The Philadelphia Phillies are just over two weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in Clearwater, Florida. With the start of baseball right around the corner, we have put together power rankings for the 2024 squad, starting with the outfielders likely to break camp with the club.
2023 was a rough year for the Phillies outfield. With injuries to Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper to begin the season, manager Rob Thomson was forced to make difficult decisions when it came to his everyday defensive assignments while trying to keep his best hitters in the lineup.
Thomson was tested early when Bryce Harper returned from offseason Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in early May. With Harper unable to play defense and assuming the role of everyday DH, Kyle Schwarber accepted the role of left fielder to keep both player's bats in the lineup.
While a selfless move on Schwarber's part, the results were less than optimal in the field. Schwarber's lack of range and poor instincts exposed a serious weakness in the outfield as the defensively limited slugger failed to make routine plays, and some of those miscues cost the team a couple of close games.
Last season will go down as a tale of two outfields for the Phillies. When Bryce Harper emerged willing and able to assume first base duties, Thomson shifted Schwarber back to DH, and the Phillies called up defensively gifted outfielder Johan Rojas. The addition of Rojas was a game changer, as the youngster took over the center field role, with Brandon Marsh shifting over to man left.
According to FanGraphs, the 2023 Phillies were ranked 26th in outfield defense. Going into this season, it's reasonable to believe the Phillies will show improvement if the team sticks with an everyday outfield of Marsh, Rojas, and Nick Castellanos.
Without further ado, let's get into the Phillies outfield power rankings for 2024, beginning with a slugger we hope doesn't have to play out there this season