Phillies: Three players who need to “over-perform” in 2020
If the Phillies are going to win, they need all hands on deck this season
After another disappointing season that forced the organization’s hand to fire manager Gabe Kapler, the pressure is sky-high for the Phillies.
Although some project the team to finish as bad as fourth-place in a tough National League East, Phillies fans are clamoring for a playoff berth.
For the Phillies to make the playoffs, they’ll need all hands on deck this season and for some guys to out perform what’s expected of them.
Here are just three players who need to “overperform” this season for the Phillies to make the playoffs.
Bryce Harper, RF
The Phillies’ new superstar outfielder had an absolute monster year in 2019. He finished with a career high 114 RBIs, led the Phils in a plethora of offensive categories like home runs and OPS, and even found himself as a Gold Glove finalist in the National League.
Despite the season ending on a bit of a sour note as he watched his former team hoist the World Series trophy, Harper overall had a fantastic first year in Philadelphia. The scary part is, Bryce Harper might need to be even better.
Outside of guys like Harper and JT Realmuto, the Phils are in a bit of an offensive “limbo” when it comes to the rest of their lineup. Guys like Jean Segura and Rhys Hoskins had major down years in 2019, and former MVP Andrew McCutchen is coming off knee surgery. With all these variables playing a factor and no serious help arriving this offseason outside of Didi Gregorius, Harper is going to have to truly put the team on his back.
Back in 2015, “MVP Harper” was the best player in baseball. He led the National League in HRs, runs, OBP, and SLG. He hit for power (42 homers and 99 RBIs) while also performing as one of the best contact hitters in the game (.330 batting avg).
That level of production is still in there for Bryce. As he got more adjusted to his new surroundings in Philadelphia last season, he noticeably started trending back towards that type of player. Post All-Star break, Harper rocked a .270 average with a .941 OPS.
The Phillies have lofty goals heading into 2020, with making the playoffs being top of the list. With the team’s roster still heavily flawed in some regards, the revival of an MVP-like Bryce Harper would see the team vaulted back into excellence.