The next player in our Philadelphia Phillies 2024 Season Preview Series is first baseman and designated hitter Darick Hall.
Darick Hall 2023 stats and 2024 projections
2023 Stats: 18 G, 56 PA, 9 H, 1 HR, 3 RBI, .167/.196/.241, -0.6 fWAR
2024 Steamer: 6 G, 27 PA, 6 H, 1 HR, 4 RBI, .238/.310/.445, 0.0 fWAR
2024 ZiPS: 460 PA, 97 H, 19 HR, 65 RBI, .234/.304/.430, 0.6 fWAR
*Editor's note: Current ZiPS projections aren't a playing-time predictor.
Darick Hall 2024 season preview
When Rhys Hoskins went down with a torn ACL in spring training last year, the initial expectation was for Hall to receive most of the playing time at first base. After appearances in only six regular-season games, though, the infielder suffered an injury of his own — a torn ligament in his right thumb that required surgery.
After returning from the injured list, Hall only saw action in 12 more games for the big league ballclub, all in July. Having lost the role to Kody Clemens, and then eventually Bryce Harper, there's not a clear spot for him on this roster.
Position-wise, Hall's lack of versatility could lead to struggles finding playing time this season, though an opportunity could be in the making as the team searches for a serviceable backup to their superstar player.
Hall's MLB bat is projected to see slight uptick in batting stats
In his 18 MLB games in 2023, Hall suffered a loss of power and control at the plate. While he slashed .313/.397/.544 with 18 home runs in the minors, those numbers fell to .167/.196/.241 and one long ball in the big leagues.
His home run pace isn't expected to increase. The Steamer projections have him hitting one homer in six MLB games, while ZiPS is projecting a return of 19 total long balls for the season, across both major and minor league games.
However, both projection systems have Hall's slash line slated to rebound this season after the abysmal showing in 2023. Steamer has him projected for a .238/.310/.445 line, with ZiPS not far behind at .234/.304/.430.
Part of that is because of a projected return of more patience at the plate. After striking out 32.1 percent of the time in his limited MLB action last year, Steamer has that number down to 25.4 percent. Likewise, his walk percentage could see a bump from 3.6 percent to 8.6 percent.
Across the board, ZiPS has Hall improving his batting average against both lefties and righties, going from .182 to .221 against southpaws and .163 to .242 against right-handed pitchers. In particular, his slugging against righties is slated to jump from .186 to .450.
While those numbers still aren't super-impressive, they'd put him more in line with one of the team's other backup options at first base — Kody Clemens.
Hall's MLB playing time will be limited in 2024
Hall is going to have an uphill battle on his hands to find playing time in Philadelphia this season.
Harper is entering a season healthy for the first time in years. Add in the fact that he learned a new position last season, and things are looking more than set at first base. However, the fact remains that Harper returned impressively fast from Tommy John surgery last year and is still relatively new to the position, so it won't be surprising if the team gives him more rest from the infield, to start at least.
Hall likely won't see time at DH either, with Kyle Schwarber slotting into that role this season now that Harper doesn't need to occupy the spot as often.
According to the Steamer projections, the 28-year-old's playing time will drop from 18 to six games in 2024.
When and if the team does need someone to fill in at first, they'll have a handful of options to turn to — including Alec Bohm, Kody Clemens and Jake Cave. Hall's potential to be a power-hitting left-handed bat off the bench is enticing, though, so the team will be hoping he can regain his power swing in the minors throughout the year and stay ready to contribute in the big leagues when called upon.
Barring an injury at first or DH, it's hard to imagine him getting the call early in the season. Expect Hall to spend the majority of the year in Triple-A with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.