- Full name George Andrew Phillips
- Born 04/06/1977 in Demopolis, AL
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 215 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Alabama
- Debut 09/14/2004
- Drafted in the 7th round (231st overall) by the New York Yankees in 1999.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Phillips continue to do what he does best--hit--but it looks like he may never be more than a 4-A player. The Yankees have used him in 32 big league games during the last two years, and Phillips has shown glimpses of the power he has displayed in the minors--six of his eight hits have gone for extra bases. The former Alabama star, who led the Crimson Tide to the 1999 College World Series with a Southeastern Conference-record 36-game hitting streak, had another strong minor league season in 2005. He has slightly above-average pop, and he maximizes his power potential by being an intelligent, disciplined hitter. He'll be 29 this season and may never get consistent at-bats in New York to justify the Kevin Millar comparisons that some scouts have put on him. A college shortstop, Phillips has been held back by his defense as a pro. He's still capable of filling in at second base and played more at third base than he did at first base in Triple-A last year. But his bat comes alive when he's at first, where he's an average defender.
Phillips doesn't fit the profile of a typical Yankees prospect, and he'll be 28 when the 2005 season starts. But he has something many other New York farmhands lack: a proven ability to hit, which he has done throughout the minors. He wasn't fazed when he made his major league debut in September, homering off Terry Adams in his first at-bat. Phillips, who holds the Southeastern Conference record with a 36-game hitting streak, drilled 30 homers in 2004 to rank second in the system. His approach and performance draw comparisons to those of Kevin Millar, who didn't become a big league regular until he was 27. Like Millar, Phillips is limited defensively, and an ankle injury that essentially eliminated his 2003 season moved him off second base permanently. He'll have to prove he can play third base in addition to first to earn a spot with the Yankees, but he's on the 40-man roster and has enough bat to be an effective reserve or platoon player.
Phillips entered the minors without fanfare despite a standout college career at Alabama. He rewrote the Crimson Tide record books, earned recognition as a third-team All American as a senior and had a Southeastern Conference-record 37-game hit streak snapped in the 1999 College World Series. Phillips continued to hit for average as a pro, but it wasn't until he showed the ability to hit for power in 2002 that his stock soared. After he led the Yankees system in homers, Phillips convinced scouts his power surge is legitimate. The ball jumps off his bat and he has the ability to drive the ball out to right-center, which is a graveyard at Norwich. Phillips draws high praise for his work ethic, and he spent last offseason on a strict conditioning program to build strength and increase his quickness and explosiveness. A shortstop in college, he moved to third base after signing and committed 48 errors in two years. That and Drew Henson's presence prompted Phillips to shift to second base in 2001. His hands and arm are suitable for the position, though he lacks the range of a middle infielder. Phillips projects as an offensive second baseman who will catch what he gets to.