Are Victorino & Polanco Better Than We Thought?

At the end of last season, Shane Victorino was batting .259 — his lowest average since joining the Phillies back in 2005.

It appeared that Victorino was approaching the beginning of the end to his career; however, the 2011 season has proved that statement wrong…so far.

The ‘Flyin’ Hawaiian’ is batting an impressive .324 entering Thursday’s game against the San Diego Padres. His .324 average is second on the team between everyday starters, behind none other than Placido Polanco.

The second subject of this article, Polanco, is batting a team-high .352. Should this be a surprise, though? He did finish with one of the highest averages on the team last season with a .298 average. He has been a fantastic hitter throughout his 13-year career, compiling a career average of .303, and when it comes to situational hitting, there is no one better on the team than Polanco. His three-run home run in yesterday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers saved the Phillies from their first series sweep even though the pitch was considered to be a “pitcher’s pitch” — a cutter low and inside.

“It was a good pitch,” said Polanco, according to “It was down and in. I put a good swing on it, but it was probably what he wanted to do.

Yesterday’s game proved that both Victorino and Polanco are, or arguably are, the two most important players on the team outside of the pitching rotation. As a leadoff hitter, Victorino has certainly improved, taking more pitches and putting the ball in play, but more importantly, getting on base (.370 on-base percentage, second on the team).

In terms of getting on base, no one, not even Victorino, has been better than Polanco, who leads the team with a .403 on-base percentage and is ranked 15th in the National League in OBP.

With their strong performances thus far into the season, fans are beginning to notice the two more and more.

“Victorino and Polanco can be a little overlooked by fans because they are hidden amongst big names like Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, so because they are not typically known for the flashy home runs or big plays, they can easily be forgotten. They do play a vital role in the Phillies lineup,” said edtior John Saban.

As it stands now, Polanco and Victorino have been, for the most part, the team’s two sources of offenses, especially in the last series against the Brewers.

So Philly fans, are Victorino and Polanco better than we originally thought?

12 thoughts on “Are Victorino & Polanco Better Than We Thought?

  1. This is a crazy column.

    Victorino is a career .280 hitter (lower because of last year). He has great speed and he is a way above average CF. He does have some mental gaffes, and he doesn’t take enough pitches for my liking, but he is a pretty solid lead-off or #2 hitter. He was wasted with so many ABs last year in the 7 hole. Having him and Jimmy at the top of the order was essential to the Phils success for a nice stretch. It was a Juan Pierre/Luis Castillo kinda thing that the Marlins had when they won the WS.

    Polanco is a career .300 hitter who was never given a chance to bat in the heart of the order when he was in Philly. He did well in Detroit including 2077 when he hit .341. Last year he was pretty solid all year. He is a great contact hitter and that is what the Phils need. I think that he would make a much better #3 hitter than Rollins. You would like that spot to have power, but it should be your best hitter and that is what Polanco is. He also has 2 gold gloves.

    Who is undervaluing these players? I’m not.

  2. Polanco is a Professional HItter, always has and probably always will,
    He rarely has a bad at-bats and usually does a great job of putting the ball in play.. Victorino is having a great start to his season but can get a little enamored with trying to pull and jack the ball.. maybe batting lead-off has made him a little more discplined in taking more pitches.. I still think he could be a consistent .300 Hitter is he would shorten his swing, choke up a tad and hit down on the ball, but he is what he is and right now he’s in a pretty good groove… These 2 are the least of the Phillies line-up issues..
    J-Ro, Francisco, Ibanez all after quick starts have started to fall into bad habits of over-swinging and swinging at too many pitches out of the strike zone.. Ibanez has a tendancy to take too many pitches and then gets himself in 0-2, 1-2 count and then has to be defensive, i would like to see him be a little more agressive at the plate and look for his pitches to swing earlier in the count..

  3. Road trip will do em good. Polanco killed it yesterday …what a clutch play. Shane and Jimmie will never change.Noone is even close to us in the division talent wise. Play ball.

  4. Vic is playing very consistent to start out… polanco can flat out hit the ball bottom line, we need these guys to keep it going

  5. I’m not saying they aren’t All-Star caliber players, but what I am saying is that the way they are playing now, they are the two best offensive players. Entering the season, no one would have said they would be the best offensive weapons. Clearly, Ryan Howard draws most of the attention, a healthy Chase Utley does too, and even Jimmy Rollins does.

    Obviously Polly has been a great hitter throughout his career, but players tend to see a dip in their average as they age, whereas he has barely seen any drop. And Victorino is a career .280 hitter, but the pace he’s at now is far ahead of that.

  6. Ahhhhh…..ok Kyle, I get you. If more writers would explain what they meant like you just did after comments directed towards them, they would get more respect.

  7. Probably because the other hitters on the Phils are overrated, hence their new nickname “Phillies Lite”, how’s that for respect

Comments are closed.

Skip to toolbar