Phillies

Phillies

Five Phillies cracked MLB Network's Top 100 players list this week, led by ace Aaron Nola at No. 24.

Nola was the sixth-ranked pitcher, behind Max Scherzer (5), Jacob deGrom (10), Chris Sale (13), Justin Verlander (20) and Corey Kluber (23).

In fact, Nola was the only player in this year's Top 25 who was unranked by MLB Network a year ago. A clear sign of how much he advanced his career within one season.

Last year, the only Phillie in MLB Network's Top 100 was Carlos Santana at No. 60.

Before you ask, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper were ranked 14th and 15th, respectively. So the Phils could have a total of six players in the Top 100 before the season opens.

40. J.T. Realmuto 

New Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto was No. 40 overall, by far the highest-ranked catcher. The only three other catchers in the Top 100 were all ranked in the 90s — Buster Posey at 92, Gary Sanchez at 93 and Yasmani Grandal at 96.

With Posey aging and his power declining, Realmuto is regarded as the game's best and most well-rounded catcher. More on his unique skill set here.

59. Rhys Hoskins

Hoskins checked in at No. 59, one spot ahead of Mets outfielder Michael Conforto. 

Only six first basemen were ahead of Hoskins: Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, Joey Votto, Anthony Rizzo, Cody Bellinger and Matt Olson.

Hoskins, in his first full season, hit .246/.354/.496 with 38 doubles, 34 homers and 96 RBI. He also walked 87 times. 

 

Hoskins' offense could reach a new level in 2019 with more lineup protection and the move back to the infield. He just won't have as much to think about or worry about as he did in 2018, learning how to play left field at each MLB stadium. Playing first base is the same in any city; the same can't be said of outfield layouts.

83. Jean Segura

Segura was the 10th-ranked shortstop. At 83, he's a spot ahead of Nationals shortstop Trea Turner and two spots ahead of Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies.

Segura will add dynamics the 2018 Phillies' lineup lacked. He led all of baseball last season with 20 games of at least three hits. He was one of only six in the majors to hit .300 with at least 20 stolen bases.

He's excited to be here after how things went in Seattle last September.

95. Andrew McCutchen

It's interesting to see McCutchen crack the Top 100. You forget the guy is 32 years old. He became an everyday player so early in his career (22) that it seems like he should be a few years older.

McCutchen is ranked 20 spots lower than Michael Brantley, who signed a two-year, $32 million five days after McCutchen signed a three-year, $50 million pact with the Phillies.

It could be argued that Brantley's left-handed bat would have fit this Phillies team better, but the Phils were more concerned with getting a reliable and durable player in McCutchen. 

McCutchen has averaged 155 games per season since 2010 and hasn't played fewer than 153 since 2014.

The oft-injured Brantley has averaged just 81 games the last three seasons. He missed 151 games in 2016, 72 games in 2017 and 19 last season.

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