The Philadelphia Phillies are a week into June and the offense seems to be finally hitting its stride. After multiple lineup changes in the first two months of the season, Philadelphia has been sending a consistent lineup out the first week of June that has produced at a higher rate than past lineups in 2023.
The team started the month by getting swept out of New York by the Mets. After dropping the first game in Washington, the team won the final two then headed home where they swept the Tigers.
While the starting pitching has improved, the lineup has led the way for the majority of this four game win streak. Let's take a look at how the top five players in the lineup have faired in the month of June so far.
At the leadoff spot, we have Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber is the killer of the month of June as all of his career statistics and rates are higher in the calendar month compared to any other month. In June of 2023, the trend looks to be continuing.
Through six games, Schwarber has four home runs, seven RBIs, and a 1.172 OPS. On top of that, Schwarber has a 185 sOPS+. While it is a small sample size, the numbers are encouraging for a breakout from Schwarber as he has struggled mightily in the first two months of 2023. He batted just .115 in the month of May. The team will need Schwarber to keep up the great power numbers in June.
Nick Castellanos has been hitting second in the lineup in the past week and has continued to provide terrific offense. Entering the month, Castellanos was arguably the best hitter in the Phillies lineup. He had the top WAR on the roster with 1.8.
In June, Castellanos has taken his production to another level. Through eight games, Castellanos is hitting a ridiculous .484 average with a 1.288 OPS. He has been a great connector between Schwarber and Harper to even out the lineup and place a righty in between the two power lefties. As the most consistent bat in the lineup in 2023, he is only improving.
Third in the lineup is Bryce Harper. Harper hasn't had the best numbers in June, but his presence alone has allowed the lineup to be more flexible. In June, Harper has an OPS of just .648. Despite the low numbers, Harper has had some bad luck and is continuing to hit the ball hard.
Harper has a max exit velocity in the 91st percentile and an expected slugging in the 95th percentile. The slugger has hit multiple balls to the warning track in the Tigers series that have been caught just in front of the wall. If he continues to hit the ball hard, the numbers will come. His presence allows Castellanos ahead of him to get better pitches to hit because teams still do not want to pitch to Harper.
Batting cleanup is Trea Turner. Turner has not had the best start to his Phillies career, but is picking it up a bit in June. A two home run performance in the first game against the Tigers was arguably his best in a Phillies uniform. He went four for five in the game and almost went five or five if it weren't for a great diving catch by Tigers third baseman Nick Maton.
Turner has a .855 OPS in June through six games. This mark is over .200 more than his numbers in April and May. Turner in the four hole is not what many would have expected entering the season, but it has worked so far with Turner often hitting with Castellanos or Harper on base.
J.T. Realmuto has batted fifth in the Phillies new look lineup. Realmuto has had a powerful start to June. After hitting zero home runs in the month of May, Realmuto already has two in just five games started.
Realmuto's OPS and slugging are both higher in June than the first two months and he has half the RBIs he had in May already. Realmuto must keep up the improved power as the fifth spot will be a key position to drive in runs with the big four ahead of him. He will often have players on base in front of him and with the speed of Trea Turner on the base paths, Realmuto driving the ball to the outfield could often lead to runs.
As a team, Philadelphia's OPS in June so far is .779. The team did not reach .700 May. While the team seems to be on the right path a week into June, a difficult schedule awaits with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks. Playing two of the top teams in the National League will test if the Phillies really are hitting their stride in June and turning the season around. It will be up to the top five hitters to keep the offense going.