The Phillies enter the 2021 season with one of the best lineups on paper in the National League.
With all the hype aside, many things will have to happen for this Phillies offense to reach its full potential. Rhys Hoskins will have to find some consistency in the middle of the lineup, mainly avoiding his inevitable slump. Alec Bohm will have to continue to grow after a promising start to his big league career in 2020. And the health of the two stars in the lineup, Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto. With that being said, I am very confident this Phillies offense will be the strength of the team and the reason the Phillies will be in the playoff mix down the stretch run.
Here are my offensive stats projections for the 2021 Phillies
LF. Andrew McCutchen
2020 Stats: 217AB/.253AVG/10HR/32R/.324OBP
2021 Projections: 147G/.269AVG/17HR/68RBI/91R/.338OBP
Andrew McCutchen is one of the hardest Phillies to predict. In his first year with the Phillies in 2019, he was a spark plug at the top of the order before falling to injury in early May, and it is very hard to judge a player on their 60 game season in 2020.
Cutch has looked healthy all spring and he’s looked tremendous at the plate. His health will be his defining factor and I’m sure he is going to have scheduled rest days throughout the season, but I can really see McCutchen being an x-factor at the top of the lineup all season long.
3B. Alec Bohm
2020 Stats: .338AVG/4HR/23RBI/.400OBP
2021 Projections: .286AVG/25HR/82RBI/30DOUBLES/.334OBP
Bohm was sensational as a rookie in 2020, as he finished as the runner up to Devin Williams of the Brewers for NL Rookie of the Year.
I expect Bohm to take the next step this season and I think it will result in him hitting for power more often. Bohm is the best pure hitter to come through this Phillies farm system in quite some time and hopefully we are looking at our next perennial All-Star in this town. But we all have to calm our excitement and give this kid time to grow in the big leagues, even though he surpassed everyone’s expectations in 2020.
If Bohm can continue to build on last season, the middle of the Phillies lineup will be menacing for opposing pitchers.
RF. Bryce Harper
2020 Stats: 190AB/.268AVG/13HR/33RBI/.420OBP/41R
2021 Projections: .273AVG/38HR/115RBI/.384OBP
As it was the case the previous two seasons, Bryce Harper needs to perform if this team wants to have a chance at the postseason.
Bryce has looked healthy and ready to go this spring as he has put his power on display all spring long. Health will be a concern for harper entering 2021 after he was primarily used as the DH down the stretch run of 2020 because he was suffering from a back injury and an arm injury. Harper did not start playing the field until about the third week of camp. I don’t know if this calls for concern at this time, but with no DH (most likely) in the National League this year he will have to be healthy enough to play the outfield.
If fully healthy for the entire season I expect Bryce Harper’s name to be thrown around in the National League MVP discussion.
C. JT Realmuto
2020 Stats: .266AVG/11HR/32RBI/.349OBP
2021 Projections: .278AVG/27HR/85RBI/.319OBP/145G
After it looked like the Phillies were going to lose J.T. Realmuto this past offseason, the Phillies came in agreement with J.T. on a five-year extension. Realmuto is the undisputed best catcher in baseball — he hits at an elite level and plays the best defense in the league behind the dish. Realmuto will once again find himself as a mainstay in the middle of the lineup, as he and Bryce Harper will look to carry this offense all season long.
Realmuto missed some time this spring with a thumb injury so it would not shock me if he got off to a slow start this season. That being said, Realmuto homered in his first at bat back from injury so it also would not surprise me if J.T. doesn’t skip a beat.
SS. Didi Gregourius
2020 Stats: .284AVG/10HR/40RBI/.339OBP
2021 Projections: .263AVG/25HR/85RBI/.319OBP
Like Realmuto, Gregourius was also signed to an extension this offseason after it looked like he would also be departing the team. Didi got a two-year, $28 million deal to be the starting shortstop in the short-term future.
In 2020, Didi was probably the top player on the Phillies. Night in and night out he gave you some of the best defense in the league and he also led the team in runs batted in with 40. Didi has showed he can hit in the clutch and he especially likes hitting with guys on base as he hit multiple grand slams for the 2020 Phillies. I almost feel a little modest when only predicting 25 homers for Didi because I could easily see a 30 plus homer season in year two with the Phillies.
1B. Rhys Hoskins
2020 Stats: .245AVG/10HR/26RBI/.384OBP
2021 Projections: .251AVG/26HR/77RBI/.347OBP/100BB
Hoskins started finding his groove at the plate last season but fell to injury after a collision at first base while fielding a throw from J.T. Realmuto. Rhys went down during his famous once-a-year hot streak, so we enter 2021 with the same questions surrounding Rhys. Can he consistently hit for power, and can he avoid going into a major slump?
Unlike in previous years, I don’t think Rhys Hoskins’ offensive ability will make or break the Phillies offense. If Rhys can find some sort of consistency and continue to walk at a high rate I think that will be enough to make this lineup one of the best in baseball. I think the days of believing Hoskins is a 40 homerun potential hitter are gone, but his current abilities could make him a very important piece of the lineup.
2B. Jean Segura
2020 Stats: .266AVG/7HR/25RBI/.347OBP
2021 Projections: .274AVG/12HR/62RBI/.325OBP
Jean Segura has not been the offensive player the Phillies thought they were getting when they sent Carlos Santana to Seattle for Jean three years ago, but Jean has been very solid for the Phillies since his team debut. His ability to play 3B, SS, and 2B, where he will be starting in 2021, makes him a very important part of the club in case Gregorius or Bohm were to miss time.
Jean will most likely find himself in the 7 or 8 spot in the lineup, giving him a real chance to be the spark plug at the bottom of the order. Jean has looked good in Spring Training and his hustle has shown great improvements — he has been known to be a little lazy when it comes to running balls out. I think we will see a similar Jean that we’ve seen in the past in 2021, and that will be a good thing for this extremely deep lineup.
CF. Adam Haseley
2020 Stats: 79AB/.278AVG/0HR/13RBI/.348OBP
2021 Projections: 110G/.260AVG/7HR/42RBI/.322OBP
Now that Odubel Herrera is officially not on the big league club, I think Adam Haseley is the best choice for the starting position over Roman Quinn in centerfield. Haseley is the better defensive option and I think he has yet to show his potential at the plate.
I think Haseley and Quinn will platoon in center because Girardi loves getting Quinn’s speed in the lineup, but overall, I think Haseley is best suited for the position. I expect below average offense out of the centerfield position regardless of who gets the bulk of the playing time. Centerfield might be a position of interests come trade deadline time if the Phillies are in the mix for a playoff berth.
Bench Outfield. Roman Quinn
2020 Stats: 108AB/.213AVG/2HR/7RBI/12SB
2021 Projections: .223AVG/5HR/24RBI/25SB
The only reason Quinn is on a major league roster is because of his elite speed. He struggled tremendously in CF last season and is not much of a threat at the plate. Quinn does have game changing speed and I think he will be best used as a pinch runner late in games. Quinn and Haseley will battle for a larger role earlier in the season, but for now I view Quinn as a situational role player.
Bench Infield/Potential DH. Brad Miller
2020 Stats: .232AVG/7HR/25RBI/.357OBP (Played for STL)
2021 Projections: .245AVG/10HR/43RBI/.327OBP/20 Pinch Hits
The Phillies welcomed back Brad Miller this offseason after he spent 2020 with the St. Louis Cardinals. Miller at times found himself in a big role for the Cardinals, as he batted cleanup for a good portion of the season. Unless someone misses time in the Infield, Miller is set up to be the top pinch hitting option for the Phillies.
Apparently there still is a chance that the NL could have the DH in 2021. If that is the case, Miller will most likely own that spot for the Phillies and would have a much larger role with the team. Miller is a great vet to have back on the team, he can play just about every position if needed to.
Backup Catcher. Andrew Knapp
Knapp will most likely start around 20-30 games for the Phillies if J.T. Realmuto stays healthy for the entire season. Knapp has been a solid backup for a few years now, he is not going to be a great offensive or defensive option. He’s your prototypical backup catcher.
Swing for the Fence Guy. Matt Joyce
Matt Joyce will be the Phillies 2021 version of Matt Stairs. Joyce will be called upon late in games to try and hit a big fly. I only see his role increasing if McCutchen or Harper fall to injuries and he could also fill in at first base if needed. Depending on how Joyce succeeds early on in the season he could hit himself into a bigger role, potentially starting in left for McCutchen if a tough right hander is on the mound.