Phillies

Phillies

Only 15 of the 25 men who made the Phillies' opening day roster in 2018 remain on the opening day roster this year.

There are the four big offensive additions — Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura — while the entire bench was here a season ago.

Here's one key fact/stat/note about each Phillies hitter:

C J.T. Realmuto
Last season, Realmuto had a .340 on-base percentage and .484 slugging percentage. Over the last four years, only four catchers total have hit both marks in a full season. He is the best offensive catcher in baseball and has a chance to reach a gear higher than he has previously with more lineup protection and a hitter-friendly home park.

1B Rhys Hoskins
First base isn't nearly as deep as it has been throughout baseball history. Hoskins, mostly a leftfielder in 2018, had 34 homers and 96 RBI. The only first baseman in either league who had at least 34 and 96 was Jesus Aguilar. Surprising.

2B Cesar Hernandez
Despite the down year in 2018, Hernandez's .366 OBP the last three seasons is 11th-highest in baseball, a spot behind Nolan Arenado.

3B Maikel Franco
Franco led the 2018 Phillies with a .270 batting average. The only two NL teams whose leader had a lower batting average were the Mets and Padres. Won't be the case for the Phils in 2019.

SS Jean Segura
Segura has hit .307 in the first inning of games over the last four seasons, ninth-best in baseball. It's a point lower than Christian Yelich and six points lower than Mike Trout over the same span. Only Dee Gordon, Lorenzo Cain and Jose Altuve have stolen more bases in the first inning than Segura's 29. That matters a whole lot in terms of building early leads with Segura batting second.

 

OF Andrew McCutchen
McCutchen had a .414 on-base percentage out of the leadoff spot last season, trailing only Mookie Betts.

CF Odubel Herrera
Herrera's batting average has dropped in each of his four seasons, from .297 to .286 to .281 to .255. Herrera and Justin Upton were the only two non-injured major-leaguers last season to hit fewer than 20 doubles a year after hitting 40-plus. Based on their lineup construction, the Phillies would benefit more from Herrera hitting .285 with 40 doubles than they would him hitting 20 points lower with a home run total similar to 2018.

RF Bryce Harper
Over the last four seasons, Harper's OPS is 96 points higher than Manny Machado's. His batting average (.283) is one point lower. Harper has walked 192 more times, despite having 340 fewer plate appearances.

Keep this in mind, too: In 150 career games in March/April, Harper has hit .309/.436/.619 with 41 homers and 112 RBI. It is by far his highest batting average, OPS and RBI total for any month. It's also his highest home run total. Talk about a fast starter.

C Andrew Knapp
Knapp ended the season by going 4 for 48 over his final 55 plate appearances. He entered camp battling for the Phillies' backup catcher's job and won it with a strong spring, both offensively and defensively. There were only five other switch-hitting catchers who had as much big-league time as Knapp last season. Having a backup catcher who hits from both sides is a minor benefit.

UT Scott Kingery
Kingery was thrown a first-pitch strike 67.8 percent of the time last season, the fourth-highest rate in the majors. This was both because he was challenged often and expanded the zone even more.

LF/RF Nick Williams
Williams hit .357 as a pinch-hitter last season, going 10 for 28 with three homers and eight RBI. His three pinch-hit homers were second-most in baseball behind Daniel Palka. It's a small sample size but encouraging with Williams expected to be the Phils' key bat off the bench late in games.

OF Aaron Altherr
All the tools, but not enough production. Altherr hit .272/.340/.516 in 2017 but has hit .199/.303/.352 in his other 680 plate appearances as a Phillie.

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