Phillies: Alec Bohm recalls ‘humbling’ rookie season
By Matt Rappa
Alec Bohm on staying ready for the season and call to the majors
For Bohm, making his MLB debut on August 13 required months of patience — considering there was speculation he could make the team out of spring training in March. But then, the COVID-19 crisis hit and weeks of uncertainty as to whether professional baseball would even be played in 2020. Bohm describes those months early on in the pandemic “boring,” as he and his teammates just did not know what the future held for a season.
“It just felt like I was on the phone all the time [with friends], ‘We should find out on Monday what’s going on.’ Week after week passed by and nothing really changed,” Bohm said.
The Phillies corner infielder said he just had to find a way to do anything he could to stay ready, whether it be throwing a ball against a wall or something to keep his mind right and body ready. “It was definitely weird; it was the first summer really that I wasn’t playing baseball,” Bohm said. “It was a really strange time. We got through it and it was worth it in the end.”
Bohm describing his ability to play in 2020 as “well worth it” is an understatement. As Baseball America notes, Bohm led the majors with a .452 batting average with runners in scoring position; he also led all rookies in on-base percentage (.400), and ranked high in several other categories.
Regarding waiting for his promotion in late July and early August, Bohm said that he was at the Phillies alternate training site and thought, “Any day now, it could happen.” He continued that the Phillies did a good job in making sure everyone kept their energy up over at Lehigh Valley, albeit playing scrimmages and having overall “short, quick days.”
“They made it pretty clear that everybody here has a chance to go up and play at some point in the season,” Bohm said. “We made sure we were doing everything right and staying ready.”
Bohm would ultimately get that chance, replacing outfielder Adam Haseley on the big-league roster due to him being placed on the 10-day injured list with a left wrist sprain.
“They were a little banged up I think, called me up and I went from there,” Bohm added. “It was a crazy time; I just kind of took it one day at a time, because you really didn’t know what the next day was going to bring with everything going on and all of that.”
“It was a wild year, but looking back, it was a lot of fun.”