This week, we’ve taken a look at the Phillies’ projected infield for the 2023 season. Now that we’re all familiar with the personnel, here are a few predictions:
Rhys Hoskins will hit 32 home runs and have a season very similar to the one he had last year. Before the 2021 season, I predicted Hoskins would lead the league in home runs, but I’m not going to make that mistake again. I think we’ve reached the “he is what he is” stage of Hoskins career. We know he’s going to be streaky. We know there will be stretches when he is absolutely locked on and can carry the offense, but there will also be stretches when you’ll start to wonder if he will ever hit a home run - or even reach base - again. We also know that fans will endlessly debate how valuable that is, and whether or not the team should extend him.
One kind of odd thing about Rhys Hoskins is that, while he's very streaky through the season, from year to year there are very few hitters as consistent and reliable:— schmenkman (@tgpschmenk) November 8, 2022
wRC+ by year since 2018*:
128, 112, 139, 127, 122
*wRC+ is better/worse vs. an average hitter (100=average)
Mostly due to how high expectations have been set, Trea Turner will likely disappoint a bit. I don’t think he’ll be bad, but I’m not expecting 25+ home runs or another batting title. On the other hand, he looks poised to take full advantage of the new base stealing rules, and it should be must-watch television every time he reaches first base.
Bryson Stott will make modest improvement at the plate. Steamer predicts a slash line of .234/.295/.358 which seems fair for a young player who will be at a new position in the field. Speaking of which, I think he’ll fare well at second base, although it will be interesting to see how the new rules regarding defensive positioning will play given his relative lack of range.
After stabilizing his career in 2022, Alec Bohm will take a step forward. I’m always skeptical of guys arriving in camp looking bulkier and expecting that their power output will increase, but I think Bohm does crack 20 home runs for the season and will steadily find himself moved higher in the Phillies’ batting order.
Alec Bohm gives you glimpses of being a guy that could hit 25-30 home runs a season. https://t.co/nnXQ8eYMhm— Tim Kelly (@TimKellySports) February 27, 2023
I am less optimistic about Edmundo Sosa. His post-trade performance may have caused some people to overrate his offensive abilities, and it’s likely that he levels out, especially given that infield playing time should be at a premium. With Turner entrenched at shortstop, and another good reserve option on hand in Josh Harrison, Sosa will likely get fewer opportunities, and his numbers may suffer for it.
Speaking of Harrison, I predict that he’ll be a solid sub, and will have a game-winning pinch-hit home run this season.
As for anyone getting excited about Scott Kingery showing signs of life, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. Maybe his failures up to this point have been somewhat due to circumstances out of his control (Gabe Kapler hijinks, a bad bout of COVID), but overall, he’s had plenty of opportunities, and has failed miserably. It would be great if it happened, but I don’t see him becoming a contributor.