Phillies: What’s the biggest disappointment of the 2017 season

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 26: Michael Saunders
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 26: Michael Saunders /

In a season of disappointment, one Phillies player stands out above them all

Phillies fans entered 2017 with a sense of optimism overshadowing their sense of reality of how bad this team could be. Adding veterans who could provide leadership and trade value along with a budding core of players had some thinking a .500 season was obtainable.

Fast forward five months and the stark reality cast aside by the Phillies faithful has come back to haunt us.

Our latest fan poll was practically unanimous, naming Franco the biggest disappointment in 2017.

Seeing Franco top this list makes complete sense. The Phils really needed him to take that next step forward, but perhaps the MVP talk from Mike Schmidt didn’t help.

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Fans knew the starting pitching would be rough around the edges, but I don’t think we knew it would be this bad. Jeremy Hellickson, Vince Velasquez and Jerad Eickhoff took major step backs, and Zach Eflin never stayed healthy. Aaron Nola was the lone bright spot midway through the season and looks like a top of the rotation pitcher.

Don’t forget about Clay Buchholz.

The Kendrick/Saunders debacle is an underrated flub, but can you blame the organization? Kendrick would have been a great trade asset this year if healthy, but the team did get a decent return. Saunders is among the biggest free agent disappointments in recent memory, and could have collected multiple prospects if he had repeated his early success from last year.

Next: Phillies top 25 under 25: Ranking young players

In reality, the entire season has been a disappointment after the additions of Saunders, Kendrick, and Hellickson gave the idea this team could be around .500 through the season. Hopefully, the prospects coming in the next couple of days will provide a glimmer of hope.