Phillies’ Team Award Winners Through the First Sixty Games

If anyone needs some fake awards, it’s the 2021 Philadelphia Phillies. It’s been less than inspiring thus far, so Kyle Fisher and I thought we’d get together and cheer (some) of our favorite Phillies up.

Don’t let consecutive walk-offs fool you: the bullpen’s been a nightmare again, their run differential sits at -13, and Didi Gregorius can’t get back on the field. Things are bleak and, as you may know, June won’t be fun. We’re going to try to be nice.

Without further adieu, let’s hand out some plastic.

The “Bet You Didn’t See This Coming” Award

Awarded to the Phillies’ Team MVP 

Winner: Phillies Pitcher Zack Wheeler

Wheeler’s WAR of 3.4 could legitimately land him as the starter for 2021’s All-Star Game this July. Wheelie hasn’t made his career on strikeouts, yet he’s fourth in the MLB with a cool 112.

Along with his 10.9 K/9, Wheeler’s tied for fourth when it comes to innings pitched. In a year where Aaron Nola and the bullpen have struggled mightily, Wheeler’s become just about automatic. Oh yeah, and his average fastball hits 97.3 MPH, the fifth-best in the MLB. We should all be thanking the New York Mets.

Tommy Orme, Contributing Writer (@t_orme3)

“Didn’t Think We’d Be Seeing You Again” Award

Awarded to the Biggest Surprise

Winner: Odubel Herrera

Odubel Herrera may be a topic of great debate coming into this season, but his impact on the lineup cannot be denied. Even though he did not start the year on the major league roster and was the 4th option used in CF, he has fully entrenched himself in the starting job.

In a year where the Phillies were trying to avoid the luxury tax, getting any production from the CF position is welcome. Especially after the way the season started out there.

Kyle Fisher, Contributing Writer (@KyleFisher45)

“I Know It Looks Bad, But It’s Not As Bad As It Looks” Award

Awarded to the Most Underrated Player

Winner: Andrew McCutchen

McCutchen’s season’s been less than impressive at face value, hitting just .221 through 234 plate appearances. Where he’s excelled has been at the detriment to left-handed pitching, where the 34-year-old has an OPS of .961.

Not to mention, although no longer occupying the lead-off spot, McCutchen’s drawing a walk in 14.5% of plate appearances (94% percentile in the MLB). It hasn’t always been pretty, but a baserunner is a baserunner.

Tommy Orme, Contributing Writer (@t_orme3)

The Phillies’ “Where’d Your Come From” Award

Awarded to the Rookie We’re Most Excited About 

Winner: Luke Williams

About a month ago, I’d be sounding off about Nick Maton. I still believe there’s something special about him, but, for now, he’s back in Lehigh Valley. Meanwhile, the last week has seen Williams introduce himself to Philadelphia in a big way (more to come on that).

Fresh off the Olympic qualifiers, Williams first major league at-bat resulted in the following:

Not to mention the walk-off home run that would come just a night later. It’s still early but, my god, are we excited.

Tommy Orme, Contributing Writer (@t_orme3)

“Thank God You’re Back” Award

Awarded to the Phillies’ Best Free Agent Signing 

Winner: Brad Miller

He fooled around in St. Louis for 60 games last year but now he’s back.

You couldn’t have told me that Miller would have started almost half the Phillies’ games by June. Injuries and some less-than-consistent play have turned him into a fixture of 2021. Even better, outside of slugging, he’s hitting righties and lefties almost identically.

The Phillies didn’t have much success in free agency this past offseason but, thankfully, Miller’s been the exception.

Tommy Orme, Contributing Writer (@t_orme3)

“We Thought You’d Be At Least Average” Phillies Award

Awarded to the Worst Free Agent Signing

Winner: Chase Anderson

This award could have gone to Matt Moore or Brandon Kintzler, but Anderson’s making the most money, so he wins. Anderson received billing as the fourth of fifth pitcher in the Phillies 2021 rotation. Things went south pretty quickly.

Recording just eight starts, the former Milwaukee Brewer owns an ERA of 7.34, and righties are hitting .380 against him. Another interesting statistic, Anderson only strands 58.6% of runners. That means that over 40% of opposing players that reach base eventually score. That’s nauseating, and so was this signing.

Tommy Orme, Contributing Writer (@t_orme3)

Hate to See You Go” Award

Awarded to the Player Thriving Away From the Phillies

Winner: Cole Irvin

I know Tommy told you at the beginning of the article that we are honoring the Phillies, but this and the next award are for the Phillies from 2020 that are no longer with the team in 2021. The “hate to see you go” award goes to Cole Irvin.

That’s right, the man you may not have heard of who left the Phillies with a 6.75 ERA and 1.54 WHIP over parts of 2019 and 2020. We hate to see him go because the back of the Phillies rotation has struggled. Some of their offseason additions haven’t gone so well and even worse, we traded him for a few bucks to make room for one of those newbies.

Spencer Howard, Matt Moore, Chase Anderson, and Vince Velasquez have combined for a 5.64 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP in 22 starts. Ervin has handled his own in the A’s rotation. His ERA sits at 3.89 and was as low as 3.02 on May 15, prior to some recent struggles. Regardless, he’s been a constant in their rotation and would’ve been a cheaper option than sticking with the prospect once ranked in the top ten of the Phillies organization.

Kyle Fisher, Contributing Writer (@KyleFisher45)

Loved to Watch You Leave” Award

Awarded to the Players We Didn’t Care to Have Back in Philadelphia

Winners- Brandon Workman & Heath Hembree

There are so many people who were not impressive in the Phillies bullpen in 2020, but none worse than Workman and Hembree. The Phillies acquired the two former Red Sox players to help with a historically bad bullpen, and nothing changed. It was like looking into a mirror only…not.

You might be able to find pitchers worse than these two from the 2020 pen, even if they combined for a 9.27 ERA, giving up 11 HR and 56 baserunners in 22.1 innings. But when you compound their horrible numbers with the fact that the Phillies traded Nick Pivetta, who is pitching his face-off, it is easy to see why fans loved to watch these men leave.

Kyle Fisher, Contributing Writer (@KyleFisher45)

Boomerang Award

Awarded to the Player Most Likely to Return to the Majors in 2021

Winner: Scott Kingery

Scottie Jetpacks has had a very up and down tenure with the Phillies. The future was once bright for Kingery: he was selected to appear in the 2017 All-Star Futures game, named to the Minor League All-Star second team by Baseball America, where he was considered the top 2nd base prospect coming into the 2018 season. He even walked away with the Minor League Gold Glove award that season.

The Phils were so excited by the young man’s promising future, they inked him to a 6 yr, $24 million deal. After an exciting 2019 season (19 HR, 15 SB) playing all over the diamond, his numbers dropped significantly in 2020 and in the short stint he had in the majors in 2021(combined .144 BA).

Now that he has been outrighted to AAA, he no longer needs to worry about inconsistent playing time, bouncing all around the rotation, or the pressure to live up to the contract he signed before ever stepping on a major league field. He has shown he has the talent, and with time and less pressure to figure it out, don’t be shocked if Kingery makes a comeback and impacts this team positively once again.  

Kyle Fisher, Contributing Writer (@KyleFisher45)

“Welcome to the Show” Award

Awarded to the Phillies’ Game With the Most Exciting Ending

Winner: Game 60 (6/9/2)

Was there really a better option? Luke Williams. Enjoy.

Kyle Fisher, Contributing Writer (@KyleFisher45)

Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire

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