4. Odubel Herrera
The Phillies began the season with no clear answer at the center-field position. As of April 29, their centerfielders had only collected seven combined hits across 79 at-bats.
While the former All-Star Odubel Herrera played a part in that, including starting the season with just two hits in his first 24 at-bats (.083/.120/.083), he has shown signs of greatness in his 32 games and 120 at-bats since — slashing .317/.385/.517 with ten doubles, one triple, four home runs, 14 RBI, 12 walks, and just 21 strikeouts.
In Herrera’s last dozen games and 51 at-bats alone, he is slashing .333/.370/.588 with five doubles, one triple, a pair of home runs, five RBI, three walks, and eight strikeouts. The Phillies have gone 7-5 in this stretch, including winning each of their past three games via walk-off fashion.
Without getting into his off-the-field issues, Herrera has been one of the more reliable Phillies bats for manager Joe Girardi in his second season as manager. The Venezuela native had not appeared in a professional, big-league game since May 2019 due to his suspension under the MLB-MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy and the organization’s decision to not promote him during the 60-game season in 2020.
It seems as though Herrera has been able to bounce back nicely, and not just at the plate. His two double plays turned and four assists rank as the best among National League center fielders. Herrera’s 0.7 defensive WAR, meanwhile, ranks as the ninth-best.
Even if Herrera is not the team’s long-term solution at center field given his off-the-field actions, his 2021 statistics are surely giving Dave Dombrowski plenty of discussion points in trade talks with other general managers.