Entering this hybrid version of the 2020 season, the Phillies seem to have an abundance of top-end talent. With names like Bryce Harper, J.T Realmuto, Aaron Nola, Andrew McCutchen, and Zack Wheeler just to name a few. While the Phillies do have star power at the top of their roster, there does remain questions regarding how deep of a team they really are. Here are three under-the-radar members of the Phillies’ roster that are set to play a much bigger role than people realize in 2020.
3. Tommy Hunter
After pitching just 5.1 Innings in 2019, the Phillies fanbase has seemed to completely sour on this big right hander. The narrative has quickly become that he is unable to stay healthy. Yes, he has spent time on the Injured List both years in Philadelphia, 2018 was just a two week stint. People also forget Hunter made 65 appearances for those 2018 Phillies which amounted to 64 Innings of work.
Tommy Hunter ended up being a pretty reliable piece for the Phillies that year, and now that he is back (and healthy) there is no reason he can’t do it again. The Phillies bullpen is littered with question marks. Having a veteran like Tommy Hunter out there should ease the mind of Phillie fans. His production seemingly speaks for itself.
Tommy Hunter did not report to the team until July 17th, as he was battling the coronavirus. Now Hunter is healthy and has reported to camp. He appears to be trending towards being a key piece to the puzzle for the 2020 Phillies.
2. Adam Haseley
If you have been following my work recently, you know my love affair with Adam Haseley (the player) has continued to grow. The Phillies seem to have found a really solid player in Haseley when they used the 8th overall pick on him in 2017. Every time I watch this guy play, I come away more and more impressed. He seems to do everything well, and has some elite qualities to his game as well.
After arriving last June due to a mess of injuries in the outfield, Haseley proved to be a productive player essentially from day-one. He went on to make 242 plate appearances slashing .266/.324/.720, along with five home runs, 26 RBIs and 14 Doubles across 67 games in 2019.
While he has shown that he can be a solid offensive player, it’s his work on the defensive side of things that really gives me the feeling this kid could be something special. He made an abundance of excellent plays in the outfield, and showed flashes of being a future Gold Glove winning centerfielder. Here are some highlights to support my theory:
The guy can flat out play. Adam currently finds himself entrenched in a battle for the starting center field job with teammate Roman Quinn. I do believe that even if Quinn gets the nod to start the year, it is inevitable Haseley will be patrolling Center Field in Philadelphia later this summer. Hell, I expect to see him out there for the next decade.
1. Jean Segura
Well, I’m sure this isn’t exactly a name you were expecting to see when you hear the term “under the radar,” but, hear me out. Jean Segura is absolutely crucial to the Phillies offense in 2020.
The two-time All-Star is coming off a mixed bag type of season in 2019 with the Phillies. When you look at his numbers on paper, he seems to have had a pretty strong season. Jean slashed .280/.323/.743, to go withhis 37 doubles 12 home runs 60 RBIs in 144 games last season.
Things went sour for Jean on June 3rd last season. With Andrew McCutchen on first base, Jean popped one up on the infield with less than two outs. Of course as the story goes, Segura did not even make his way out of the batters box by the time the second basemen let the ball hit the ground to set up a double play. This led to Jean being thrown out at first, and McCutchen finding himself in a run down. This led to Cutch tearing his ACL and missing the rest of the 2019 season. So naturally, all the blame and weight of the injury fell on Segura’s shoulders.
Before this incident, Segura was slashing .291/.341/.788 and was playing at an All-Star caliber level. After this situation happened though, Jean’s season seemed to tail spin for a few months. The rest of the way, Segura slashed .273/.313/.718. The drop off was incredibly noticeable when watching Segura play; simply put he was not the same player.
It has been well documented that Jean Segura took care of his body this past offseason. From rumors of cutting out the whiskey and focusing more on his diet, he has entered 2020 in much better shape.
I feel like I need to mention, Jean Segura was hit on the hand by a pitch in a Summer Camp game with the Yankees earlier this week. While he was forced to leave the game, the injury is not expected to be anything serious.
Now that he appears to have gotten the message of what can go wrong if you don’t play the game the right way; I am excited to see what Jean can do in 2020. He has switched positions to third base, and he appears to be pretty comfortable with the change so far.
With how deep the Phillies lineup appears to be in 2020, Joe Girardi is going to have the option of batting Segura anywhere he wants in the lineup. Don’t be surprised if the best of Jean Segura is still yet to come.
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