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Infield player to watch: Alec Bohm

The young third baseman may be key to the Phillies’ offense becoming truly elite.

MLB: World Series-Philadelphia Phillies at Houston Astros Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

In 2022, Alec Bohm provided one of the lasting memories of the season when in the midst of a particularly awful game, he could be seen mouthing the words, “I f***ing hate this place.”

Bohm’s career appeared to be unraveling. The one-time top-50 prospect and Rookie of the Year runner-up was coming off a dreadful 2021 in which his fielding was atrocious, and his hitting had followed suit.

Surprisingly, the honest moment and his excellent handling of the aftermath served to rally the fans behind him. It would have been nice if that sparked a massive turnaround, but Bohm seemed to level off as a league average hitter (100 OPS+) who was still a below-average defender.

The Phillies’ offense was good in 2022, ranking fifth in the NL in runs scored, but it feels like there’s the potential to be one of the absolute best in baseball. We largely know what to expect from the likes of Kyle Schwarber, Rhys Hoskins, and J.T. Realmuto, but for the offense to be truly elite, they’ll need Bohm to match, if not surpass what he did in 2020.

In 44 games that season, he looked like a future batting champion who would be a mainstay near the top of the Phillies’ order for years to come. But even then, the power numbers you’d expect from a tall third baseman were not present.

Perhaps that’s due to change. Bohm arrived in Clearwater looking noticeably larger, which might be key to improving his power output.

Bohm wouldn’t be the first player to show up in camp in “the best shape of his life” and hit some home runs against less-than-stellar camp arms. We’ll see if he can sustain it throughout Spring Training and into the season, because if Bohm can provide 20+ home runs from the bottom half of the order, then the Phillies’ lineup could indeed be one of the absolute best in baseball.