The Phillies have assembled a loaded squad full of former MVPs, All-Stars, and World Series champions. This year’s club looks stacked in its quest to return and win the World Series in 2023.
The Phillies do, however, have a few players on their roster that have never made it to the Mid-Summer classic. With a great team, I expect the Phillies to send many players to the All-Star game in 2023.
Three players, in particular, can break out in 2023 and join the best in baseball in Seattle.
If the second half of the season and playoff run is the version of Bryson Stott the Phillies get in 2023, he might crack the All-Star team in his second season.
Stott started slow in his rookie year but turned the page later. Bryson might have the best eye on the team, as he continuously worked counts. 7,8,9 pitch at bats became routine for Bryson, and this is a quality that has disappeared in today’s game.
The Phillies’ young second basemen hit .276 with a .735 OPS in the last 64 games of the regular season. If Bryson performs like that in the 8 or 9 spots in the lineup, the Phillies will be as dangerous as advertised.
If Bryson wants to be considered for the All-Star team at second base, he must improve on his power going forward.
Stott only hit 10 homeruns to go with 19 doubles last season. While the second base position isn’t necessarily a position full of power hitters, if Stott can hit 15+ homeruns and 25+ doubles, he can sneak into the conversation. Second base in the National League is loaded with guys like Jake Cronenworth, Ozzie Albies, Jeff McNeil, and Jazz Chisholm.
If Bryson Stott can improve on his game as he did in the second half of 2022, I think he is a dark horse candidate to make the All-Star game.
Despite competing in the 2018 Home Run Derby, Rhys Hoskins has never made it to the All-Star team. Rhys has been a solid player for the Phillies since his call-up in late 2017 and has at least one more year with the team in 2023.
While first base is a very loaded position in terms of talent, there is a chance for Rhys to make the All-Star team this season. Beating out Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, and Pete Alonso won’t be easy, but if Rhys has a good start to the season, there is no doubt he can join those players in Seattle.
Hoskins is in a lineup with Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, JT Realmuto, and many others. Rhys will have many opportunities to drive in runs and hit homeruns behind these guys. While Hoskins has primarily hit in the 2 spots for the last few seasons, I expect manager Rob Thomson to move him down the lineup. Moving Rhys down a few spots will remove the pressure of being “the guy.” Hopefully, a more relaxed Rhys can keep him out of his long cold streaks when they do occur.
Hoskins is a player who can get hot and carry a lineup for a week. If he has a few more from March to June, I believe he can notch his first All-Star appearance in 2023.
The Phillies bullpen might be the best in baseball. With the additions of Craig Kimbrel, Gregory Soto, and Matt Strahm to pair with Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Alverado, the Phillies’ weakness from 2017-2021 is now their strength.
Despite the infantry the Phillies possess in the bullpen, Seranthony might be the best of the bunch. His work towards the end of 2022 and in the postseason was remarkable. He was able to put the Phillies on his back when needed, and without him, there is no miracle run.
Dominguez has some of the best “stuff” in the game. His velocity and movement on his pitches are almost unfair. While the Phillies might not name a closer and use everyone in those opportunities, I can almost guarantee that Dominguez will pitch in the biggest moments of games.
Combining his lights-out stuff with dominance on the field, I believe that Seranthony will be one of the best relievers in 2023. If he continues where he left off last season, becoming an All-Star for the first time will be all but a lock for the Phillies right-hander.
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