Phillies: 10 players to be thankful for this Thanksgiving
By Matt Rappa
7. Bryce Harper
Six-time All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper is already through two seasons on his 13-year pact, signed just before the 2019 season. Through 215 games in red pinstripes, he has not disappointed, slashing .262/.385/.518 with 45 doubles, three triples, 48 home runs, and 147 RBI. Also, he has walked 148 times, while striking out in 221 of his 926 plate appearances.
Harper finished the 2020 season leading the majors in walks (49), besting former Phillies first baseman Carlos Santana (47), outfielder Christian Yelich (46), and 2020 National League Most Valuable Player Freddie Freeman (45).
The Las Vegas native began the shortened season on a tear, reaching as high as a .367 batting average through the first 18 games, in which the Phillies went 9-9. Harper had slugged nine extra-base hits, 15 RBI, and 12 walks at that point, but struggled over his final 40 years, slashing only .223/.391/.469 with 15 extra-base hits, 18 RBI, and 37 walks.
Having recently turned 28, Harper is bound to bounce back in 2021 and can potentially be in consideration for his second-career MVP nod.
6. JoJo Romero
There is a lot to like about JoJo Romero being a member of the Phillies bullpen for many years to come. For one, Romero is a left-handed pitcher — which, outside of Adam Morgan and Ranger Suarez, to name a few, has been a rarity on the team’s pitching staff in recent seasons.
While Romero posted a 7.59 ERA across 12 appearances this past season as a rookie, he did strike out 10 and walked just two of his 47 batters faced. Romero also allowed no runs in eight of his outings, and one run in another.
Just three shaky outings against the New York Mets (2/3 IP, 2 ER), Washington Nationals (2/3 IP, 3 ER), and Toronto Blue Jays (1/3 IP, 3 ER), is what ultimately caused the Camarillo, California, native’s ERA to skyrocket.
Look for Romero to have an impressive sophomore season in 2021 as part of an overall revamped Phillies bullpen.