Five Phillies players in a make-or-break season this year

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CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 25: Maikel Franco #7 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a two-run home run against the Baltimore Orioles in the seventh inning of a Grapefruit League spring training game at Spectrum Field on March 25, 2018 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 25: Maikel Franco #7 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a two-run home run against the Baltimore Orioles in the seventh inning of a Grapefruit League spring training game at Spectrum Field on March 25, 2018 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 24: Jake Thompson #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the top of the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on August 24, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Jake Thompson

If any one player is going to be labeled as a bust in the Cole Hamels trade, it’s almost certainly going to be Jake Thompson. He was the top pitching prospect acquired in the deal, but he has failed to live up to that hype.

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In 21 major-league appearances, Thompson has a career 4.86 ERA, 6.05 fielding-independent pitching, 1.34 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and 1.53 WHIP. He has failed to generate a large number of strikeouts (15.0 percent strikeout rate) while walking a significant percentage of batters (11.2 percent).

Thompson has served as a replacement in the rotation the last two years as injuries took their toll, but he is being moved to the bullpen this season.

The team is hoping Thompson can see an uptick in his fastball velocity from 92 mph as well as a step forward in one of his breaking pitches. If he can’t establish himself in the bullpen, he may truly wind up being the biggest bust of the Hamels trade.

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