When Alec Bohm first busted on to the scene back in the Covid year of 2020, he was considered one of the top rookies in baseball. In 160 at-bats, he batted .338, which was 7th in the league at the time. His expected batting average was through the roof and so was his hit hard hit percentage. With all these statistics considered, he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting behind Brewers reliever, Devin Williams. Phillies fans were excited for the young rookie. He said all the right things and he had a lot of support from the stars on his team especially, Bryce Harper.
“He’s got a great swing,” Harper said. “It’s kind of that little swing in a big man’s body—his two-stroke approach, the way he goes to right field and then hits homers to right and left. The bigger he gets, the better he gets.”
All of what Harper said was true. Bohm could hit it to both sides of the field and his power potential was there. Although, Bohm couldn’t quite get it over the wall and he might have seen that as a problem and that’s what he tried to change in 2021. That’s where it all went wrong.
All things considered, before we dive into his 2021 numbers, we have to realize that 2020 was a shortened year. We don’t know if Bohm could’ve seen a dip in his numbers in 2020 had the season been longer, but let’s take a look at what changed from his stellar rookie year to his sophomore slump.
Going from a .338/.400/.481/.881 slash line in 2020 to a .247/.305/.342/.647 in 2021, not matter how you slice it, is a huge drop. The difference is 220 at bats though. The drop in production from 2020’s stellar year to 2021 caught the eye of everyone. It’s possible that he struck out more often because he was trying to hit home runs. It’s plausible with a guy like Bryce Harper praising your potential for being able to go deep would make you want to swing for the fences every single at-bat. Also, his exit velocity was still pretty high in 2021 and so was his expected batting average but, when you are trying to homer at the plate, your whiff percentage is going to be high which we all saw.
Alec saw himself get sent down to Triple A near the end of the 2021 campaign. He did see an increase of numbers when he was in Lehigh Valley which gave him some confidence heading into the offseason. We could all imagine that the lockout also gave him some extra time to fix his swing and fix his batting mechanics, but being away from the team’s coaches, he was basically on his own.
2021 wasn’t always just about his offensive struggles either. His fielding percentage at third base was .936 with 15 errors even though Bohm isn’t even considered one of the top defensive third baseman in baseball. We do have to cut him some slack because that’s not his natural position but, most of his errors are just throwing it to first. Alec being 6’5 really isn’t made for third base but he does have the ability to make the big play which might be why Girardi continues to play him there night in and night out.
The Bohm we see in 2022 has been much better at the plate. The average has come up to better levels (even though the power isn’t there yet), but the team is not asking for Bohm to hit .338 again and be one of the best hitters in baseball. They just want positive at bats. His defense was pretty horrid to start, but it’s been better. We are beginning to see an increase in confidence, which leads to better play. He needs to make the easy play, he needs to take what the opponent is giving them and he needs to play with more passion as well. Bohm is young. The more advice and confidence that he gets from his teammates should prove to be beneficial for him. He has potential; he just needs to stick to his game.