Phillies first round pick Alec Bohm continues to rise through the organization quickly, but can he make a big impact with the top club this year?
The third overall pick out of Wichita State, Bohm raked at the plate for Lakewood and Clearwater, hitting .342 with seven home runs and a .947 OPS in 62 games.
Still just 22-years-old, Bohm’s quick ascent through the minor leagues shouldn’t surprise anyone. Philadelphia has gone into the first rounds of recent drafts looking for collegiate bats who get on base consistently, and Bohm has carried over his success from Wichita State to professional baseball.
Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer posed the question of whether or not Bohm could see big league action as early as this fall, hopefully as part of a playoff race.
The second part of Breen’s argument is that the Phillies are playing without an answer at third base. After a streaking hot start to the season, Maikel Franco has cooled off significantly, hitting .167 since May 1.
Injuries to Andrew McCutchen, Roman Quinn, and Haseley have forced Gabe Kapler to deploy Scott Kingery into center field. That’s left them with a struggling Franco and journeymen Sean Rodriguez and Brad Miller (who has played eight games at third) to finish the season.
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The trade market this summer doesn’t project to have many quality third basemen readily available. It would cost the Phillies an arm, leg, and some organs to sway the Nationals into trading them Anthony Rendon.
Marwin Gonzalez and Eduardo Escobar are both signed to horrible multi-year contracts, making them unlikely trade candidates for Philadelphia. Regardless, the first place Minnesota Twins aren’t likely to subtract players this summer, even with Gonzalez owed $9 million next year.
Escobar, who’s hitting .282 with 17 home runs, would have been a great option if not for two additional years worth more than $7 million each remaining on his Diamondbacks deal.
If the Phillies want a low-risk option, Pablo Sandoval is hitting .286 with nine home runs, but you’re sacrificing defense and on-base percentage. He’s making the league minimum through next season while the Red Sox pay his eight-figure salary.
There’s little room for the Phillies to improve at third base, making Bohm a very slight possibility once the September 40-man roster expansion hits for the final time, per new roster rules.
It would be a stretch to see Bohm in a Phillies uniform this year, but if he continues to hit in Reading and impresses for the IronPigs, Philadelphia is just a 69.2 mile trip down 476.