Phillies’ mismanagement of Alec Bohm has been stunning
What’s the point in cultivating prospects if you know their status will meet an untimely end once the Phillies are entrusted with developing their skills?
After the stunning demotion of Alec Bohm on Sunday to activate Rhys Hoskins — both of whom were supposed to be large pieces of this core — that type of fatalism only feels slightly hyperbolic.
Bohm will head to Triple-A for some straightening out in the midst of his second “full season” in the bigs, fresh off hitting a remarkable .338 in 44 games worth of his age-23 season while sporting a stunning 139 wRC+.
This season? That wRC+ mark has dipped all the way down to 78. When you mix in his fielding foibles, his season WAR total plummets all the way to -1.1.
By examining the totality of his numbers, it becomes clear why the Phillies’ braintrust believed this was the right move, as opposed to sacrificing, say, Luke Williams, Travis Jankowski, or Jorge Bonifacio. In the bigger picture, though, losing Bohm midstream less than one full year after he nearly took home league-wide hardware will drop your jaw.
The Phillies have somehow bungled Alec Bohm’s development.
Bohm is 25. If we were another level more pessimistic than we already are, we’d say he’s running out of time to fix his defensive deficiencies enough to be viewed as an everyday player (let alone a star) by this organization.
It simply remains bizarre that the Phillies, due to a series of unforced errors, seem organizationally flummoxed by how to get a consistent bat consistent at-bats. At this point, though, there’s little to no reason to believe in a path forward for Bohm other than the sudden arrival of a savior: the legalized universal DH, potentially coming in 2022.
Beyond that, you’re looking at a player with the second-lowest defensive runs saved total in the game of baseball (-17) beginning last season. Someone whose bat clearly carried him to the bigs — and attempted to carry him again from June through early August, as highlighted above — but suddenly couldn’t carry him any longer as the Phillies attempted to maintain their razor-thin hold on first place in the NL East.
Philadelphia’s brass has had three years to turn Bohm from a bat-first top prospect whose fielding lagged behind into a viable everyday player.
After his luck turned and his bat stopped booming in 2021, though, it became clear there wasn’t even a shell of a competent fielder behind that exciting exterior. That’s another developmental failure in a long line of them for a team now hoping to be bailed out by Rob Manfred’s discussions with the Players’ Association.