- Cesar Hernandez (Scott Kingery)
- Odubel Herrera
- Rhys Hoskins
- Nick Williams
- Aaron Altherr (Dylan Cozens)
- Jorge Alfaro
- Maikel Franco
- Freddy Galvis (J.P Crawford)
The Phillies have been rebuilding ever since their solid mid-2000s run, they finally may have struck gold with an offense that could be more than just good in 2018. The above lineup shows their projected starters heading into 2018 and the prospects in parenthesis are people who could overtake players at their positions sometime in 2018.
Starting off the surprisingly solid Phillies lineup is the stalwart at second base, Cesar Hernandez. Hernandez has been a solid leadoff man throughout the Phillies rebuild, batting .294 the last two seasons for the Phillies while stealing 17 bases in 2016 and 15 bags in 2017. He may be a prime trade candidate as the Phillies have the up and coming Scott Kingery in their minor leagues, who stole 29 bags while swatting 26 bombs with a .304 average.
Odubel Herrera may be frustrating for the Phillies (just check out all the times he has disobeyed coaching orders), but he is a solid second hole hitter for the Phillies. While not a huge power threat, Herrera has great gap-to-gap power, hitting 42 doubles last season. After stealing 25 bags in 2016, he only managed 8 steals on 13 attempts in 2017. If he can get upwards of 20+ steals, he will be a valuable third outfielder on any fantasy team.
Rhys Hoskins needs no introduction. After taking the Major Leagues by storm by breaking a record by hitting 10 home runs in his first 17 games as a Big Leaguer, Hoskins went on to hit 18 home runs. More impressive is his plate discipline, walking 36 times in 50 games. Make no mistake, everyone knows about Hoskins and he is no sleeper. Be prepared to take him in the early rounds if you want him on your fantasy team.
Nick Williams was overshadowed by Hoskins, but had a fine Major League debut of his own, hitting 12 home runs with a .288 average in 313 at-bats. The power should continue to develop for the 26-year-old and hitting in front of Hoskins has its advantages. Look for a decent .260-.270 average with 20 to 30 home runs from the potential sleeper going into 2018. Williams did have his problems with strikeouts, like most rookies, striking out 28.3% of the time, and is not a walk machine like Rhys Hoskins is. These could be factors into his batting average in 2018, but only time will tell.
Aaron Altherr had an incredible year, albeit a short one. He batted .272 with 19 home runs in only 107 games. His biggest knock has always been his health. 107 games is his career high in games played and he needs to show the ability to stay healthy to have more fantasy relevance in 2018. The injury discount should apply to Altherr in drafts and should he stay healthy, he will easily fend off Dylan Cozens. Cozens had a rough 2017, batting .210 with 27 home runs. This was after a 40 home run season in 2016, so an eye should still be kept on him, even with the strikeout issues.
Jorge Alfaro joins a young and upcoming catching group with guys like Francisco Mejia. Alfaro enjoyed a nice cup of coffee in the Major Leagues, batting .319 with 5 homers in 114 at bats. His walk and K rate is concerning, (33 strikeouts to 3 walks), but the power alone should easily keep him fantasy relevant come 2018.
Maikel Franco was the man entering 2017, after a hot spring training, everyone was looking for him to lead the Phillies rebuild into the next generation, instead, he fell flat on his face. While still hitting over 20 home runs, that’s about all you can say positively about his season. He hit an abysmal .230 with a cringe-worthy .690 OPS. His OPS was the worst in the league for a third-basemen. To say you can have him at a discount is an understatement. He still has that prospect pedigree and if he falls far enough, could be a good bounce-back fantasy option for your team.
Freddy Galvis has never been fantasy relevant outside the deepest of leagues and 2018 won’t change that. His home run rate predictably fell after he hit 20 in 2016, to only 12 this year. Not much else to say about him other then he may fall victim to top prospect J.P Crawford by the end of the year.
The Phillies offense may be young, but they are talented and could be one of the better offensive teams going into 2018. With a lot of potential sleepers, they could provide good value for your fantasy team.
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