We can all expect the 2023 Phillies to be just as good, if not even better than their 2022 selection. From being slated to be the worst team in the NL East, to winning a pennant and making a World Series run, there’s no question that the world will want to see even more of our Fightins.
With that being said, the Phillies have had no days off it seems. Fresh out of their fall classic run and a huge winter of free agency, the Philadelphia Phillies are still on fire.
Bryce Harper knows exactly the influence he has as one of the prime faces in the new age of Philadelphia sports. Back in 2020, he pressured Klentak into signing JT Realmuto, and pushed again in 2021 to sign Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber; each of which arguably had crucial roles in their 2022 playoff run.
Yet again this year, Bryce caused the stars to align to sign one of baseball’s best shortstops, and his former teammate, Trea Turner. Turner will prove to be a standout shortstop for the Phils as a career 0.850 OPS hitter and wild defender, not to mention his 221 stolen bases (only to be caught 41 times). This electric addition will likely lead off for the Phils, giving them one of the deepest lineups in franchise history, if not in the MLB. Even with Harper himself set to miss the beginning of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Phillies are the team to beat this upcoming season. We’re looking at the following potential lineup (or some iteration of it):
With this lineup, pitchers will again have a hard time throwing to power on top of power on top of speed. Nonetheless, as they did in 2022, the Phillies will need everyone to step up this season and produce at the plate.
The team has one more opening for a starting pitcher, with Nola, Wheeler, Walker, and Suarez to note. Not to mention new addition closer, Craig Kimbrel. However, in order to complete the dream rotation, we need at least one more dime piece. With the exits of Zach Eflin and Kyle Gibson, the Phillies will likely turn to an in-house alternative to fill the final spot.
Andrew Painter, 19-year-old top prospect from the Reading Fightin Phils, surely has the chance to answer the call. The Phillies’ front office has kept their eye on Painter, and for good reason. In 2022, he recorded a 1.56 ERA with 155 strikeouts, 25 walks and an opponent average of 0.181- all stats close to that of Cole Hamels back in 2003. Beyond just the impressive numbers, Painter displays dominant characteristics on par with some of baseball’s best pitchers. If Painter shows up and stands out in Spring Training, it is likely we will see a lot of him in the 2023 season as one of the starters.
Other Minor Leaguers to Watch:
With a stacked lineup, solid pitching rotation, and great defense, the 2023 Philadelphia Phillies will be a hard pill to swallow- the team needs to stay cohesive as they have in 2022, and they will likely be unstoppable.