Brandon Phillips’ defense is overlooked no more

CINCINNATI — Brandon Phillips’ defense is overlooked no more. Phillips, the Reds second baseman, was named a recipient of a National League Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence on Wednesday. I’m surprised about things that have happened career, and this is one of them, Phillips said on a conference call with reporters. Being one of the best defensive second basemen the Leagues is a blessing. I work hard at it. For the second consecutive, Phillips led NL second basemen fielding percentage. He committed seven errors over Alonzo Gee Jersey 706 total chances. However, this is the 27-year-old’s first Gold Glove. both 2006 and ’07, the D-backs’ Orlando was the winner. Although he considers a friend, the slight angered Phillips. To tell you the truth, when I didn’t win it last year, it really hurt me a little bit, Phillips said. Then after that, I was like, ‘If I win one, I win one. If I don’t, it wouldn’t really bother me.’ But it’s different when you win one now. it Arron Afflalo Jersey feels great to finally get recognized and win the award. I think a lot of people are starting to recognize what type of player that I am. I play defense first before anything. Defense wins. It’s just a beautiful thing to finally win this award. I hope there are more to come. Displaying the fielding intangibles that often don’t appear statistics — range, athleticism — Phillips often executed some spectacular plays and made it easier for him to be noticed by the league’s managers and coaches that vote for the award.

Phillips was also a steady hand the field for a Reds team that ranked 14th out of 16 NL teams fielding percentage. From 10-July 8, Phillips held a 78-game errorless streak that was the second longest streak among second basemen this behind the 82-game streak by Pittsburgh’s Sanchez. I talked to him and boy, I’ve never heard a happier voice life, Reds manager Baker said. It was like he couldn’t believe it.

I couldn’t believe that he couldn’t believe it, because this has worked hard. He never sits down. He’s always working taking balls off the bat. He’s catching popups over his head, which I’ve never seen anyone do at practice. He practices like he plays, and it’s paid off. Last week, Phillips received Handbook’s Fielding Bible Award as the best defensive second basemen the Leagues. its Best Tools issue, Baseball rated Phillips the second-best NL second baseman — behind, a three-time Gold Glover that missed most of the past ‘s final two months with an injury. Phillips is the first Reds player to win a Rawlings Gold Glove since second baseman Pokey Reese 2000. That first Gold Glove is the hardest one, Baker said. I told him you just have to keep working and see how more you can get. As a hitter, Phillips batted.261 with 21 home runs, 78 RBIs and 23 stolen bases. He missed the final 17 of the with a broken right index finger. Wednesday’s announcement is the latest personal triumph for Phillips, who came to Cincinnati an 2006 trade from the Indians after his status as a prospect faded. The deal only cost the Reds a Minor League pitcher named Jeff Stevens. his first with the Reds, Phillips led the team hits and multi-hit and became a breakout star. a superb all-around 2007, he committed just eight errors and had a.990 fielding percentage. Offensively, he joined Alfonso Soriano as the only two second basemen history that produced at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases. February, Phillips signed a four-year, $27 million contract with a $12 million club option for 2012. This is more important than 30. Defense wins, Phillips said. A lot of players out there can do the 30 or 40 or be the MVP and never win the Gold Glove. I really think was the best thing that ever happened to me. I really take pride defense. It’s passion and I love doing it. is a reporter for. This story was not subject to the approval of League Baseball or its clubs.