5 dark horse candidates to fill out the Phillies 2024 Opening Day bench

Which Phillies players could surprise this spring to steal a bench role by Opening Day?

Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks
Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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Darick Hall

Darick Hall has always been known as a potent power hitter coming up through the Phillies minor league system. With the ability to put up 30-homer, 100-RBI seasons at ease each year, Hall appeared to be on the fast track to the majors with that kind of run production potential.

However, Hall has failed to deliver on that potential so far after making his major league debut with the ballclub in 2022. There's no doubt his enormous power plays well, as he managed to mash nine home runs in just 41 games in his first season with the Phillies. However, with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of almost 9:1, he was getting owned by major league pitching as they essentially neutralized his effectiveness.

Nevertheless, Hall still got a chance again in 2023 after a strong spring training in which he hit .316 with a 1.041 OPS, 10 runs scored, five home runs, and 13 RBI while walking as much as he struck out over 20 games. He began the season with the Phillies as the starting first baseman due to Hoskins’ injury. However, an ill-timed thumb injury just six games into the season took away any chance he had to grow his game in the majors.

He received one more opportunity later in the season after returning from his injury. Hall was called up in July, but his continual disappointment at the plate punched his ticket back down to the minors for the rest of the season. In the end, he batted only .167 with a .437 OPS with 18 strikeouts in just 54 at-bats over 18 games.

If Hall can somehow translate his game from the minors to the majors this coming season, he could represent the most potent bench bat the Phillies can deploy, even more so than a Sosa or Cave. But first and foremost, he'll need another strong spring training and make the right adjustments to lower his strikeout rate when facing big league pitching. If he's successful, the Phillies will suddenly have another Schwarber/Castellanos-type player at their disposal in 2024.