92 PA, .278 BA, 0 HR, 13 RBI, .348 OBP, .342 SLG, .690 OPS
I do not believe the above numbers truly reflect how effective Adam Haseley was in 2020, nor the promise he has as a potential starter. The former first round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft appeared in 40 games, but only started in 23 of them. For some odd reason, manager Joe Girardi preferred starting Roman Quinn in the outfield over Haseley, despite Quinn’s perpetual issues in the outfield and lackluster hitting. Girardi also maintained the belief from 2019 that Haseley was incapable of hitting off of left-handed pitching, despite proving him wrong on multiple occasions and a struggling Quinn.
In 2020, Haseley had 22 hits in 79 at-bats, drove in 13 runs, and scored seven runs. Compared to Quinn, who started 30 games, he had only one more hit than Haseley and six less RBI. Haseley struck out 17 times, while Quinn struck out a whopping 39 times. The only advantage Quinn held over Haseley was his speed, as he swiped 12 bags in 2020, tied for fourth in baseball. But are a couple of stolen bases really worth it over more consistent offensive production and clutch hitting?
Quinn had (surprise, surprise) two stints on the IL in 2020, including one that began on Sept. 6 when he was placed on the 7-day concussion IL. Haseley subsequently replaced him for the time being, and he did not disappoint. During this period, Haseley appeared in 10 games, posted a .304 BA, seven hits, two doubles, three walks, and five RBI. He also came up clutch when he needed to, going 5-for-8 with RISP in mid-September.
But the fact of the matter is, Haseley should not have been starting solely because Quinn was hurt. Even when Quinn was hurt, though, Haseley still did not always get the start in the outfield. Most notably, Girardi chose to start Bryce Harper in center for the first time since 2018 and Kyle Garlick in right vs. the New York Mets on Sept. 7 over Haseley. And this worked out super well for Girardi when Garlick not only misread the ball allowing a run to score, but also slipped on the play. Haseley was eventually substituted for Garlick in the sixth inning of that game, with Harper moving back to his home in right field.
Overall, Haseley is currently the best option the Phillies have as a potential starter in left or center field, both offensively and defensively.
Although Quinn’s fielding was especially concerning (his inability to properly play balls off the wall allowed two inside-the-park homeruns), Haseley also struggled a bit in the outfield. This came as a bit of a surprise given Haseley’s stellar defense in 2019, in which he made a couple spectacular catches in the outfield, committed only one error, and was 126-for-131 in defensive chances. In 2020, there were a few instances in which Haseley either misread the ball allowing a run to score or simply did not hustle to get a runner out even though he had an attempt. So, if Haseley could revert back to his 2019 defense, that would be great.
Haseley’s offensive production also has room for improvement. The most jarring number from his stat line is his zero home runs in 2020. However, one could argue that had he gotten consistent playing time, he could have picked up at least one homer or more. It is hard for a player to build momentum when their playing time is so sporadic. Haseley was not drafted eighth overall just to be a bench or utility player. If he is provided with more opportunities to hit, I don’t think the Phillies would be let down.
Additionally, Haseley was sidelined with an injury on August 11, and was reinstated from the 10-day IL on August 22. I do not think his injuries are anything to be wary about, though.
I firmly believe that given the chance at regular playing time and starting in the outfield, Haseley can have a significant offensive impact. Haseley will only be 25 years old at the start of the 2021 season, so he still has ample time to solidify himself as a starter in the majors. Personally, I would love for the Phils to stick with him, as I do believe he is a promising, young player. Sure, he’s not blooming the way Alec Bohm did offensively, but with proper training and development, he can be a valuable center or left fielder in the starting lineup.
Talks of trading Haseley have been circulating throughout the 2020 season and offseason, but I do not think this would be a wise move for the Phillies. Once again, I believe the team should provide him with a bona fide role before they go shipping him elsewhere. I’m sure we are all familiar with how trades backfire on the Phillies, and plus, the club has other positions that need more attention. Because of Haseley’s versatility in the outfield, it is smart to keep him around as a everyday option for left or center field, depending on which position they are more likely to target in the offseason.
To be drafted eighth overall by an organization shows they believe in you and are willing to give you a real shot, but Haseley has spent most of his two seasons with the Phillies on the bench. It is unfair to him as a player who has proved time and time again that he can produce to be benched for the likes of Roman Quinn and Kyle Garlick.
Adam Haseley deserves better from the Phillies and more opportunity to grow as a player with the club in 2021.