Philadelphia Phillies Season 2017: Five Storylines to Watch

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Apr 18, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General view as the New York Mets take batting practice before the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 18, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General view as the New York Mets take batting practice before the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 11, 2017; Dunedin, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph (19) at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2017; Dunedin, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph (19) at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Can Tommy Joseph Hold Down First Base?

Tommy Joseph put together a nice rookie campaign while splitting time with current free agent Ryan Howard. The 25-year-old hit .257 with 21 home runs and 47 RBIs in 315 at-bats with the Phillies. 

The former catcher has shown that he has the ability to hit major league pitching but he has problems remaining on the field. Forced to first base because of problems with concussions, Joseph’s health will always remain a question mark. 

More from That Balls Outta Here

Joseph is a lock to open the season at first base. However, there are a couple of players ready to jump in if need be. Rhys Hoskins had a ridiculous 2016 campaign in Double-A Reading, where he hit .281 while slugging 26 doubles and 38 home runs with 116 runs batted in.

In addition, Brock Stassi a.k.a. Darin Ruf 2.0, is putting together an impressive spring. Stassi, 27, is hitting .313 with five home runs and 15 runs batted in in just 48 at bats. He is making quite the case for himself and could be the next man up if Joseph struggles.

2017 will be a big year for Joseph. If he remains healthy and can keep pace with last season, Joseph could solidify himself as Philadelphia’s first baseman of the future.

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