The infield certainly answered a major question this offseason with the addition of Trea Turner but that doesn’t make them less interesting. The infield has a combination of stability, production, and potential from young players. What’s the best-case scenario for 2023?
Hoskins has a defined career already as a streaky, but good power hitter, who would hit in the middle of most lineups. However, there has always been hope he could turn around some major slumps.
Take the beginning of 2022 for example, in April and May his OPS was at .708, one of the major reasons for the team’s slow start. He then put on a tear and put up a 1.026 OPS in June, helping the team dig out of their 22-28 start.
Hoskins finished the season with a 122 OPS+ so he’s no slouch but you can argue there’s more to be had. If he can turn around some of those major slumps, he could be one of the two or three best hitters in a stacked lineup.
With this being his contract year, he could have a similar arc to Kyle Schwarber in 2021, who put up a 149 OPS+ splitting time between Washington and Boston. Schwarber then signed here for nearly 20 million a season, completely redefining his value to a ball club.
Since he’s already going to be the team’s best defensive player, it’s more about the offense he could provide in 2023.
What stands out about Stott’s rookie season is how little he swung and miss, putting up a whiff rate of just 17.2%. He also displayed good chase and strikeout rates for a rookie, this part of Stott’s game should only improve as he gets more playing time this season.
What could be much better however is hitting fastballs. Stott hit just .176 with a .281 slug against four-seam fastballs in 2022. Pitchers are going to attack him over and over again with four-seamers until he proves he can hit them consistently so he must counter back.
Luckily, his hitting coach is Kevin Long, who helped fix the same issue out of Alec Bohm last season, going from a -13 run value in 2021 to 10 in 2022.
The next question he will have to answer is about his upside. His exit velocity doesn’t indicate someone who will hit 30 home runs one day, so can this improve with some adjustments or will his upside always be capped?
Stott should put up at least a league-average season. Since Rob Thomson became the manager, he put up a slash line of .254/.316/.400 but included an 0-for-22 slump in the middle of June.
Stott will be a solid overall player next season with great defense and solid on-base skills, replacing Jean Segura nicely as the team’s second baseman.
It’s going to be a lot of fun watching Trea Turner for the next eleven years, he’s a game-changer for this team in so many ways. Over the last two years, Turner has combined for 389 hits and won the batting title in 2021. He’s a threat to steal at any time and will certainly use it more this season with the new rules in place. He also displays plenty of power for someone of his size.
In 2021, Turner put up the best season of his career, splitting time between Washington and Los Angeles. He hit .328, 28 home runs, an OPS+ of 145, and finished fifth in MVP voting. It was the best full season of his career and would gear him up for a massive contract after 2022.
He did take a step back in 2022 but was still very good hitting .298 with 21 home runs, and a 121 OPS+ but now should be much more comfortable with an eleven-year contract.
Turner will be one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball with a career .355 OBP, giving the Phillies the long-term answer they’ve been searching for.
The best-case scenario is something like 2021 and that might be possible. Turner is back in the National League East, which he certainly prioritized, and is going to a more hitter-friendly park than Washington or LA.
Bohm certainly steadied himself in 2022 after a near disaster in 2021 but that doesn’t mean he’s a finished product.
Offensively, he was right at league average with a 100 OPS+, mainly due to a lack of power. He hit just 13 home runs and will need to provide much more power in order to take the next step in his development.
Luckily, he’s added ten pounds and looks to be lifting the ball more. Bohm cranked this bomb against Pittsburgh that should get fans very excited.
Fun Fact: Bohm led his college team in homerunspic.twitter.com/AKndzVqSWz— Phillies HR Tracker (@PHI_HR_Tracker) February 27, 2023
It shouldn’t be too much of a problem for Bohm to become a 25-30 home run hitter. He’s 6’ 5” and with the added weight, close to 230 pounds. His exit velocity indicates there’s untapped power if he gets a hold of one as well.
If he does that, it will help offset the defensive issues he’s inevitably going to have in 2023. He’s taken some major steps but the raw athletic ability will never quite get there and in turn, still led to a -9 OAA last season.
Long term, he probably projects better at first base and will likely move over next season with Hoskins set to be a free agent, so he will have to endure these issues for just one more season.
Bohm has the chance to establish himself as one of the best hitters in the entire lineup. He has solid bat-to-ball skills that led to a .280 batting average in 2022. If he develops the power element of his game, he’s one of the best all-around hitters in the entire lineup.
Edmundo Sosa just needs to keep doing what he did last season, hit left-handed pitching. Since joining the Phillies, Sosa has had a 1.261 OPS against left-handed pitching. His glove is outstanding but if he starts hitting tanks against righties, he could be suited to be more than a really valuable bench player.
My goodness, Edmundo. That ball had a family pic.twitter.com/Vy32oS3yBi— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) February 27, 2023
Josh Harrison will bring a steady bat, a sharp glove, a great personality to the clubhouse, and some versatility. Over the last three seasons, Harrison has a 102 OPS+, which would be the best-case scenario for 2023.
Kody Clemens - Philadelphia Phillies (1)* pic.twitter.com/7P5YhVcMIn— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) February 26, 2023
Kody Clemens brings versatility and will likely be up and down from AAA and the big leagues. He put up a .505 OPS in 2022, without any major indications of drastic improvement. However, he did get a hold of one against the Twins over the weekend, a few more of these in 2023 would be great.