When Thursday began, there was no player on the Phillies roster signed to a guaranteed contract beyond the upcoming season, but that all changed with the announcement of a five-year extension for center fielder Odubel Herrera. The former Rule 5 Draft pick has hit .291 with a .781 OPS, 41 stolen bases and 51 odoubles -- excuse me, doubles -- since joining the Phillies. Combine that with his highlight-reel defense in center field and it's easy to see why the Phillies wanted to lock him up long-term.
As if that weren't exciting enough, Philadelphia doesn't just get to keep Odubel Herrera: All-Star Center Fielder, they're also keeping Odubel Herrera: MLB Bat Flip King. There are many talented bat flippers in the world, but Herrera has elevated the practice to a true art form. He'll toss that bat in the air for anything from a walk to a homer to a sac fly. Just check out the remarkable variety of flips Herrera made this past season:
The Home Run Flip
It's the most standard variety of flip, but Herrera executes it with style and grace.
The Double Bat Flip
A run-scoring hit is a run-scoring hit whether it leaves the park or not -- and Herrera put quite the exclamation point on this RBI double.
The Spring Training Flip
Spring Training is the time for practicing baseball skills -- bat flips included.
The Sac Fly Flip
The Foul Flip
When you hit the ball that hard and your name is Odubel Herrera, you toss that bat ... even if the ball ends up foul.
The Walk Flip
Herrera doesn't shy away from even the rarest forms of bat flips. Go on and celebrate that walk, you earned it.
The Monster Flip
And finally, there it is. The granddaddy of Herrera's flips. His pièce de résistance, if you will. That GIF ought to be hanging in an art museum somewhere.
So, does the man himself have any thoughts on his bat-flipping expertise? Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman of Cespedes Family BBQ asked him about it:
And, hey, if you're not into bat flips for some reason, Odubel Herrera has even more ways to brighten up a baseball field.