Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph showed promise in 2016 but took a step back this season. His future in Philadelphia is now seriously in question.
After a modest improvement from 2015 to 2016, the Phillies took a slight step backwards this year in terms of wins and losses, although the second half of the season brings optimism moving forward. There are some question marks remaining on the roster, one being first baseman Tommy Joseph, who in many aspects disappointed this season.
Joseph showed plenty of upside in 2016 after hitting 21 home runs in 357 at-bats to go along with a decent .257 average, .505 slugging percentage and .813 OPS. On the downside, he posted a slightly below-average -0.1 ultimate zone rating.
The expectations were mostly high for Joseph this season, but in most statistics, he took a step backwards. It started with a poor April in which Joseph hit .179 with only one home run and 20 strikeouts in 67 at-bats.
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During May, Tommy Joseph showed what many thought he was capable of, belting seven home runs and hitting .300. Although his batting average dipped to .243 for June, Joseph still produced with five home runs and 14 RBI.
Getting into the middle of the season, Joseph hit .281 for July and had 15 RBI, but hit only three home runs in 96 at-bats. His up-and-down season continued as Joseph hit only .176 in August.
The arrival of Rhys Hoskins seriously cut into Joseph’s playing time. The forgotten man the rest of the way, Tommy Joseph appeared in only 19 of the last 29 games, hitting .250 in 48 at-bats.
While his 22 home runs for the season seem solid, it was an increase of only one in 180 more at-bats from 2016. His batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS were all down compared to last season. A small positive, his fielding percentage increased to .992, but that ranked only 18th in the league for first baseman.
Glimpses of power bursts were outweighed by a bad strikeout-to-walk ratio and mediocre at best all around numbers. Potential only goes so far and Joseph simply didn’t produce enough to warrant a grade above a C for the season.
Do not be surprised to see Rhys Hoskins take over at first base next season with Tommy Joseph being moved for whatever the Phillies can get for him.