Phillies GM Matt Klentak told reporters on Tuesday that it is “very reasonable” top prospect Alec Bohm can make an impact on the 2020 major-league roster.
One of the Philadelphia Phillies’ biggest tasks they face this offseason will be finding their new, everyday second and third basemen, as on Monday, they non-tendered Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco.
While he likely will not be part of the major-league roster come Opening Day on March 26, the clear, long-term option for the Phillies at the hot corner is top prospect Alec Bohm.
On Tuesday, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak told reporters that it is “very reasonable” Bohm can impact the big-league club at some point this coming season, adding “that’s something we need to consider as we make the rest of our offseason decisions.”
Whichever infielders the Phillies sign will create a domino effect of subsequent moves. For example, say they sign New York Yankees free agent SS Didi Gregorius to reunite him with new manager Joe Girardi. Then, the Phillies could either trade or move Jean Segura to second base, creating only a need for a third baseman.
If no other moves are made, Scott Kingery could be the Phillies’ guy come Opening Day until Bohm is ready later in the season. At that point, Kingery could then return to either a utility role or assume regular playing time at an outfield position (such as center field).
And that’s just one scenario. While third-base free-agent target Mike Moustakas has recently signed with the Cincinnati Reds, albeit to play second base, fellow rumored target Josh Donaldson still remains available. The Phillies could sign Donaldson, keep Segura at shortstop, and play Kingery at second base.
That scenario leaves no clear path for regular playing time for Bohm at third base, however. Given Klentak’s comments on Tuesday, it is assumed the club is leaning toward the former scenario of signing a shortstop, moving Segura to second, and creating no long-term commitments to any player except Bohm at the hot corner.
Perhaps the only thing keeping Bohm in the minor-leagues at the start of the 2020 season is the need for him to improve his fielding. Bohm committed four errors spanning just 21 chances at third base in the 2019 Arizona Fall League; and, at Double-A Reading, he committed eight errors over 100 chances at the position.
The Inquirer’s Scott Lauber tweets, “Given apparent confidence in Bohm, you would have to think Phillies are more inclined to pursue a SS (Gregorius?) than a 3B (Donaldson?). Segura and Kingery presumably would shift to 2B and 3B, or vice versa, until Bohm arrives.”
Girardi told reporters on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park that he has “always been a fan of Gregorius” and that he is a “real character guy.”
In 63 games last season at Double-A Reading, the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 draft slashed .269/.344/.500 with 11 doubles, 14 home runs, 42 RBI, 28 walks and 38 strikeouts spanning 270 plate appearances. Bohm would go on to play 19 games in the Arizona Fall League, impressing with a .361/.397/.528 slash with six doubles, two home runs, and nine RBI in 78 plate appearances.
Bohm will surely start the 2020 season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley; and, from there, it might not take long at all before he dons red pinstripes for the first time at CItizens Bank Park.