After an encouraging rookie season in 2019, Adam Haseley took a step back in 2020. The formerly strong defense was supplanted by questionable routes and misplays, and manager Joe Girardi didn’t seem to think that he was capable of hitting against left-handed pitching.
Heading into Spring Training 2021, Haseley was part of a four-way competition for the starting centerfield job with Roman Quinn, Scott Kingery, and Odubel Herrera. None of them looked very good, but Haseley was deemed to look the least bad of the group and earned the Opening Day nod.
It would be difficult to describe anything about Haseley’s season as good.
In 2019, Haseley recorded an OPS of .720 while playing good defense in both left and centerfield. He didn’t look like a future star, but possibly a viable supporting piece on a good team.
He took a huge step back in 2020, and was even worse in his brief time in 2021. Despite giving him the Opening Day start, Girardi still didn’t seem to think much of Haseley, subbing him out of the game in four of his first five starts. Haseley rewarded his manager’s lack of confidence by playing horribly at the plate (.429 OPS) and in the field.
On April 14, Haseley had to leave the team for personal reasons. It isn’t clear exactly what happened, but it seemed to be a mental health issue.
After the miscue last night and the news today that Adam Haseley left the Phillies for personal reasons, it made me think about a spring conversation in a different context. It’s a hard game: https://t.co/KX4y67WOUD— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) April 14, 2021
A month later, Haseley returned to the team, and eventually was reinstated to the roster at Triple A where he remained for the rest of the season. Despite reportedly being in a good place mentally, he did not hit well in the minors after his return.
If Haseley is indeed dealing with mental health issues, then I hope he gets the help he needs, and anything baseball related should be secondary.
Presuming he is able to move past his problems, it seems foolish to write him off at age 25, especially since he was once a top ten draft pick and showed promise two years ago. The Phillies outfield situation is unsettled at the moment, so there will likely be a job to be won in Spring Training.
I am worried that if Haseley is going to turn his career around, it might have to be with another team. Girardi didn’t seem to care for him much before, and I suspect that Haseley’s leave of absence didn’t do much to improve that opinion.
Final grade: F
Haseley’s poor play was one of the main reasons why the centerfield position was such a mess in the early part of the season. Worse, this disaster of the season puts his entire future in doubt. He could still go on to have a productive career, but at the moment, he looks like yet another busted first round draft pick.