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Top 25 Phillies of All-Time: No. 10 - Bobby Abreu

By Theo DeRosa, Sports Talk Philly staff

The expansion draft of 1997 established the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Arizona Diamondbacks as MLB franchises. In the draft, they were allowed to choose among the unprotected players of the other 28 teams, with 15 protected players from each organization off-limits.

With the sixth pick of the first round, the Rays took a second-year right fielder from the Houston Astros, but decided he wouldn't be long for Tampa Bay. They flipped him to the Philadelphia Phillies for starting shortstop Kevin Stocker in what seemed a shrewd move at the time. Stocker, though, declined from a .324/.409/.417 rookie season in 1993, and ended up a .254/.338/.343 career hitter, out of MLB by just 2000.

The outfielder he was traded for in that expansion draft went on to prodigious success in Major League Baseball and with the Phillies. 

Career Accomplishments

Bobby Abreu was one of the best hitters in MLB during a career which stretched from 1996 to an attempt at a comeback year with the New York Mets in 2014. He compiled a .291/.395/.475 line and bashed 288 career home runs. Abreu was one of the best of his era in terms of reaching base, 78th-best all-time, including a career-high mark of .446 in 1999. That year, Abreu hit .335/.446/.549 for an astounding .995 and somehow finished just 23rd in NL MVP voting (Barry Bonds, who had a slugging percentage of .617 that year and an OPS of 1.006, finished 24th).

Abreu played eight full seasons with the Phillies, quietly building a strong legacy in an otherwise forgettable era. He was named an All-Star in both 2004 and 2005, winning a Silver Slugger award in 2004 and a Gold Glove in 2005. Abreu was traded along with pitcher Cory Lidle to the New York Yankees in July of 2006 for a haul of prospects.

Best Phillies Moment

In 2005, MLB's All-Star Weekend in Detroit featured a different type of Home Run Derby. To represent that year's World Baseball Classic, the field consisted of eight players from eight different countries. Bobby Abreu, representing Venezuela, found himself pitted against such hitters as Puerto Rico's Ivan "Pudge" Rodríguez and the Dominican Republic's David Ortiz. Abreu crushed 41 homers and ran away with the contest, displaying the Phillies' muscle on a national stage. The next year, Ryan Howard edged out David Wright as a Phillie won another Derby.

Enjoy Chris Berman on the call — "back, back, back, back, back" in this video of the 2005 Home Run Derby as Abreu victimized Comerica Park.

Reasoning for ranking

Bobby Abreu totaled 45 points according to our formula (explained more below), three points ahead of No. 11 Sherry Magee. Abreu had nine seasons of 2+ WAR and seven seasons of 5+ WAR (a season of 5 WAR is an All-Star-caliber season). He ranks second in Phillies history in OPS, 18th in batting average, 15th in career hits, fourth in doubles, and 11th in both home runs and RBI.

Point breakdown:

(9) years as a Phillie = 3 points

(Top 25 in batting average = 1 point

(9) seasons of 2+ WAR x (1) point/year = 9 points

(7) seasons of 5+ WAR x (3) point/year = 21 points

Top 3 in OPS = 5 points

Top 25 in hits = 1 point

Top 10 in doubles = 3 points

Top 25 in home runs = 1 point

Top 25 in RBI = 1 point

Total = 45 points

Previous entries

No. 25, Garry Maddox

No. 24, Roy Thomas

No. 23, Gavvy Cravath

No. 22, Chris Short

No. 21, Cy Williams

No. 20, Curt Schilling

No. 19, Cole Hamels

No. 18, Ryan Howard

No. 17, Sam Thompson

No. 16, Del Ennis

No. 15, Johnny Callison

No. 14, Jim Bunning

No. 13, Dick Allen

No. 12, Billy Hamilton

No. 11, Sherry Magee

The formula

The player rankings formula combines both traditional and advanced statistics/metrics and assigns a point total to each category. These statistics only reflect the player's Phillies career.

First, single-season WAR is a primary factor in our rankings. According to WAR's calculations, 2+ WAR is considered a starter, 5+ WAR is All-Star caliber, and 8+ WAR is MVP level.
We totaled the number of seasons that a player performed at a 2+ WAR, 5+ WAR, and 8+ WAR level and assigned a set point value for each category, (+1), (+3), and (+5) respectively.
For example, in 1980, Mike Schmidt compiled an 8.8 WAR. This was counted as a 2+ WAR season, a 5+ WAR season, and an 8+ WAR season. So, for 1980 alone, Mike Schmidt earned 9 points for WAR. 
Second, we assigned a point value for amount of years spent with the Phillies. In order to be considered for this list, a player must have been with the organization for a minimum of (5) years. 
Next, we assigned point values for being among the top 25 in particular statistical categories, such as batting average, hits, doubles, triples, RBI, home runs, and OPS for hitters, and ERA, Wins, and WPA (wins probability added) for pitchers. 
Finally, all statistical categories were totaled up using our point based system and ranked accordingly, with historical columnist Matt Albertson and managing editor Tim Kelly of Sports Talk Philly reserving the right to move players up the list, within reason. An explanation of why a player is ranked in a certain spot will be provided, as will an overall score breakdown.


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