Coming out of the All-Star Break, the Phillies are sitting at seven games over .500. Things were definitely a mixed bag in the first half of the 2023 season. For a while, it felt like the Phils wouldn’t get above the .500 mark.
Now, they’re actually looking like a cohesive unit. Some of Philly’s outfielders have been a huge part of that. Let’s grade out their performances from the 1st half.
The Phillies Outfield
Kyle Schwarber: D+
Here will be the most controversial take on this list. The only reason Kyle Schwarber is getting a D+ as opposed to an F is his 22 homers in the first half. That’s down from 28 homers through 89 games last season. What’s also down is his batting average. He was a .214 last season and is at .184.
He’s leading the league in strikeouts but that is nothing new.
If he was at the team’s DH spot, Schwarber might’ve gotten a C grade. But Schwarber has been a hot mess in LF. He’s been worth -2.2 dWAR. For the entirety of 2022, he was worth -2 dWAR. He’s at -18 Defensive Runs Saved. He’s committed 4 errors, just 2 shy of his career high.
Brandon Marsh: A-
For a guy that hit .239 with a .653 OPS before he came to Philadelphia, Brandon Marsh has evolved into a borderline All-Star. He’s currently slashing .275/.349/.450 with seven homers and 34 RBI in 81 games. He’s been walking at a significantly higher rate. His .799 OPS translates to a 118 OPS+.
Marsh has also been a good defensive CF. He has 2 DRS and 0.4 dWAR.
The – comes from his 93 K in 81 games. He’s striking out just a little too much for a player with his set of skills. He’s still only 25 years old so that still could be corrected.
Nick Castellanos: A+
Castellanos went into the All-Star break a little cold but he’s still slashing .301/.344/.496. He already matched his home run total from 2022 in just 87 games. While he hasn’t been anything spectacular in RF, he has looked improved from 2022.
I have no notes for Casty except keep doing what you’re doing.
Cristian Pache: A++++++++++++++
That’s a lot of +’s. I know. But remember how I mentioned Brandon Marsh’s career before Philly? Well, Cristian Pache couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn before coming to Philadelphia. He was a career .156 hitter with a .439 OPS.
In 32 games this season, Pache is hitting .327 with a .957 OPS. That includes a dramatic 2-out 9th inning go-ahead 2-run homer against the Marlins before the break.
He’s also been sterling defensively. He has 2 outfield assists, 0.5 dWAR, and 5 DRS between all outfield spots. He’s been the perfect 4th outfielder. He’s almost guaranteed himself more playing time once Schwarber moves to the DH spot. Speaking of…
The Phillies Designated Hitter (Currently)
Bryce Harper: B-
I went back and forth on what to grade Harper. He returned 2 months earlier than expected from a major injury and he’s been hitting well. So far, he’s slashing .290/.386/.400.
Again, good. But not Bryce Harper good. His power has been missing for most of the season. He has just 3 homers in 246 plate appearances and hasn’t homered since May 25th.
I have (almost) no doubts that Harper will light it up in the 2nd half. Perhaps a few days off is just what he needed.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke