Monday, December 3, 2012

Reports: Phillies linked to Rockies and Dexter Fowler

PBR - Several reports surfaced this afternoon linking the Phillies to the Rockies and outfielder Dexter Fowler. The reports grew stronger later in the day following the Giants re-signing of free agent Angel Pagan, a player the Phillies had particular interest in as an answer to their void in center field.

Fowler, 26, won't become a free agent until 2016 and he's cheap, meaning if the Phillies were to trade for him they would have to make a sizable offer to the Rockies, likely including Vance Worley and a combination of pitching prospects. 

A switch-hitter, Fowler hit .300 last season with 13 home runs, 53 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.

A source close to the Rockies confirmed Monday night that clubs have in fact asked about Fowler but he stopped short of naming specific teams.

Dexter Fowler BA Heat ChartFowler has been a low-ball hitter throughout his career (see the heat chart to the right) and connects especially well on hard stuff down in the zone. His .390 BABIP last season was the highest in the majors, meaning his .300 average is a bit inflated; he hit .332 at Coors Field and .269 on the road. His home run to fly ball ratios also differ significantly from home (17.2%) and the road (6.3%), meaning a move to Citizens Bank Park would likely result in a drop in production.

Even so, with Pagan and B.J. Upton both off the free agent market the Phillies and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. may be forced to reconsider their options.  

Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn and Shane Victorino all remain on the market as possible targets but none of them seem to be a perfect match with the Phillies. Hamilton and Victorino are both looking for more years and money than Amaro wants to go and Bourn doesn't really fit the club's offensive needs.

- Patrick Gordon is the editor of the Philadelphia Baseball Review. Contact him at pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com or @Philabaseball on Twitter.  

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