3 Phillies players who already have our trust entering the 2024 season

As the Philadelphia Phillies prepare for spring training in Clearwater, Florida, we look at three players firmly established in the hearts of fans.

Philadelphia Phillies stars J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper are two players who should have full trust heading into 2024
Philadelphia Phillies stars J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper are two players who should have full trust heading into 2024 / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 3
Next

Bryce Harper

If you're looking for a way to earn the trust of coaches, teammates, fans or whoever, a couple of ways to achieve this are persevering through pain and being amenable to where and how you are used. In the case of Bryce Harper, he's done both of these during the past two seasons.

First up, Harper suffered a UCL injury to his right elbow early in the 2022 season. It speaks volumes that he took a plasma injection to deal with the pain and continue playing, although he did have to restrict himself to DH.

Unfortunately for the two-time NL Hank Aaron Award winner, the sporting gods hadn't finished having fun with him yet. He suffered another injury in late June and was ruled out indefinitely, although those same sporting gods hadn't reckoned with his superior mental fortitude, and he was back with the Phillies by late August.

Harper would proceed to endear himself even more to the Philadelphia faithful, as he played a pivotal role in helping the Phillies advance through the playoffs despite being underdogs. His first postseason action since 2017 was highlighted by being named NLCS MVP, although the team ultimately came up short to the Astros in the World Series.

The seven-time All-Star continued to earn the admiration of Phillies fans after undergoing offseason Tommy John surgery and returning to action last May. Thanks to Rhys Hoskins' season-ending injury and Darick Hall's struggles, Harper was asked to contribute at first base, albeit while still being used as a DH in the majority of his games.

After playing almost exclusively in the outfield during his career, the 31-year-old duly obliged. He proved to be reliable with just one error in 36 starts at first base and no mistakes in 13 further starts at the position during the postseason.

On the subject of the postseason, Harper continued to show what he's all about, particularly in the NLDS versus the Atlanta Braves. He had an eye-popping .462/.611/1.154 slash line and 1.765 OPS in four games, to beat the favored Braves and advance to the NLCS.

The three-time Silver Slugger is all about the team despite his perceived surly demeanor, and in this respect, he will become the Phillies' full-time starting first baseman in 2024. It will be interesting to see how he adapts, but all indications are he'll be just fine.

Next. 4 Phillies who don’t deserve to be on the 40-man roster. 4 Phillies who don’t deserve to be on the 40-man roster. dark

In all honesty, Harper had already done more than enough to earn the trust of Phillies fans. He's been nothing but fantastic during his five years in Philadelphia with a bevy of achievements, highlighted by winning his second NL MVP in 2021.

If the Phillies are going to finally win the World Series in 2024 after two near misses, everyone associated with the team is confident Harper will be at the heart of it all.

manual