As Spring Training is almost a month away it is time to make our 2021 Phillies predictions for the upcoming season. The Phillies haven’t been very active this offseason. There are some bright spots coming into the 2021 campaign, with some new faces joining the team in hopes of helping the team enjoy a resurrection — a strong record for the first time since 2011.
2021 Phillies Predictions: Why The Offense Will Be the Backbone
A big strength for the Phillies is their lineup. If they can bring back players such as J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius, their offense will be a backbone. Led by Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm, and potentially J.T. Realmuto, look for the Phillies" offense to be lethal. They have the ability to put a lot of runs up on the board consistently, if they can keep the pieces that they currently have, or if they add some other solid young talent to the roster. Another factor is if young players such as Alec Bohm, Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, and Adam Haseley can blossom and improve this offense could drastically improve.
Another strength that the Phillies have is having an ace like Aaron Nola and a good secondary pitcher in Zack Wheeler. We saw in the 2020 season that both of them had good seasons in Philadelphia. We already know how good Nola is, however, Wheeler surprised with how well he pitched during his first season in Philadelphia. Phillies fans can hope the two can continue that trend and have a successful 2021 campaign.
Pitching Will Continue to Be a Weaknesses
A big weakness for the Phillies last season, and seasons prior, was the pitching. Last season the Phillies went out and signed Zack Wheeler. This created a solid 1-2 punch in the Phillies" starting rotation. Even though Nola and Wheeler had good seasons the rest of the rotation did not. Players such as Jake Arrieta, Vince Velasquez, Zach Eflin, and Nick Pivetta (before he was traded to Boston) were not viable starters that truly helped out the Phillies rotation. Now the Phillies did call up pitching prospect, Spencer Howard, in the middle of the season and we don"t know how good he can truly be. He can be good but it isn"t definite.
Don"t expect the bullpen will be very good again this year. So far, the Phillies haven"t made a lot of moves regarding their bullpen. They did trade for a left-handed pitcher, Jose Alvarado from the Tampa Bay Rays. Besides him, however, the Phillies bullpen isn"t looking great. The player in the bullpen who had the best 2020 season was probably David Phelps and he was on a different team for half of the season. I can see this bullpen continuing to struggle throughout the 2021 campaign.
Expect Consistency in the Lineup
Don"t expect to see many changes to the Phillies lineup coming into the 2021 season. We could see J.T. Realmuto behind the plate for the Phillies, only if he decides to re-sign. Rhys Hoskins could continue his time at first base unless his Tommy John surgery holds him back from this season. At second base, expect to see a rotation of Scott Kingery and Jean Segura, though this all depends on if the Phillies bring back Didi Gregorious.
Second base was always Kingery"s primary position and it seems like the Phillies have put him everywhere but second, so I think it is time we finally see Kingery play second base. Segura would start over Kingery however if Segura does play shortstop then we will see Kingery play more second base. My 2021 MLB predictions for who would be playing shortstop all boils down to whether or not Didi Gregorious resigns with the Phillies. If he does he will be the starting shortstop, if not the position would most likely go to Jean Segura.
Third base is one of the easiest choices on who would start. Alec Bohm is the rookie sensation that took over the Phillies and he will be starting for the Phillies at third base. Andrew McCutchen will continue his tenure in left field for the Phillies as well.
Centerfield is an interesting position for the Phillies. My 2021 MLB Predictions for this position would be Adam Haseley. I think Haseley has a better skillset than Roman Quinn and I think he should get more playing time, however, I think Haseely starts if the Phillies do not go out and sign someone like Jackie Bradley Jr. who has been linked to the team this offseason. I believe the starting centerfielder will either be Adam Haseley or Jackie Bradley Jr. if the Phillies decide to sign him to a contract. Finally, Bryce Harper will continue to play right field for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Phillies to Compete in NL East
I think the Phillies do have a chance to compete in the NL East. I think they have some good pieces in the rotation and in the lineup that can help them compete. Somethings that are holding them back, however, is the bullpen and the rest of the rotation. You can score as many runs and have as many leads as you want in the MLB. No lead is ever safe when you have one of the worst bullpens in baseball and a back end of a rotation that can be quite unreliable at times.
Look for the Phillies to hover around third or fourth in the division with a chance to compete for a Wild Card position. With teams such as the Marlins and Mets improving, and the Braves still being extremely dominant, it is going to be tough for the Phillies to compete with a lackluster rotation and a disappointing bullpen.
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