clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2023 Phillies in Review: Brandon Marsh

**feral barking**

MLB: NLCS-Arizona Diamondbacks at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Marsh came to Philly in 2022 as somewhat of a project. A highly touted prospect, Marsh had the speed and defensive abilities of a major leaguer but hadn’t been able to consistently hit major league pitching. Less than eighteen months later, Marsh has found his way at the plate after a fantastic 2023 campaign.

2023 regular season stats - 472 PA, .277/.372/.458, 12 HR, 60 RBI, 10 SB, 12.5 BB%, 30.5 K%, 125 wRC+, 3.4 fWAR
2023 postseason stats - 42 PA, .342/.405/.526, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB

The good

Marsh made big strides at the plate in his first full year in Philadelphia, improving in just about every counting stat you can imagine (his 10 steals remained the same as 2022). Perhaps his greatest improvement in the batter’s box was his patience - he drew 59 walks, over twice as many as he did in 2022 and good enough for third on the team. He led the team with six triples and his OPS+ of 127 was second among Phillies (behind Bryce Harper, of course) and tied for 15th among all outfielders.

In defiance of Marsh’s biggest weakness, he also hit much better against lefties in 2023. He didn’t light the world on fire but he showed massive improvements over his splits from 2022:

Brandon Marsh vs. LHP

2022 - 105 PA, .188/.226/.260, 37 sOPS+
2023 - 110 PA, .229/.321/.396, 94 sOPS+

If you compare his numbers against lefty starters to other lefty hitters (more specifically, if you let Baseball Reference do it for you), his sOPS+ rises to 108 which is exciting considering that he had 50 sOPS+ with the same qualifiers in 2022.

Thanks to his speed, Marsh had some of the best fielding range and baserunning numbers in all of baseball. According to Statcast, his 7 OAA ranked in the top-20 among outfielders and his 3 baserunning runs added were tied for 11th among all hitters. While he doesn’t steal at an incredible rate, he is a fast, smart baserunner and a huge asset to the back half of the lineup.

The bad

While Marsh certainly got better at hitting lefties, it’s still his most glaring flaw. Besides that, although his strikeout rate was slightly better than his career average of 32.9% it was still well above league average (22.8%).

The future

Marsh has one more year before reaching arbitration and won’t hit free agency until 2027. He’s in the team’s long-term plans and it would be somewhat surprising if they didn’t offer him an extension at some point. As far as where he’ll play in the outfield, that will likely depend on Johan Rojas’ ability to lock down the center fielder job in spring training. If he does, which is the preferred plan according to Todd Zolecki, Marsh would be the Opening Day starter in left field and play some center when Rojas is out of the lineup. Otherwise, Marsh will be the center fielder until Rojas is ready.