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The Raleigh, North Carolina native was selected in the second round of the 1999 draft by the former Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals) after signing a letter of intent to play both baseball and football at the University of Georgia. However, he instead signed with the Expos on June 21, 1999.
Once considered one of the top prospects in the Expos farm system, Phillips was nonetheless traded to the Cleveland Indians with left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee, outfielder Grady Sizemore, and first baseman/outfielder Lee Stevens for right-handed pitchers Bartolo Colón and Tim Drew on July 27, 2002. Phillips made his debut as a September call-up that year on September 13 versus the Minnesota Twins in Cleveland.
Phillips attended Redan High School in DeKalb County, Georgia where he played basketball and baseball. His #7 at Redan was retired by the school in December 2003. Phillips' favorite baseball player growing up was Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin. In 2003, he participated in the Giant Eagle Baseball Camps and the Big League Lunch Program. His sister, Porsha, is a talented high school basketball player in Georgia and his 18-year-old brother, P.J., is an up-and-coming baseball and basketball player at Redan HS. He currently resides in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
Phillips was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1999. He then began to play for the Jupiter Hammerheads. He finished the season with a .292 batting average, 22 home runs, 59 RBIs, 3 triples, and 30 steals.
On June 27, 2002, Phillips was part of a six-player trade that sent him from the Montreal Expos to the Cleveland Indians. Phillips was dealt with Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee, and Lee Stevens in exchange for Bartolo Colón and Tim Drew.
In 2003, Phillips won the starting job at second base for the Indians. During the season, Phillips had a season-high 6-game hitting streak. Against the Detroit Tigers on May 20, Phillips hit a three-run walk-off home run to win the game for the Indians. After that he went 0 for 29 and was sent down to Triple-A after the All-Star break. He was called back up soon after an injury and hit .200 for the rest of the season. Phillips totaled a .981 fielding percentage during his season with the Tribe.
In 2004, Phillips started the season back down in Triple-A. He hit .303 with 14 stolen bases on the season however, and even had 18-game and 16-game hitting streaks during the season. He also had a streak of 51 straight games of reaching home plate, which was a team record. In the playoffs, Phillips hit .308. He joined the Indians at the end of the season and played six games for them.
Phillips stayed in Triple-A for 2005, but did make the league All-Star game. He appeared in six games for the Indians, but was sent back down following the stint.
On April 7, 2006, Cleveland's frustration with Phillips' slow progress peaked and he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named later (pitcher Jeff Stevens). After being traded, Phillips made a quick impact with the Reds and was immediate starter at second base. That season, Phillips led the Reds in hits (148) and multi-hit games (36) and led National League second basemen with steals with 25. Phillips started the season out by being named NL Player of the Week the same month he was acquired by the Reds, hitting .452 (14-31) with 3 home runs and 17 runs batted in for the week of April 17-23. Phillips' 17 RBI were the most for an NL Player of the Week since Sammy Sosa had 19 RBI the week of August 4-10, 2002. Phillips had his first career grand slam that month and 16 straight stolen bases. He produced two 9-game hitting streaks over the season and ended with a batting average of .276, 17 home runs, 75 RBI, and 25 stolen bases.
In 2007, he had his first 30+ home run season, he also has 30+ steals making him the first 30-30 second baseman for the Reds. (Joe Morgan once had a 20-20 season at second base; though no Red second baseman had ever achieved 30-30.) Phillips became just the third 30-30 Red, joining Eric Davis (37 HR, 50 SB in 1987) and Barry Larkin (33 HR, 36 SB in 1996).
On August 30, Phillips made the play of the month to win the game for the Reds against the Pittsburgh Pirates. With the Reds winning 5-4 in the bottom of the 9th, Nate McLouth of the Pirates hit a single into right field. The runner from second, Josh Phelps, seemed to have an easy score, but Phillips grabbed the ball in shallow right field bare-handed and threw Phelps out at home plate to win the game. On September 5, 2007, Phillips hit his 28th home run of the season, breaking the Reds' single-season record for home runs by a second baseman, formerly held by Joe Morgan. On September 26, 2007, Phillips hit his 30th home run of the season, joining Alfonso Soriano as just the second second baseman in the 30-30 club.
Phillips ended the 2007 season with 187 hits, 107 runs, 26 doubles, six triples, 30 home runs, 94 RBI, 32 stolen bases, and a .288 batting average. He led the Reds in runs, hits, triples, and stolen bases. He was second on the team in doubles and home runs. Phillips received a four-year, $27 million contract extension on February 15, 2008, instead of going to arbitration.
In the first month of the 2008 season, Phillips batted .283 with 5 home runs, 13 RBI, and four stolen bases. On April 2, Phillips hit his first home run of the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks. At the end of April, he hit a pinch-hit 9th inning home run against the San Francisco Giants in the 3-1 loss. Two days later, in the April 27 victory over the Giants, Phillips hit two home runs and three RBI.
At the end of May, Phillips had 6 home runs, 17 RBI, four doubles, three triples, and five stolen bases. However, at the end of June, Phillips only had two home runs, but 16 RBI and seven stolen bases on the month.
To open up July, Phillips had a 3 for 5 game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the 6-5 loss, Phillips hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game and send it into extra innings. On July 5, Phillips drove in Jerry Hairston, Jr. for the game-winning single RBI. In the 3-2 victory, he went2 for 4 with two RBI.
At the All-Star Break, Phillips was batting .287 with 15 home runs, 58 RBI, 18 stolen bases, and 18 doubles. Shortly after the All-Star Game, Phillips hit his 16th home run of the season against the Chicago Cubs and his 17th against the New York Mets.
To open August, Phillips hit triples in back-to-back games against the Milwaukee Brewers and the Houston Astros, then finished the three-game stint with a home run in the third game against the Astros. After the Astros' series, Phillips opened the following series against the Pittsburgh Pirates with a two-run home run. Then Phillips closed out the next series against the St. Louis Cardinals with home runs in back-to-back games to reach his 20th of the season. The final game of the series marked the second consecutive season that Phillips joined the 20 home run - 20 stolen bases club.
Brandon Phillips won his first gold glove in the 2008 season, leading National League 2nd basemen with a .990 fielding percentage having made 7 errors in 706 chances. He had a 78 game errorless streak during the season.
In May, after the Milwaukee Brewers had just completed a three-game sweep of the Reds, Phillips said: “I feel we’re a better team than the Brewers.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Sheldon, Mark (2007-09-27). Good company: Phillips in 30-30 club. MLB.com. Retrieved on 2009-05-13.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Brandon Phillips Transactions. Baseball-Reference. Retrieved on 2009-05-13.
- ↑ Sheldon, Mark (2007-09-05). Rookies Votto, Shearn shine in win Phillips adds record homer as Reds power past Mets. MLB.com. Retrieved on 2009-05-13.
- ↑ Associated Press (2008-02-16). Reds, Phillips agree to deal, avoid arbitration hearing. ESPN.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-07.
- ↑ Sheldon, Mark (2008-11-05). Phillips picks up first Gold Glove Award. MLB.com. Retrieved on 2009-05-13.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
|DATE OF BIRTH||June 28, 1981|
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