The Phillies wrapped up their third intersquad practice Thursday night and there have been many positives to take away from the in house games. Here are six observations as we are now just a week away from opening day.
1. Adam Haseley
Haseley was selected by the Phillies with the 8th overall pick in the 2017 draft, so he will most likely get the first crack at centerfield over injury prone speedster Roman Quinn.
Haseley showed us the potential he has as a defender in 2019, as he made many web gem caliber plays in centerfield, including two robbed homeruns last summer.
The question marks have been at the plate, as he never seemed to find his groove last season. In the three summer camp games so far he has been barreling everything thrown his way, including two doubles, one off centerfield fence, in Wednesday night’s game.
Haseley enters the season as one of the weakest bats in the potential starting lineup, but if he can continue this hot start at the plate, the Phillies could have one of the more dangerous lineups in the National League.
2. Starting Pitching Ahead of Schedule
Going into the season, Phillies fans only seemed comfortable with Aaron Nola and newly added Zack Wheeler as reliable starting pitching options. Jake Arrieta’s health, Vince Velasquez’s durability, Nick Pivetta’s growth, Zach Efflin’s health and Spencer Howard’s youth were causes for major concern when deciding the starting five.
In Thursday’s outing, Nick Pivetta threw 4 hitless innings as his command and movement were fooling the Phillies hitters. Arrieta looked healthy but his control was not fully there, but he still managed to put together a solid outing.
The pitchers seem to have an edge over the offense right now as guys are most likely still getting their timing down, but it is very encouraging to see success out of the question mark starting rotation.
3. Bryce Harper looks ready to lead
In the time away from baseball this spring, it looks like Bryce Harper lived in the gym.
He looks physically stronger and is already barreling baseballs all over the field. I think Bryce is going to put up major numbers this summer and at times he will carry this team.
If people were questioning why the Phillies signed him to a major deal last offseason, those questions will be answered in 2020. Big things to come from Bryce Harper.
4. Rhys Hoskins’ swing
Last season during the peak of Rhys‘s slump, he was pulling off on just about everything and would yank the ball down the left field line foul, missing pitches he should be crushing.
Rhys has changed where he keeps his hands in attempt to break that habit of pulling off and so far it seems to be benefiting him as he’s made solid contact more than not in these three games. Rhys also looks like he dropped about 15 pounds so it should be interesting to see how he performs this season.
Rhys has also been drawing walks during the intersquad scrimmages as that was a major part of his offense game in 2019.
5. Scott Kingery is healthy
Scott Kingery was one of the Phillies who tested positive for COVID-19 when the initial tests took place down in Florida. Some players were just showing symptoms, but it was rumored that Kingery was extremely sick and weak from the virus and struggled to get up and down the steps.
It’s great to see Scott playing everyday during camp and even better to see him producing at the plate as he launched an opposite field homerun in Tuesday night’s intersquad.
6. Alec Bohm’s progression
It’s unclear if Bohm will be apart of the roster on opening day, but he definitely is deserving of it. Bohm is currently the 30th ranked prospect on the MLB’s top-100 prospect list
His best characteristic is his maturity. Bohm has a great approach at the plate as he looks to drive the ball into the opposite field gap. He does not chase pitches out of the zone, meaning he’ll most likely be a high on base guy once he’s finally a major leaguer. Bohm could be starting at 3rd, 1st, or DH as he looks to get his feet wet in the majors this season.