This is the Nick Castellanos we all expected when he signed a five-year, $100 million contract last year. He has been the Phillies best hitter by far with slash line of .316/.358/.516 with an .874 OPS. He has laid off that pitch low and away and has been making great contact with pitches in the zone. His power that he seemingly had lost has found its way back as he has 12 home runs and 54 RBI, both good for second on the team. His defense could still be better but has not been a complete disaster. He is the only Phillies All-Star representative this year in the mid-summer classic.
Expectations are a funny thing. When Harper had his Tommy John surgery, there were reports that said hopefully he’d be back by the end of June. Well, he did what no one in the history of the game has ever done: he was activated 160 days after surgery. Harper’s mere presence in the lineup is a significant benefit to this team. He has run into some bad luck recently, hitting balls hard but right at defenders, but he still boasts a .293/.394/.398 line with a .792 OPS and that’s with him being on an extended homerless streak. He is clearly working himself back to the MVP we’ve come to know. He is also working hard at progressing his throwing to where he can, hopefully, contribute in the field.