Moving Past Tyson Gillies
Phillies Minor Leaguer Tyson Gillies went 0-for-14 at the dish playing for Canada in the World Baseball Classic and was prominently involved in the on-field brawl between his team and Mexico:
Prior to leaving camp in Clearwater, Gillies had gone 1-for-9 with five strikeouts in five exhibition games with the Phillies. But none of that is why the Phillies should start closing the book on Gillies. It’s because of Ben Revere.
Gillies suffered from a thigh injury in 2011, limiting his playing time and his effectiveness. He bounced back last year, posting an .822 OPS in 311 plate appearances with Double-A Reading. Like Revere, Gillies derives most of his offensive value from maintaining a high batting average, but there is no guarantee that he would be able to hit for a high average at the Major League level yet. He is 24 years old and has yet to face Triple-A pitching. While being older relative to his Minor League peers certainly didn’t deter Darin Ruf last year with Reading, seasons like his are incredibly rare and the Phillies should not gamble on Gillies clicking as he faces better and better competition.
The other part of his offensive game, stealing bases, has appeared lackluster, particularly after his thigh injury. Since 2010, he has stolen 11 bases in 19 attempts spanning 100 times on base via single, walk, and hit by pitch. Comparatively, Revere stole 40 bases in 49 attempts last year with the Minnesota Twins spanning 163 times on base via single, walk, and hit by pitch.
Gillies likely won’t ever find regular playing time with the Phillies even if he does put it together unless he somehow breaks out and shows some power potential. He is similar in many ways to Revere, but everything Gillies does well, Revere does better and has done it better at the Major League level. Furthermore, his bat is too weak to play in a corner and his defense becomes less useful.
While it would have been nice to see another piece of the Cliff Lee trade pan out — the future is still unclear for Phillippe Aumont — it just doesn’t seem likely that all the pieces will come together for Gillies to have a long and prosperous career in Philadelphia.