Darick Hall has earned his Phillies roster spot and made history with a slew of home runs
The organization has struggled for more than a decade to develop homegrown talent, with many top prospects struggling to stick after making the jump from Triple-A to the big leagues.
Not Hall, though. His eight-game big-league sample size is small but mighty. In 31 plate appearances, he has nine hits. Two of those hits are doubles, four are home runs. He’s scored eight times and driven in seven.
On Thursday, his fourth homer not only gave the Phillies some crucial insurance; it also cemented him in the franchise history books. His four home runs are the most by any batter in Phillies history (since 1901) through the first eight games of their career.
It’s unclear where Hall fits into the Phillies’ long-term plans. Ideally, Harper’s UCL tear will continue healing while he recovers from his surgically-repaired fractured thumb (there’s a lot going on there), and he’ll be able to return to the outfield. However, Harper hasn’t played the outfield since mid-April because of the UCL issue, working instead as the Phillies’ designated hitter, the position Hall occupies now.
When Harper returns to the outfield, it will impact Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, two subpar defenders who would be taking turns as DH. Hall can play first base, but Rhys Hoskins is their everyday first baseman and won’t become a free agent until 2024.
So, at some point this season, there won’t be room for Hall, and it’s unclear what the Phillies will do about that. It’s the tough reality of the game, that even when someone earns their place, sometimes, there’s no place to put them.
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