Phillies GM Matt Klentak is expecting former first-round pick Adam Haseley to be the team’s everyday center fielder next season.
The Phillies appear to already have a plan as to who will assume regular playing time in center field next season.
And it does not involve 2016 All-Star Odubel Herrera, nor speedy three-year veteran Roman Quinn, but rather former first-round pick Adam Haseley.
On Wednesday, general manager Matt Klentak told reporters that he expects Haseley will become the Phillies’ everyday center fielder:
"“With the way that our roster is unfolding, and we have the center-field spot and we have a young player who we really like, it makes sense for us to let him get the reps out there.”"
Interestingly enough, if Haseley indeed becomes the everyday center fielder, that would mean one less spot for Scott Kingery to play full time. In other words, perhaps the Phillies are not looking to trade for Chicago Cubs’ third baseman Kris Bryant, nor sign Josh Donaldson or Anthony Rendon. Kingery could simply be the stop-gap at the hot corner until Alec Bohm is ready; then, he would return to his utility role.
Haseley, 23, showed signs of promise as rookie during the 2019 season; in 67 games, he slashed .266/.324/.396 with 14 doubles, five home runs, 26 RBI, four stolen bases, 14 walks and 60 strikeouts spanning 242 plate appearances.
The Orlando, Florida, native played in every outfield position, 315 1/3 innings in center, 149 2/3 innings in left field, and 76 innings in right field. Combined, he committed just one error spanning 541 innings and 131 chances, good for a .992 fielding percentage.
Klentak added that when Quinn is “healthy and playing to his potential,” he would be an option too. Furthermore, he views Haseley and Quinn as “getting most of the reps in center field,” hence excluding Herrera from consideration.
The 26-year-old Quinn has played in just 109 games since debuting in 2016 due to various injuries; when healthy, he has shown signs of being a rare stolen base threat on the team. Last season, Quinn was successful in all eight of his stolen base attempts, while also homering a career-high four times in 44 games and 122 plate appearances.
Herrera, 27, was recently reinstated to the 40-man roster after being suspended 85 games for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy. Klentak said last month that Herrera would have to compete for a spot on the 2020 Phillies in spring training.
The Phillies drafted Haseley eighth overall in the 2017 amateur draft out of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.