveball to win the series. We all have these same dreams but only a very select few are fortunate enough to make that dream a reality.

In two weeks, several players will realize their dreams but many more will face reality, even if just for a short while, that their dream has either passed them by or has been put on hold.

Take Brandon Phillips of the Cleveland Indians for instance. Now this kid here is going to be a future star in the majors. Phillips has played in A, AA and AAA before coming to training camp this year and is ready for the big time.

As Phillips told ESPN, “The last two years — I played high A and went to Double-A, I did good. I went to Double-A again last year, I tore that league up, then I went to Triple-A and if I go to Triple-A again I’m gonna tear that league up and then come back to the big leagues. I don’t want to be there again.”

Phillips already has the major league ego and he also has the skill to back up everything that his mind and mouth boast about on a daily basis. So far this spring Phillips is batting .286 with 3 steals in just nine games this spring. Now, these numbers may not sound like much but for a 21 year old rookie who is already considered one of the cornerstones of this franchises future it is a good start to what may be a great career.

There is a chance however that Phillips may not get the starting the nod on opening day. John McDonald has earned the starting spot from manager Eric Wedge. He has already said that the starting spot at second base is McDonalds to lose right now. But McDonald knows that Phillips is coming for his job and he also knows that there may not be anything he can do to stop it. In 93 games last year McDonald batted just .250 with 1 home run and 12 RBI’s.

Not great numbers for a person that is supposed to be replacing Roberto Alomar.

We may not see Phillips in the starting lineup on opening day but you can bet that you will see his name before the all star break and you can also count on seeing his name a lot over the next few years. Brandon Phillips is definitely on the way to being a future in Major League Baseball.

Please check back next week as we take a look At Dusty Baker and what he can look forward to as the new manager of the Chicago Cubs.