Phillies CF hopeful Adam Haseley shows early power in opener

Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

One of the most pressing question marks the Philadelphia Phillies must address across their 28-game Grapefruit League schedule is who will be the team’s starting center fielder in the 2021 season.

At least Adam Haseley, Roman Quinn, and Scott Kingery are vying for the role, among other minor-leaguers invited to spring training camp as non-roster or mini-camp invitees.

Phillies outfielder Adam Haseley homered on the second pitch of spring training.

Leading off for the Phillies in Sunday’s spring opener opposite the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida, Haseley wasted no time to show manager Joe Girardi why he deserves to be an everyday starter.

Facing Tigers left-hander Tyler Alexander, Haseley swung and missed at the first pitch, but sent the next one he saw the opposite field — over the left-center field wall — for a leadoff home run.

Joe Girardi discusses the Phillies center field competition.

“Haseley, Quinn, and Kingery are the three guys that we’re probably looking at the most right now. We need one guy to take hold of it, or even two guys,” Girardi recently told reporters. “I’d be willing to platoon and do a lot of different things out there. We just want the most production that we can get from that position and I think it’s important.”

Girardi noted that the three each offer different things. As for Haseley, specifically, he said that he is a “real good on-base percentage guy that probably hits some doubles and a few home runs.”

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The 24-year-old is a former first-round draft pick, selected eighth overall in the 2017 draft out of the University of Virginia. Debuting in 2019, Haseley slugged 14 doubles and 26 RBI as a rookie across 67 games. This past season, Haseley played in 40 games and slashed a respectable .278/.348/.342 with five doubles and 13 RBI.

Haseley did not homer once across the 60-game season, but quickly connected for one and showed his extra-base-hitting potential in Sunday’s spring opener.

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