2016 Phillies Report Card: Jimmy Paredes
Everyone who watches baseball has a player type they like the best. Some people like sluggers, some like line drive hitters. Some like their players “flashy,” while others like them “gritty.” I’m not sure why everyone else likes the player type they like, but I know why I like the player type I like. I wasn’t very good at baseball at a young age. I routinely didn’t get chosen for the travel team, and I think I drew a lot of walks, just because I knew nothing good could come of my swing. Eventually I wound up giving up actually playing the sport for basketball and football.
There was one thing I was pretty good at in my Little League days though: defense. I was pretty fast and could track a ball well in the outfield. My throws usually made it somewhere near the appropriate base (which was pretty good when you consider the age group). I always wanted to pitch and play second base, but my coaches never let me. I used to think it was because they would miss me in centerfield, but it’s probably actually because I wasn’t any good.
So, obviously I started to like players who I saw myself as similar to: lanky, defense first slap hitters. Looking back on it, I don’t think any of my favorite players had an ISO over .100 for most of my life. My first favorite player was Mickey Morandini. A second baseman with a career OPS+ of 85? Sign me up! His name even sounds kind of like Mikey. And it sounded extra cool when Harry Kalas said it.
After Mickey Morandini left, my favorite player became the six-foot-two, hundred seventy-five pound dynamo, Doug Glanville. The way he gracefully glided around the outfield and the base paths inspired me. I remember connecting with a random Phillies fan at Citizens Bank Park years after Glanville left over our mutual love of the centerfielder with the career 78 wRC+. “Best Player Representative the team ever had,” I’d say. “Welcome to Glan-ville,” he said
Then the Phillies got good, and instead of starting Glanville and Morandini, they were starting Victorino and Utley. Once I’d had a taste of a player who could actually hit and field, I was hooked. Pretty soon Jimmy Rollins was my favorite player.
The point is, in my youth I probably would have loved Jimmy Paredes. Now I know better than to love a player with a career 77 wRC+. Oh yeah, and he’s not particularly good at defense either. He did have a sweet walk-off single in September though.