Brandon Phillips is one RBI away from reaching 100 in the 2013 campaign. That one RBI is going to make history for the Cincinnati Reds and Phillips himself. First off, it will be the first time in his career that he will record 100 RBI in a season. Second, he will become only the second Reds second baseman to do this, joining Joe Morgan.
Phillips is known for his great defensive ability, making gold glove plays nearly every single night. He is still doing that for the Reds but this season he is driving in runs that are much needed. Phillips was supposed to be the two-hole hitter, but an injury to Ryan Ludwick on Opening Day made Dusty Baker make a decision. His decision was to put Phillips behind Votto and move Zack Cozart to the two-hole. It has worked out for Phillips, as he is driving in runs like crazy, but there is a reason why it has worked.
Joey Votto and Shin-Soo Choo are the National League’s top two on-base percentage leaders. This has allowed Phillips to come to the plate over 50 percent of the time with runners on base, which is best in the National League. Phillips has made the most of these opportunities and is second behind Paul Goldschmidt for RBI in the NL. Phillips will be joining Robinson Cano and Dan Uggla as the only second basemen with 100 RBI in a season since 2010.
Joe Morgan is among the top second baseman in MLB history, but he only once drove in 100 runs during his fabulous career. That was the 1976 season in which the Reds won the World Series and Morgan won his second consecutive Most Valuable Player Award. You don’t see a second baseman driving in a ton of runs because they are usually your two-hole or seven-hole hitter. Phillips is no Morgan, but in 2013, he will join Morgan in the history books.