Monday, February 22, 2010

Phillies All-Time Line Up—Batting Eighth: Mike Lieberthal- Catcher

Philadelphia Phillies All-Time Line Up (Part 8 of a 9 Part Series)

Detroit Tigers v Philadelphia Phillies

This is probably one of the two most controversial and debatable players in the line-up. From a stats perspective, Mike Lieberthal belongs on the team, but many discount his accomplishments because he played in a down period in Philadelphia and was not viewed as a classic receiver.

During his 13 seasons in Philly, the team never once qualified for the postseason. Accordingly, purists argue that Bob Boone was the best backstop in the team's history as his career aligned with one of the greatest periods of prosperity in team history.

Lieberthal was clearly the better offensive player, hitting for a decent average and with some pop in his bat. His best season was 1999 when he hit .300 with 31 HR's, and 96 RBI's. Overall, he batted .275 in his Phillies career with a .450 slugging percentage.

Boone hit for a 16 point lower batting average and 80 point lower slugging percentage. And, while Lieberthal never experienced the postseason, Boone played on six different clubs that advanced to the playoffs and, of course, the 1980 World Championship team.

Although his team's top pitcher preferred not to pitch to him, Boone was recognized around baseball for his defensive excellence as he garnered 7 Gold Glove Awards. He was also elected to four All-Star squads versus two for Lieberthal.

"Lieby" never carried the reputation with the glove, but he was recognized with one Gold Glove. In terms of throwing, "Booney" gunned out 10% more runners over his career.

This is a true toss-up, but because Lieberthal was more than adequate behind the plate and substantially better at the plate, he gets the nod.


Phillies 528 150 609 .275 8 .338 .450

Career 534 150 610 .274 8 .337 .446

Honorable Mention:

Bob Boone- See above.

Darren Daulton- "Dutch" was a key leader on the Phillies 1993 last-to-first World Series team. He played 14 of his 15 seasons in red pinstripes, but did not find his hitting stroke until mid-way through his career. Daulton blossomed in 1992, putting together back-to-back years that were amongst the organization's best for a catcher. In '92, he clubbed 27 HR's, drove in an NL leading 109 runs and hit .270 with a .385 OBP. He followed that up with 24 HR's, 105 RBI's, a .257 batting average and a .392 OBP. Dutch was on his way to his best season in 1994 when he got injured and never regained the same form.

Philadelphia Phillies All-Time Line Up

Batting First: Richie Ashburn- Center Field

Batting Second: Chase Utley- Second Base

Batting Third: Mike Schmidt- Third Base

Batting Fourth: Ryan Howard- First Base

Batting Fifth: Chuck Klein- Right Field

Batting Sixth: Del Ennis- Left Field

Phillies All-Time Line Up—Batting Seventh: Jimmy Rollins- Shortstop

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