Philadelphia Phillies: Dream lineup with returning star Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Nick Castellanos #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

5. Nick Castellanos, right field

With a National League-best 14-game hitting streak entering Thursday, Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos is another player who has stepped up in Bryce Harper’s absence. Since June 26, the former Silver Slugger Award winner is slashing .304/.327/.422 with nine doubles, five home runs, and 23 RBI in 51 games.

Castellanos has come up with big hits not always highlighted in the box score, such as Tuesday — when his RBI single gave the Phillies the lead in the eventual walk-off victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Through 29 games and 120 plate appearances batting fifth in the order this season, Castellanos is slashing .333/.367/.491 with six doubles, four home runs, and 13 RBI. Meanwhile, he is hitting just .203 in the three-hole (121 plate appearances) and .258 batting cleanup (267 plate appearances). Castellanos batting fifth seems like the perfect spot.

6. Bryson Stott, shortstop

On May 11, Phillies rookie infielder Bryson Stott was hitting as low as .111. Entering Thursday night’s four-game series finale against the Reds, the Las Vegas native has raised the figure to .228.

While the number may seem low, his .286/.348/.435 slash line in Harper’s absence has been one of the team’s many bright spots. Stott has had clutch moments this season, and his walk-off blast in one of Rob Thomson’s first games as interim manager in early June is among the highlights.

Like fellow young Phillies infielder Alec Bohm, Stott is often able to make contact, get on base, and keep the momentum going. Stott getting on base for the proposed seven-hole hitter in the lineup could produce some runs in the final stretch of the season.