Projecting the 2021 Philadelphia Phillies Opening Day roster
By Hunter Doyle
Compared to last season, not much will look different in the 2021 Phillies infield.
Infield (5): J.T. Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura, Didi Gregorius, Alec Bohm
The best catcher in baseball is back. J.T. Realmuto will hold it down behind the plate and in the middle of the lineup. It’s rare to find players like J.T. who can do it all at the catcher position, whether it’s pitch calling, blocking pitches in the dirt, throwing runners out, or getting it done with the bat. We didn’t even mention his athleticism. Not too many catchers can base run as well as J.T. Realmuto is on track to be healthy from his thumb.
Rhys Hoskins will hopefully enter 2021 with a new approach at the plate. Hoskins improved last year when he stopped trying to pull the ball to left field. From August 9 to September 10 (29 games), Rhys slashed .291/.409/.609 with nine home runs and 21 RBI. This is a critical season for him, so he will have to follow up that 29-game stretch with a big year.
In the middle infield, Jean Segura slides in at second base and hopes to ride momentum off of what was a nice finish to his 2020 season. His Phillies career has been somewhat underwhelming, but he could be key for this squad over the full 162. Like J.T., Didi Gregorius is back in Philly. The veteran shortstop gets it done in the field and at the plate. He’ll be one of the centerpieces of this team’s postseason chase.
We round out the infield with the youngster, Alec Bohm. He’ll try to avoid the dreaded “sophomore slump” in sports. Bohm keeps his approach simple and hits the ball where it’s pitched. The defense will need to be better if he wants to stick around at the hot corner, but he’s too good of a hitter to keep out of the lineup.