Alec Bohm is the Phillies’ latest breakout star, but his goal remains the same: ‘Nobody’s won a World Series in May’

Phillies Alec bohm
Philadelphia Phillies’ Alec Bohm, right, is doused by teammates Brandon Marsh, left, and Bryson Stott during an interview after the team’s baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

PHILADELPHIA — For the past few years, Alec Bohm has played a lighter role on the Philadelphia Phillies‘ high-powered offenses. The third baseman played decently but other sluggers did the bulk of the run-producing. Now, Bohm is one of the hardest-working engines at the plate for the Phils, driving in runs left and right and making strides toward stardom.

Alec Bohm’s rise to the top

Last season showed that Bohm can play a big role in the Phillies’ offense. He drove in 97 runs, the third-most on the team. Whether that skill of notching RBIs would be repeatable in 2024 was up for debate, especially since his OPS took only a modest bump up to .765, which made for an OPS+ of 105.

But in 2024, Bohm has continued to be a nonstop RBI machine while improving in other key areas, bringing his strikeout percentage to a career-best 13.6 percent, bumping his walk percentage up to 7.7 percent and posting a .859 OPS (and a career-best 144 OPS+). With Bryce Harper also doing his thing on first base, the Phillies’ hot-corner hitters have been scorching with the bat this season.

I think it’s just kind of a combination of a lot of things,” Bohm told Philly Sports Network before the Phillies’ Friday game against the St. Louis Cardinals. “But most importantly, I think just the preparation. Obviously, another year of facing a lot of the same pitching and a lot of the same people and getting a good idea of what people want to do against me and all that. It’s just helped me learn how to prepare better, learn what information I need, what information doesn’t really do much for me.”

For the past few years, including the beginning of 2023, Bohm spent a lot of time in the bottom half of the lineup while playing stretches in the second and fourth spots. He worked his way up to being the Phillies’ primary cleanup hitter in the 2023 playoffs and has kept the same role. Out of his 235 plate appearances, 142 have come in the fourth spot of the lineup.

Bohm’s 47 RBIs rank fourth in MLB, illustrating how often he comes through for the Phillies. His OPS with runners in scoring position is 1.119. With runners in scoring position and two outs, his OPS is an even more incredible 1.376, the fifth-best mark in all of MLB. As the cleanup hitter, the pressure for him to get runners to home plate is clear.

Phillies Alec Bohm
Philadelphia Phillies’ Alec Bohm throws his bat after striking out with the bases loaded during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Bohm, however, doesn’t let that pressure get to him. The Phillies’ offense gives itself so many opportunities to score, he explained, that he knows anyone can step up at any given time. Being a cog in such a dominant lineup eases his burden immensely.

Alec Bohm remains focused on finishing the story

“There’s been just a lot of traffic on the bases, so it can be anybody driving them in,” Bohm said. “So far this year, I’ve gotten a lot of ’em but if I haven’t done it, the guy behind me’s picked it up, too.”

The 27-year-old pointed to Trea Turner’s excellent production and how J.T. Realmuto and Edmundo Sosa have filled in well for him in the No. 2 spot as he recovers from a left hamstring injury. He said that Harper is “on base all the time” and that Kyle Schwarber can do the same. “If he doesn’t hit a homer, he’s either walking — or, he’s hitting singles now, too.”

Sosa filling in incredibly well for Turner — a .983 OPS in his 20 games since Turner’s injury — and having Kody Clemens’ hot hitting off the bench — a .908 OPS in 41 plate appearances this season — gives the Phillies scary depth. It’s especially impressive, Bohm noted, to have productive hitters who don’t get consistent chances.

Those are guys that, I think, you can drop ’em on a lot of teams around the league and they can play every day,” Alec Bohm continued. “And that’s just not really how it shakes out over here. We have a pretty consistent lineup…That’s the depth of the team. That’s how you win. That’s how you win in the long run. That’s how you have a really good season as a whole and hopefully carry it through the playoffs.”

The expectation for the Phillies after two NLCS appearances is to win it all. Their torrid start to the season has only raised the stakes. The team’s confidence that it can go the distance “has always been there” since they made the World Series in 2022, Alec Bohm explained. “We believe in ourselves and we believe that we have a team and a roster andgroup that can get it done.”

Phillies Alec bohm
Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm fields a ball before throwing out Miami Marlins’ Jacob Stallings at first during the third inning of Game 2 in an NL wild-card baseball playoff series, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Given their top-notch record and roster oozing with high-level talent, the Phillies are bound to have several All-Stars, which will likely include Bohm and starting pitcher Ranger Suarez, who have yet to receive the honor. But with Bohm leading all of MLB in doubles and ranking in the top five of OPS among qualified third basemen and Suarez leading the National League in ERA and all of the majors in WHIP, it seems very likely that they’ll take a trip to Arlington for the 2024 All-Star festivities.

“It tells me that they’re having a good year, so that helps the club. But I wish everybody could make it. I really do, because I love the club, as you guys know. Those two guys have had really good years,” manager Rob Thomson said, referring to Bohm and Suarez. “[Zack] Wheeler’s had a great year, [Cristopher] Sanchez has really performed well. We’ve had a bunch of guys that have performed, so hopefully we get a bunch on that All-Star team.”

Bohm’s not too preoccupied with whether or not he gets chosen, though.

“To be honest with you, no,” he said when asked if he’s thought about being named an All-Star.It’s been really just a daily thing here, just one day at a time. Show up, win a game today and then win or lose, go home, come back, do the same thing tomorrow. Really, just keeping a narrow focus on it.”

That narrow focus has paid off for Bohm and the Phillies. In the marathon that is the MLB season, the only way forward is one step at a time. As badly as they want the prize at the end, they’re staying locked in on the games in front of them. It’s had to argue with the results.

“Nobody’s won a World Series in May,” Bohm said. “We can only play the schedule we have in front of us and we can’t fast forward into October or do any of that. We gotta come show up today, take care of business against the Cardinals, show up tomorrow, play them again and carry it on to the next series and the next series and keep winning series, keep winning games and, before we know it, the calendar will turn to October and just keep it rolling.”

AP Photo/Derik Hamilton