The Phillies had high hopes for the 2012 season, but injuries short circuited their year early, causing them to be sellers at the trade deadline for the first time in quite a while. The Phillies finished in 3rd place in the N.L. East with an 81-81 (50%) record, 17 games behind the rising Washington Nationals. Here is a look at the players that made the biggest impacts for the Phillies in 2012, in my opinion:
Team MVP: Jonathan Papelbon – 31-year old righty closer Jonathan Papelbon protected a lot of close wins for the Phillies in 2012. He pitched in 70 games (0 starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 5-6 with 38 saves, a 2.44 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He gave up only 56 hits and 18 walks while whiffing 92 batters in only 70 innings pitched last year, which is very impressive.
Best Pitcher: Cole Hamels – 28-year old lefty starting pitcher Cole Hamels was by far the best starting pitcher for the Phillies in 2012. Hamels started 31 games for the Phillies in 2012 and he was 17-6 with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. He only gave up 190 hits and 52 walks while whiffing 216 batters in only 215 1/3 innings in 2012, as he was impressive.
Biggest Surprise: Juan Pierre – 35-year old lefty swinging outfielder Juan Pierre came to the Phillies on a minor league deal with no promises of a roster spot. Pierre not only won a roster spot, but he won a starting gig in no time. Pierre played in 130 games for the Phillies last year and he was 121 of 394 (.307 avg, .721 OPS) with 59 runs scored, 1 homer, 25 RBIs and 37 stolen bases.
Biggest Disappointment: Ty Wigginton – The Phillies hoped that 35-year old righty swinging corner infielder Ty Wigginton would help them cushion the blow of not having Ryan Howard at the start of the season. It didn’t work out too well. Wigginton played in 125 games for the Phillies last year and he was 74 of 315 (.235 avg, .688 OPS) with 40 runs scored, 11 homers, 43 RBIs and 1 stolen base.