Philadelphia Phillies 2023 Season Position Breakdown: Shortstop
The Phillies have one of Major League Baseball's best shortstops.
One of the most integral Philadelphia Phillies offseason moves was signing perhaps the best shortstop and position player on the free-agent market — Trea Turner. The addition of Turner moved Bryson Stott to second base full-time. If all goes according to plan, the two middle infielders should become a formidable duo for years.
Turner can change a franchise. Widely regarded as one of the best players in baseball at his position, Turner makes great contact, can hit for some power, and has game-changing speed. Turner has also shown durability. In 2021 and 2022, he respectively played 148 and 160 games. Turner's defense isn't bad either, although if there is an area for him to improve, it would be defensively.
If Turner can replicate his numbers from the past few seasons, the Phillies can expect around a .300 batting average with an OPS over .800. Turner is also a threat on the basepaths. With new rules limiting pitchers holding runners on base and the larger bases, many assume that Turner's stolen base numbers will only increase. The addition of Turner becomes even more important with the loss of Bryce Harper for the first few months of the season.
While Turner is durable, there are always scenarios when he may not be in the lineup. Barring injury, he should play most days, but if he does need a rest or is the designated hitter, the Phillies have a versatile infielder — Edmundo Sosa. Sosa can play shortstop, second base, and third base. He plays these positions above average defensively and will likely see time at each throughout the season. The infield is in good hands in terms of defensive depth.
Shortstop used to be a position the Phillies would have considered a weakness after Didi Gregorius was released last season. Looking ahead to 2023, many would consider shortstop as their most reliable position — one that is set for the foreseeable future, given Turner's 11-year contract.
Turner is an offensive game-changer and should help contribute to the success of the 2023 club and beyond.