Who is the next Phillies national face of the franchise?

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 26: Starter Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park on July 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 26: Starter Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park on July 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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Other Philadelphia sports teams have at least one player that is known nationally in the media. Who will be that player for the Phillies?

A little under 10 years ago, the Phillies had some of the top players in the game. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins were all nationally-known players in their heyday. Even bigger names like Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Pedro Martinez joined the team later on during its run of division dominance.

However, in recent years, there hasn’t been a national baseball presence in Philadelphia. The top players either were traded away, retired, or declined due to injury or other reasons. As the club’s performance dropped, so too did their nationwide presence.

Meanwhile, other teams in Philadelphia are finding at least one player that is known nationwide. The 76ers have both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, while the Eagles’ Carson Wentz took the league by storm this year before tearing his ACL. Both of those teams have more legitimacy on the national stage thanks to their star players.

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Who could that player be for the Phils? They haven’t had a national star in several years. Granted, an improvement in performance would obviously help them get back into the national conversation.

One player that helped them dramatically improve in the second half in 2017 was Rhys Hoskins. The rookie started off his major-league career on fire by hitting 18 home runs in 50 games with a 1.014 OPS. As he smashed record after record, he started to garner some attention on the national level, like Gary Sanchez did the year prior.

Odubel Herrera has been with the team for some time now and is the only player locked up to a long-term extension. The front office views him as the team’s center fielder of the future, and he fits the new wave of bat-flipping, fun-having baseball players. He certainly provides some fun GIFs.

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If there’s any pitcher that can make headlines for his performances, its Aaron Nola. The 24-year-old consistently made strong outings in 2017 and ranked among the best pitchers in the National League. He also started to gain some national traction this year, which could continue next year.

Carlos Santana has some national clout thanks to the last few years he spent in Cleveland. After reaching the playoffs the last two years and being among the best teams in baseball, Santana and plenty of other Indians became well-known around the league.

He was one of the better free agents on the market this season, and Philadelphia was able to nab him. His presence definitely gives the Phillies some credibility heading into next year.

Next: Top needs for Phillies to contend next season

As mentioned earlier, for Philadelphia to gain any national attention, they will definitely have to improve as a whole. Having players with the potential star power of Hoskins, Herrera, Nola, and Santana could certainly help them improve and gain a national presence.

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