Phillies 2023 Cy Young: Ranking the top 5 Most Valuable Phillies pitchers this season

Ranking the most valuable Phillies pitchers and awarding the team Cy Young for 2023.
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 6

No. 3: Taijuan Walker, 2.5 fWAR

Despite getting the short end of the stick in the postseason, Taijuan Walker and his 2.5 WAR finished as the third most valuable Phillies pitcher this season.

In his first season of the 4-year, $72 million contract he signed in the offseason, Walker had one of the best years of his 11-year career, value-wise. He earned 2.6 WAR last season with the New York Mets and reached 2.5 WAR with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017.

Despite not always having a smooth ride, the 31-year-old veteran was dependable for his new team. He took the ball every turn through the rotation, making 31 starts and pitching to a 15-6 record with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 172. 2/3 innings.

After a solid showing for Mexico at the World Baseball Classic, the right-hander got off to a slow start with the Phillies, culminating in an eight-run blowup in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on May 1. He settled in after that, for the most part, and posted a 2.72 ERA over his next 13 outings.

The phenomenal stretch included a personal seven-game win streak from June 6 to July 15. He had a 1.64 ERA and only gave up eight earned runs while striking out 43 in 44 innings over the dominant span.

Even though he was the only Phillie not to make an appearance in the postseason, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski gave Walker a vote of confidence in his end-of-year press conference.

"He won 15 games, he pitched 175 innings for us in in in a year in which not many people are doing that," Dombrowski said. "He took the ball basically every fifth day or sixth day at various times. I think he had a real solid season for us. I think he did a nice job."