Ok, ok, stop your laughing. I know the Phillies have been the laughingstock of the N.L. East since 2012, but their failure is finally producing fruit. Let’s take an imaginary look at what the Phillies offseason roster could look like.
At catcher you have the hot prospect Jorge Alfaro, who has hit well in limited time in 2017 so far, batting .311 with 2 homers in 19 games. He has a strikeout problem, but that isn’t a problem if you can hit as a catcher, another year of growth will be good for Alfaro and could become one of the finest NL catchers with the bat in 2018.
At first you will have the phenom Rhy Hoskins. Hoskins has already broken records for most home runs in the shortest amount of time for a rookie.He has 18 home runs at the time of writing this, likely to surpass 20 in 2017 in such a short amount of time. He will by the lynchpin the Phillies build around, the new core that is rising from the minor leagues. Tommy Joseph will be relegated to a bench spot.
At 2nd, Scott Kingery wins the job out of Spring Training as Cesar Hernandez is dealt for bullpen help. Kingery has hit 26 home runs with a .304 average in AA-AAA this year for the Phillies.
At Shortstop, you have the recently signed Eduardo Nunez as the brand new shortstop, replacing Galvis and surpassing the lackluster prospect that was J.P Crawford. J.P Crawford simply hasn’t cut it in Triple A or with the Major League Club in 2017, batting .243 in Triple A Lehigh Valley, and will either play backup, or find himself back in Triple A come 2018. With Cesar Hernandez gone, they need a new leadoff hitter as Odubel slides into the 2nd spot in that lineup. Prediction: 3 years 38 million dollars.
At third base….. That’s a tough question. Maikel Franco has been absolutely awful at baseball this year, batting .231 with a modest 20 home runs and 67 RBI, would they bring him back as their main 3B in 2018? I don’t think they sign Frazier or Moustakas. So Franco starts the year at third for the Phillies.
In the outfield, Odubel Herrera and Nick Williams are locks for positions in the outfield, Nick Williams has been another rookie revelation. He has batted .296 with 10 home runs in 253 at bats. The last outfield spot is up for grabs between Cozens and Altherr, with the other becoming the 4th outfielder.
Lineup is as follows
- Eduardo Nunez
- Odubel Herrera
- Nick Williams
- Rhy Hoskins
- Scott Kingery
- Jorge Alfaro
- Maikel Franco
Pitching is a little harder, after Nola, it is pretty ugly, they will need to make a splash if they want to contend in 2018.
Nola, Velasquez and Jerad Eickhoff stay in the rotation. Nola is their lynchpin ace, already amassing 167 strikeouts with a 3.60 ERA in 155 innings this season. They then sign Marco Estrada to a 3 year 45 million dollar deal. And then the big “splash” Lance Lynn signs for 5 years, 107 million dollars. That makes their rotation 1. Nola 2. Lynn 3. Estrada 4. Eickhoff. 5. Velasquez. This certainly isn’t the top rotation in the N.L., let alone the East, but it marks a giant improvement over 2017.
Their bullpen also needs work, their closer remains Neris, they resign Nicasio to be their long man. Set up guys include names like Siegrist and Luis Garcia.
Certainly not the top team in the N.L, but good enough to at least contend in the N.L East in 2018.