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10 bold predictions for the 2019 Phillies season

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It’s my yearly look at 10 Phillies predictions that are almost certainly not going to happen.

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bold predictions are outlandish to begin with. They’re supposed to be pie-in-the-sky or doom-and-gloom predictions. Anyone can predict Bryce Harper is going to hit 35 home runs or that Aaron Nola is going to have a sub-3.00 ERA. Hey, those things may or may not happen, but they’re not exactly “bold.”

So it’s perhaps no surprise that, with my 2017 bold predictions, only one of them really came true. And looking at last year’s, I had a similarly unspectacular success rate.

  1. Velasquez would pitch 150+ innings (FALSE, but SO close, 147 innings!)
  2. Franco would be replaced by Kingery in June (FALSE)
  3. Alfaro would hit 20 HRs (FALSE - 10)
  4. Thomas Eshelman would become the No. 5 starter by July (HELL NO)
  5. No Phils reliever with 25+ saves (TRUE)
  6. Nola & Arrieta would make All Star Team (FALSE, just Nola)
  7. Kingery would get more ROY votes than Crawford (FALSE, UGH)
  8. The Phils trade for Cole Hamels (FALSE)
  9. Hoskins a top-7 MVP candidate (FALSE)
  10. The Phillies would make the playoffs (FALSE)

So yeah, only one of those came true, but I was close on a couple others. However, close doesn’t matter except for horseshoes and hand grenades. But I am undettered. It’s now a yearly tradition for me to humiliate myself with this exercise, so let’s do this thing.

J.T. Realmuto Gets More MVP Votes Than Bryce Harper

Let me make clear, this is not a slight of Harper, who I adore. This is just a recognition of Realmuto’s greatness and the fact he will likely be the best player at his position. His offensive numbers should explode this year and he should get a lot more love from the national baseball writers now that he’s not isolated in dreary Miami. I think he might have a better argument than anyone else on the Phillies for MVP votes.

The Phillies Will Have 5 All Stars

They will be Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, Rhys Hoskins, Realmuto and Aaron Nola.

The Phillies Will Trade For Robby Ray

I’m not at all convinced the Phils won’t need some pitching help at the trade deadline, and Ray is the starter I would target. He had a down year in 2018 (24 starts, 3.93 ERA, missed two months with an injury) but had a 2.83 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in the last 70 innings of his season. Between Vince Velasquez, Zach Eflin and Jake Arrieta’s struggles this spring, it’s likely the Phillies will upgrade in the summertime, and Ray is the guy I’d target.

Nick Pivetta Will Receive Cy Young Votes

Everyone is writing about a potential Nick Pivetta breakout season (including me) and he did nothing this spring to show it wasn’t all for real. He’s throwing in the upper 90s with a killer curveball and a developing changeup. It may be down-ballot, but Pivetta is going to get some Cy Young votes.

Odubel Herrera Will Hit .300

Odubel Herrera looks good this spring, doesn’t he? Recent reports indicate he’s really focused on the mental aspect of his game, and we’ve all seen how good he can be when he’s locked in. Remember, through May of last year, Odubel hit .313/.377/.485 with 7 HRs and 11 doubles in 53 games. He has the talent to hit .300, and with better hitters hitting in front of him, he should get better pitches to hit.

Gabe Kapler Survives the 2019 Season

As you’ll see below (my last prediction), I think the Phils are going to have a really good season. Provided something off the field doesn’t pop up that results in the team re-thinking their commitment to him, and provided there isn’t some clubhouse issue that brings some issues to the forefront, I think Kapler will make it through the 2019 season as skipper of the Phillies.

Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins Will Combine for 75 HRs

This may not be terribly bold, because if one dude hits 40 and the other hits 35, they’ll get to 75. But that would be a ton of homers for two dudes hitting next to each other in the lineup. Still, these are “bold” predictions for a reason, right?

Adam Haseley Will Get MLB At-Bats in 2019

Haseley is going to play most of the season in Reading which, as we all know, is the Colorado Rockies of minor league baseball. Haseley could put up some very good numbers and emerge as a potential late-season call-up for the Phils.

Cesar Hernandez Will Be Traded At Midseason

If there is a Major League contender that ends up having a need at second base, I could see the Phils involving Hernandez in a deal for a reliever or starting pitcher. You know the Phils also want to put Kingery at second base every day, and Kingery has had a strong spring at the plate. While removing Hernandez from a talented lineup may not make much sense right now, if there are needs in the pitching staff, and there is a team that needs a second baseman, I think Hernandez will be expendable and Kingery would be ready to move into that role.

The Phillies Will Reach the World Series

Last year, I picked the Phils to reach the playoffs and, for a little while there, it looked like I was going to get that one right. However, they fell short.

This year, I’m all-in again. I think the Phils will make the postseason and get all the way to the Fall Classic. Do they win it all? You’ll have to wait for our official 2019 Predictions post that will be hitting this fine website later this week.

In the meantime, you can hear my official prediction by subscribing to the Good Phight podcast feed and listening to the latest episode of Hittin’ Season, Episode 270!