It seems like its been forever since Major League Baseball decided to put the 2020 season on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As we sit here in Baseball purgatory we are left wondering what may come next. With that said, here are three Phillies that are primed to breakout in 2020.
3. Victor Arano
It is no secret that the Phillies struggled to find an identity in their bullpen throughout the 2019 season. Victor Arano enjoyed an excellent season in 2018 where he posted a 2.73 ERA along with a WHIP of 1.19 across 60 appearances. However, Arano found himself in Triple-A to start the 2019 season, following an atrocious Spring Training. When he eventually made his return to the big leagues, it was short lived. Arano wound up making only 3 appearances before being lost for the year due to elbow surgery.
It would be hard to call this a potential breakout season for Arano considering he pitched so well in 2018, but considering he’s such an unknown name this could potentially be the year that puts Arano on the map in the MLB. Arano’s re-emergence would be a huge boost to a bullpen that has already lost Seranthony Dominguez and David Robertson before the season has even begun.
2. Roman Quinn
It is no secret that Roman Quinn has an incredible amount of potential. He has shown glimpses of breaking out since he made his MLB debut back in September of 2016. The problem for Quinn is he has had a difficult time actually staying on the field. While blessed with blazing speed, Quinn’s career to this point has been littered with numerous injuries that have derailed his ascension to becoming an everyday player for the Phillies.
Since being drafted by the Phils in the 2011 MLB Draft, Quinn has dealt with a torn quadricep, torn achilles, a strained elbow, a concussion, a torn ligament in his middle finger, and a broken toe.
In August of 2019, it had appeared that Roman had overcome his past injuries and was finally flourishing in an every day role for the Phils. In that month, Quinn slashed .368/.455/.1.139 with 3 HR, 7 RBI, a double, a triple, and went 4/4 swiping bases. This run of success ended prematurely as Quinn re-aggravated a groin injury, and he missed the final month and a half of 2019.
I am not suggesting that Quinn will a guy that will have an OPS of 1.000 if given an everyday role. But, he has shown flashes of brilliance before. If he can find a way to stay on the field, he is primed to establish himself as an everyday player for the Phillies in 2020.
1. Scott Kingery
Now this can be seen as a bit of a controversial selection. You could argue Scott broke out during the 2019 season. Nonetheless, Scott Kingery enters the 2020 season as a guy the Phillies will undoubtedly be counting on.
After an outstanding Spring Training in 2018, Kingery was rewarded with a spot on the opening day roster. He also received a 6 year $24 million dollar contract extension. This deal can become a 9 year $66 million dollar deal if the Phillies exercise the club options for 2024-26.
Unfortunately, the 2018 season ended up being an absolute nightmare for Kingery. He wound up being arguably the worst offensive player in baseball slashing .226/.267/.605 and generating a WAR of -1.1. Many argue not having a set position as a rookie impacted Kingery’s ability with the bat. Regardless, he was flat out awful in 2018.
Thankfully, Kingery took a nice step forward during the 2019 season. While he still did not really have a set position on the diamond, his offensive game dramatically improved. Kingery proceeded to slash .258/.315/.788 along with 19 HR and 55 RBI in 500 total plate appearances. This also produced a WAR of 2.8 for Scott, a nice leap from the previous season.
Scott Kingery has certainly shown he can play anywhere on the field. He has made an appearance at every position on the diamond (including pitcher) besides first base, and catcher since making his big league debut. With Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco moving on this past offseason, it appears Scott will finally have a set position on the diamond; even though it has not been decided whether that will be 2nd base or 3rd base.
Kingery is primed to take another big step forward in the 2020 season for the Phillies. With dreams of reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2011, the Phils will certainly be leaning on Kingery. A breakout season would go a long way towards ending the Phillies post-season drought.
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