As baseball's offseason takes shape, we will take a look at each player on the Phillies 2020 roster and where they fit in the future. We'll go through the roster by uniform number, lowest to highest for position players, highest to lowest for pitchers, and alternate daily.
Today: Third baseman Alec Bohm
Bohm's career is really just getting started. He made a quick trip through the Phillies’ minor-league system and arrived in the majors on August 13, just 11 days before his 24th birthday. Right from the beginning, it looked like he belonged. The story of his career is yet to be written, but the first chapter looks pretty good. The National League Rookie of the Year award will be announced on November 9 and Bohm could finish in the Top 3 of the voting.
How he became a Phillie
Bohm was undrafted out of his Omaha, Nebraska high school. He played three seasons at Wichita State, improved each year and blossomed into one of the best hitters in the country. He impressed Phillies scouts with his power, selectivity and ability to hit for average, and the team selected him with the third overall pick in the 2018 draft.
Bohm was a bright spot in what ended up as a disappointing season for the club. In 44 games, he hit .338 with a .400 on-base percentage, four homers and 23 RBIs, the most by any NL rookie. He impressed with his ability to hit to all fields, remain selective and stay true to a line-drive approach.
The funny thing about Bohm’s excellent showing in the majors this season is it might not have happened if Scott Kingery, who had battled COVID-19 over the summer, hadn’t struggled at the plate. In mid-August, the Phils went looking for more offense. They moved Kingery into a utility role and shifted Jean Segura to second base. That opened up third base for Bohm.
In September, as J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper leveled off and were hampered by injuries, Bohm stepped up and moved to the middle of the batting order. He had the fifth-best batting average (.367), second-most hits (40) and 10th-best on-base percentage (.421) among all big-leaguers in September.
Bohm’s defense at third base was a source of debate when he was in the minor leagues. His backers swore he could handle the position long term. Others had concerns and believed he’d one day end up at first base. Bohm had a couple of rough games at third base — his lanky, 6-5 frame makes it tough to charge balls and deliver a quick throw to first base — but he showed some mental toughness in bouncing back quickly. It’s way too early to say Bohm can’t be a solid third baseman and the idea of moving him to first will be back-burnered as long as Rhys Hoskins hits.
What lies ahead
Bohm will come into spring training as the team’s starting third baseman and a major building block for the future. We’ll let Harper handle the rest:
“The bigger he gets and the better he gets, he’s going to be a possible MVP for us,” Harper said of Bohm.
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