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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Símon Muzziotti

Among all the dark horse candidates on this list, Símon Muzziotti is the only highly-touted prospect in the group. Muzziotti was an international prospect signed by the Phillies back in 2016. His main playing card isn’t his power but rather his solid contact skills, along with his elite speed and defensive capabilities.

Despite being ranked in the Phillies' top 12 prospects in four of the past five seasons, according to MLB Pipeline, Muzziotti has actually spent quite some time growing and developing his game in the minor leagues. He made a cameo with the big league club in 2022 but was promptly sent back down to the minors after an underwhelming performance.

However, Muzziotti put together his best minor league season to date in 2023 when he posted career highs in runs scored (67), home runs (seven), RBI (61), stolen bases (26), and OPS (.761). At age 25 and heading towards his prime, his offensive game is beginning to mature and round into form to match up with his speed and defense.

With the Phillies having a lack of strong outfield defenders at the major league level other than Johan Rojas, a strong showing by Muzziotti this spring training can go a long way in ensuring him a potential spot on the big league roster for 2024.

With a lifetime fielding percentage of .985, he would make a strong defensive replacement off the bench late in games. If he can also prove that his bat is finally MLB-ready, the arrival of Muzziotti could be coming sooner than you think.