3 Phillies preseason predictions that were shockingly accurate
Another season of middling mediocrity with a few sprinkles of greatness is over for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Yes, they made progress by posting their first winning season since 2011, but only by exactly one game. Their bullpen also tied the record for most blown saves in a single season (34) set by the 2004 Colorado Rockies and squandered Cy Young and MVP-caliber seasons from Zack Wheeler and Bryce Harper, and a breakout season from Ranger Suárez. There was also an exposé on the toxic culture in the franchise’s Player Development and farm system areas.
All in all, not a great season for the Phillies. But in typical fashion, the team somehow managed to do both everything and nothing they were projected to do.
Let’s revisit some of the shockingly accurate and inaccurate preseason predictions made about the Phillies…
TRUE: The Phillies were an enigma, as was their division
Looking back on some of the preseason predictions, it’s absolutely perfect that The Ringer‘s power rankings of the Phillies opened with, “Zero idea what to make of this team.” After a full season, I still don’t know what to make of them, either. Where they went wrong was praising Aaron Nola, Didi Gregorius, Brandon Kintzler (?!), Matt Moore, and Zach Eflin.
Sports Illustrated was right on the money picking the Phillies’ exact record, but they thought the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, and New York Mets would fare better, leaving the Phillies in fourth place. Baseball America also had them fourth, and did not predict that Harper would be one of the top-three NL MVP choices.
This says more about how whacky the NL East was this year than the Phillies’ actual talent. The Mets punted first place to the Phillies in early August and went on to collapse, while the Nationals sold off pretty much everyone not named Juan Soto. Ergo, Phillies in second place by default.