Philadelphia Phillies: 3 players who need to step up in 2021
2. Adam Haseley
At this point through the offseason, the Phillies have some question marks up the middle of the field. Andrew Knapp is slated as the starting catcher — a downgrade from J.T. Realmuto — Scott Kingery has struggled mightily, Jean Segura could be traded, Didi Gregorius is a free agent, and there is not a surefire center fielder on the roster either.
The Phillies have been linked to Gold Glover and All-Star, Jackie Bradley Jr. Signing him would make a lot of sense, given the Phillies defensive struggles and that new executive Dave Dombrowski just had Bradley on his 2018 World Series team with the Boston Red Sox. However, the Phillies should give Adam Haseley a chance to win the job for good.
Haseley, entering his age 25 season, was the eighth overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. A quick riser, he debuted for the Phillies in 2019. In his rookie campaign, Haseley tallied 21 extra-base hits in 67 games. Arguably the most impressive part of his rookie year was his defense in which he finished the season with a 1.3 dWAR.
Haseley improved at the plate in 2020, finishing the year with a .278 average and only 17 strikeouts in 40 games. Unfortunately, he does lack pop in his bat and did not hit a home run. But, in the last 15 games of the season, Haseley tallied eight RBI while batting .317. Although fans did not see some of the same defensive prowess he showed in 2019, the ability is still there.
If the top of the lineup is producing, Haseley could be a serious bottom of the order rally guy. Even if he is batting eighth, he definitely has shown to be capable to hit upwards of .275 for an extended season. If Haseley gets back defensively to where he was in 2019, the Phillies could have a solid center fielder of the future, as long as he gets the chance to show it.
2021 Projection: 150 games, 7 home runs, 44 runs batted in, 35 doubles, 10 stolen bases, .282 average, .353 on base percentage