2022 Phillies Predictions From Your PSN Faithful

MLB: SEP 26 Pirates at Phillies
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 26: Philadelphia Phillies fans hold up Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper (3) for National League MVP sign during the Major League Baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 26,2021 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia,PA. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

It’s like the lock-out never happened, and we’ve arrived at another Philadelphia Phillies Opening Day. This Friday afternoon will mark the start of the Phillies’ 132nd season in franchise history and the most exciting in over a decade.

With the addition of Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, there’s seemingly no ceiling for what this offensive juggernaut could accomplish.

So ahead of the 2023 campaign, we asked Philly Sports Network’s phaithful Phillies contributors to weigh in on their expectations ahead of Opening Day.

Don’t worry. We’re digging this up at the end of the season to see who had it right. Let’s begin:

Tommy Orme

PHILLIES FINAL RECORD: 86-76; 2nd place in the NL East behind the Atlanta Braves

TEAM MVP: Rhys Hoskins – if it’s going to click, it won’t get easier than being protected by Bryce Harper, Schwarber, Castellanos, and Realmuto. This is where stars are made.

TEAM CY YOUNG: Aaron Nola – no more homers. If he can cut the 26 long balls he relinquished in 2021 in half, and you’re looking at a sub-3.00 ERA.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Adam Hasel… oh wait. Zach Eflin stays healthy for an entire year and dominates with a sub-3.30 ERA.

BOLD PREDICTION: Johan Camargo blasts 20 home runs in a versatile bench role, spending time rotating across the infield.

Matt Watson

PHILLIES FINAL RECORD: 87-75

TEAM MVP: Bryce Harper

TEAM CY YOUNG: Ranger Suarez

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Phillies have 4 All-Stars.

BOLD PREDICTION: Mickey Moniak hits 20+ Homeruns.

Kyle Fisher

PHILLIES FINAL RECORD: Better than the G-D Mets – 89-73

TEAM MVP: Bryce Harper

TEAM CY YOUNG: Aaron Nola

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Mickey Moniak takes over for Odubel Herrera in the CF platoon and has a decent major league season.

BOLD PREDICTION: Aaron Nola gets Cy Young votes.

Matt Landmesser

PHILLIES FINAL RECORD: 91-71

TEAM MVP: Bryce Harper

TEAM CY YOUNG: Ranger Suarez

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Didi Gregorius

BOLD PREDICTION: Ranger Suarez will lead the team in wins and ERA and will be one of three Phillies with 10+ wins.

Ricky Amandeo

PHILLIES FINAL RECORD: 89-73

TEAM MVP: Bryce Harper. Let’s not overthink this one. Harper is going to thrive off of the enhanced lineup. I mean, opposing pitchers are going to have to actually pitch to SOMEONE, right?

TEAM CY YOUNG: Zack Wheeler. Again, let’s not overthink this one.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Didi Gregorius, no matter which part of the infield he’s playing. I feel that so many of us are down on Didi, but he’ll return to his consistent form in 2022 with the pressure off him in the lineup.

BOLD PREDICTION: Let’s get spicy. With all the new additions, plus Seranthony Dominguez coming back, the Phillies bullpen will be top-12 in the MLB.

Ryan Schwager

PHILLIES FINAL RECORD: (88-74) – When you consider what the Phillies gained versus lost this offseason, you shouldn’t expect anything less than a significant improvement in their record. Andrew McCutchen (1.2), Brad Miller (1.0), and Hector Neris (0.6) were the three biggest losses according to fWAR. No other player lost to free agency or trades had a fWAR higher than 0.3. I don’t think anyone will be missing Cutch’s 1.2 fWAR after the signings of Nick Castellanos (4.2) and Kyle Schwarber (3.1). Keep in mind, the Phils added a new back-of-the-bullpen arm in Corey Knebel, who has a career 3.23 ERA to pair with a mouthwatering 12.57 K/9. I see a jump in wins this year and a postseason appearance via the Wild Card thanks to the newly implemented expanded field – something that should aid Philly in a stacked NL East. I’d expect the Phils to be jockeying for seeding with the Padres, Mets, and Cardinals in September.

TEAM MVP: J.T. Realmuto – It’s hard not to pick Bryce Harper here, but I’m going to be a little bold and say JT Realmuto. Catcher is undoubtedly the most impactful position on the diamond besides pitcher, and Realmuto’s chemistry with Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suarez will prove to be valuable again in 2022. As new members of the Phillies bullpen, such as Jeurys Familia, Brad Hand, Knebel – and the long-awaited return of Seranthony Dominguez – Realmuto’s calm and cooling presence should bring the best out of Philly’s arms. After all, it’s not the Phillies’ offense that has people raising questions on whether they are a playoff team or not. He’ll continue to control the basepaths on his terms, and if he slashes anything better than his .263/.343/.439 from 2021, he instantly gets back into the BCIB conversation once again.

TEAM CY YOUNG: Zack Wheeler – We probably won’t see Wheeler finish as highly as second in NL Cy Young voting like he did in 2021, nor will he put together a campaign that saw him rank in the 90th percentile or higher in average exit velocity, hard hit percentage, expected weighted on-base average, barrel percentage, blah blah…you get the point. It was a fantastic year for the tall, lanky righthander, and I fully expect to see him be the ace for the Phils again in 2022. I think I speak for everyone when I say it would be nice to see a bounce back year for Aaron Nola. With how good Ranger Suarez looked last season (1.51 ERA in 65.2 IP as a starter), Nola could be in danger of falling down to option #3 in the rotation – but now that I think of it, Nola as a three sounds nasty.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Jeurys Familia – Familia, though for a short stretch, was once an elite closer for the Mets. Who’s to say he can’t tap back into that old form from his 2014-16 seasons? Again, the Phillies bullpen has been the biggest reason they haven’t seen the postseason since 2011. It would be nice to see him pitch some big shutdown innings against his former club this year.

BOLD PREDICTION: Mickey Moniak – I’m calling it now: Mickey Moniak earns the starting spot in center field, which seems to be the position most up for grabs going into 2022, and keeps it for at least a good chunk of the season. With Odubel Herrera out for at least a month with an oblique strain, Moniak will have a chance to snag a starting spot now that he’s officially made the roster.

The former No. 1 overall pick will turn 24 in mid-May – a good indication that Philadelphia’s patience might be running out for him to make an impact in the majors. A platoon role with Matt Vierling might be the more realistic option, but Moniak’s time to strike is now. He’s having a solid Spring Training, and I think he can carry that momentum into the regular season.

Alec Kostival

PHILLIES FINAL RECORD: 89-73

TEAM MVP: Bryce Harper

TEAM CY YOUNG: Corey Knebel

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Bryson Stott

BOLD PREDICTION: Stott finishes top 3 in NL ROY voting & Harper top 3 in MVP voting

IS EVERYBODY READY FOR THE MOST EXCITING PHILLIES TEAM IN 10 YEARS?!?!? Everything just feels right for a fun Phillies season. With the monstrous additions of Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, the Phillies’ offense looks almost as good as 2009. This team is going to score a ton of runs and I’m all here for it. 

“The Roomies” are finally on the roster together. Yes, that’s how I’m referring to Bryce Harper and Bryson Stott from now on. I believe both will finish top-3 in their respective award categories. Harper, of course, is the reigning NL MVP and has added protection to the lineup. There’s a good chance that Harper hits over 40 home runs for just the 2nd time in his career. Weirdly, he should be a lock to appear at the All-Star Game for the first time as a Phillie. All we say Stott do in Spring Training is hit hit hit. The consensus top-100 prospect has my attention after slashing .429/.529/.607. 

The Phillies arguably have a top-10 rotation in baseball (possible a top-5 if things go well). I believe Aaron Nola will bounce back to a 3.5 ERA, but Wheeler will fall back to about the same area. 

As good as the starters are, I want to talk about Corey Knebel. I’m not trying to jinx anything, but Knebel could be the best closer since 2008 Brad Lidge. Yes, I know that’s a lofty comparison, but Knebel is on a 1-year deal to try to prove himself as a closer. His only full year of closing duties was 2017 when he had a 1.78 ERA and 39 saves. Last season, he had a 2.45 ERA. I fully expect great things from Knebel.

The rest of the bullpen feels very meh. They’ll be fine but occasionally frustration. Talking about frustrating, let’s not even mention the defense. 

Let’s be honest with ourselves. The Braves’ bullpen is the nastiest I’ve seen in a while. If their starting pitching holds up, they’ll be the NL East winners again. The Mets already have injury issues, but “Big Money Daddy” Steve Cohen won’t give up on a season that he’s spending almost $300 million on. Mets could be the biggest buyers at the deadline. 

The Phillies will end their playoff drought finishing 2nd in the NL East. I don’t think they get to 90 wins because of how tough the division is. If they sure up the bullpen at the deadline, I truly think this team can make noise in the playoffs. 

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Ricky Amandeo | Tommy Orme | Alec Kostival | Shaun Nestor | Jay Smoot | Mike Cornaglia | Ryan Schwager | Matt Landmesser | Kyle FisherMatt Watson

Photo By: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

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