In my last article, I created the worst possible Phillies team of the 2010s. Now it’s time to assemble the decade’s best squad.
Each Player can only be used once, I picked individual seasons and not their full Phillies career. Some names on the list might surprise you, but having one great season makes you eligible for this all-decade team.
Manager: Charlie Manuel
Bench Coach: Pete Mackanin
Charlie being the last Phillies coach to bring home a World Series title makes him a lock to be the manager of the team. Pete Mackanin is the ideal bench coach because of how well he controlled the locker room when the Phillies were in a deep rebuilding process.
1. SS Jimmy Rollins (2012): Rawlings Gold Glove Award
You can not have a Phillies all-decade team without the leadoff hitter being the Phillies all-time hit leader in Jimmy Rollins. He was a key piece in the championship run, but by 2012 he was not the same MVP caliber player he was earlier on in his career. His 2012 Campaign was still the best season by a Phillies shortstop this decade, playing in 156 games and playing the best defensive shortstop in the national league.
2. CF Shane Victorino (2011): All-Star
Shane Victorino was always a spark plug for the Phillies. His 2011 season was good enough to earn him an All-Star selection, as he helped lead the Phillies to the best record in the National League. Victorino always played tremendous defense in his time in Philadelphia and his speed was his biggest x-factors. Victorino led the league with 16 triples and stole 19 bases as well in 2011.
3. RF Bryce Harper (2019)
Bryce Harper overcame a slow start to his career in Philly, only to have a monstrous second half of the season delivering clutch hits and hitting titanic blasts. Harper really showed the fans why he was worth his contract in the second half of the season and we can only hope for the same production over the next 12 seasons that he is hopefully with the Phillies.
4. 1B Ryan Howard (2010)
After many seasons where Ryan Howard looked like he was going to be the greatest homerun hitter of all-time, his production slowed down at the start of this past decade. That being said, he had a tremendous 2010 season that differed from many of his seasons during the 2010s; he struck out a career low 157 times and posted a very respectable .276 average. Both statistics do not match up to his career averages. His 2010 season was good enough to lead the Phillies to the playoffs for a fourth straight season and finish 10th in MVP voting
5. C JT Realmuto (2019): All-Star,Gold Glove, Silver Slugger
Realmuto’s nickname is “The Best Catcher In Baseball” and he was exactly that last season. He was the most consistent player on the Phillies roster, never really seemed to enter a slump and played the best defense I have ever seen from a catcher. I’ve never seen a catcher throw out as many runners as he did in 2019. Hopefully, the front office begins to see the value he brings to this team as well. They need to make Realmuto a priority moving forward and lock him into a long-term deal.
6. 2B Chase Utley (2013)
In a down year for the Phillies, Chase had a nice season at second for the 2013 squad. It was a typical Chase Ultey season; he hit for a decent average, had respectable power numbers and had a great on base percentage. Chase would decline from this season on as he battled knee injuries and aging overall.
7. LF Domonic Brown (2013): All-Star
Dom Brown had a great two month stretch that led to an All-Star selection in 2013. Sadly, this would be the only good stretch run of the once top prospect’s career. Luckily for Brown, the Phillies never seemed to have a solid everyday left fielder for the remainder of the decade, so he makes the starting lineup of the decades best team. Brown did not have the career we all hoped for but the two month stretch early on in 2013 will live in Phillies fans hearts forever.
8. 3B Maikel Franco 2016
The Phillies moved on from Franco this past offseason when he reached a free agent deal with the Kansas City Royals. Like Domonic Brown, Franco never seemed to reach the potential he was capable of during his time in Philly. That being said, he did have some very solid seasons and always played above average defense at third base. Franco makes the starting lineup mostly because the Phillies have had very few solid options at third over the last decade, but a solid 2016 season of decent power and RBI numbers gives Maikel the job. Hopefully Alec Bohm is the answer for the next decade at third for the Phillies.
Ace: Roy Halladay (2010): Cy Young, All-Star
Perfect Game, Playoff No-Hitter
Roy Halladay’s 2010 season was the single greatest season I’ve ever seen out of a Phillies pitcher. When Halladay got the ball it felt like there was always a chance at a complete game as he threw nine of them in 2010. He led the majors in innings pitched with 250.2. He threw a perfect game mid-way through the season against the Marlins and topped it off with a no hitter in his first ever playoff start. Roy had the best pitching season in Phillies’ history in 2010.
2. Aaron Nola (2018): All-Star, Cy Young-3
Aaron Nola’s 2018 would have been a Cy Young season in just about any other season. Unluckily for Nola, division rivals Jacob Degrom and Max Scherzer somehow had better statistical seasons in what was probably the most talented group of aces the NL East has ever had. Nola kept the 2018 Phillies in contention for most of the season, but the lack of talent the team had eventually led to their demise, as they suffered a horrible slump towards the end of the season.
3. Cliff Lee (2011): All-Star, Cy Young-3
After Cliff Lee won all of Philly fans hearts during the 2009 season where he pitched the Phillies to the World Series, he was dealt that offseason to acquire Roy Halladay in a three-team deal which sent Lee to the Seattle Mariners. After one season away from the Phillies, he signed a deal as a free agent to join Halladay, Hamels and soon to be Roy Oswalt which formed one of the greatest rotations of all-time in 2011. Lee dominated in 2011, throwing six complete game shutouts and had three of them in consecutive starts. Lee struggled in the back end of his contract but the few seasons of excellence was fun to watch and made Lee a Philly legend forever.
4. 2014 Cole Hamels- Cy Young-6
Cole Hamels is one of the greatest Phillies of all time. He will always be remembered for being the 2008 World Series MVP, but he got better as his Phillies career went on. On a bad Phillies team in 2014, Hamels finished sixth in Cy Young voting and posted an elite 2.46 ERA, which was a career best. Hamels finished his Phillies career in 2015 by throwing a no-hitter in his last outing with the team just before being dealt at the trade deadline. Sadly, the prospects we got for Hamels (Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams and Jake Thompson) did not turn out to be the major league talents the fans expected.
5. 2016 Jeremy Hellickson
Yes, Jeremy Hellickson had the fifth best season by a Phillies starting pitcher this decade. Hellickson being on a list with names like Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels is hard to believe, but if you had the pleasure of watching the Phillies from 2012-2019, a decent starting pitcher was what the team lacked. Hellickson did have a solid 2016 as he gave a solid start every fifth day and acted as an ace on a terrible Phillies team.
Bench: 2 OF, 2 INF, 1 C
2011 Hunter Pence- Deadline Acquisition
2016 Odubel Herrera- All-Star
2016 Cesar Hernandez- Only Player to Make Worst&Best team
2010 Placido Polanco
2012 Carlos Ruiz- All-Star, MVP-28
2014 Jonathan Papelbon
2011 Ryan Madson
2011 Antonio Bastardo
2010 Jose Contreras
2016 Hector Neris
2018 Victor Arano