It was back in early May when Pete Mackanin sat at his office desk and was asked about the hitting woes of Peter Bourjos.
Acquired in the offseason as a waiver claim off of the St. Louis Cardinals roster, Bourjos was dealing through a combination of bad breaks and poor at-bats. That mixture resulted in a dismal .165 average as of May 5.
Mackanin didn’t really have an answer at the time, believing he’d eventually break out of it. He said all he wants from Bourjos is for him to get back to his career-average of .245. If he hit that mark, Mackanin said he’d be well worth the signing.
Fast forward two months and Bourjos has brought that average all the way up to .269. His career-best season saw him bat .274 in 2013. More impressively, Bourjos enters Sunday with a National League-leading 23-game on-base streak. Over that span, he has batted .381 with 17 runs.
When he was in the midst of his struggles in his first-year with Philadelphia, Bourjos said you “hope you play well enough to stick and have them keep putting you out there.” He wasn’t sure at the time what the future held for him this season seeing his inability to get on base. The outfielder has come a long way since then and now presents the Phillies with some options.
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For an organization with an eye on its future, the Phillies are certainly going to be in a seller’s mood come the August 1 trade deadline. Names like Jeanmar Gomez and Jeremy Hellickson could be dangled, as could Bourjos, which would have seemed unthinkable back in late April-early May.
His revival this season has given the Phillies yet another opportunity to bring in a prospect to add to its future plans. The Chicago White Sox have already been linked to Bourjos in the rumor mill. His market will only improve with the way he’s playing and more contending teams in need of another outfielder will come calling.
The chance to flip a December waiver wire claim for potentially a decent prospect would be a win in the eyes of the Phillies.
Yet, if Bourjos really does keep this going and starts to gain more confidence within the organization, there’s no reason the Phillies have to trade him. He’s a gently used 29-year-old as he’s already had more at-bats this season than he has in four of his six previous seasons. The former 10th round pick of the Los Angeles Angels also has a unique skill set that the Phillies could certainly use. His defensive ability is top notch and if he gets on base, he can really fly around the paths.
The thing to takeaway from this impressive 23-game on-base streak of Bourjos? The Phillies have plenty of options with him and each one benefits the team, no matter which way they go.