The Phillies were not good last season.
As they attempt to return to contention in the NL East next season, it comes as no surprise that there could be a lot of roster turnover. And sure enough, the Phillies have been wheeling and dealing and overhauling their potential line up as the Winter Meetings conclude.
Here is a very early look at what the Phillies starting line up could look like in 2018:
C: Jorge Alfaro
It’s finally time for the Phils to hand the keys over to the do-it-all 24-year-old who hit .308 in 107 at bats after a fall call up. He has a little power and is more of an offensive catcher but with some experience in the majors he could learn to handle a pitching staff.
1B: Carlos Santana
The Phils inked the former Indians free agent to a $60 million deal. He hit 57 homers over the last two seasons and appears to be the new Phils’ full time first baseman.
2B: Scott Kingery
Expecting Cesar Hernandez here? Well the Phillies look to be going young — having jettisoned longtime shortstop Freddy Galvis last week. Hernandez could be the next moved. Kingery posted a .304 batting average, 26 home runs, 65 RBI, and 29 stolen bases between Double and Triple-A last year and is the second best 2B prospect in baseball.
SS: J.P. Crawford
Which leads us to the Phillies top prospect — slick fielding Crawford. He’s finally got a wide open path to the majors, cleared by Galvis’ change. He is the guy this year and hopes to avoid the fate of a similarly-touted prospect Domonic Brown, who did not live up to the hype.
3B: Maikel Franco
The Phillies aren’t giving up on Franco yet, a great bat but sometimes a head case at third for Philadelphia. Buzz about a potential trade for Manny Machado could change, if the Phils make a move.
RF: Rhys Hoskins
Hoskins power bat isn’t going anywhere — he just might be put in a new spot. With Santana playing first look for Hoskins to bat fourth and play outfield.
CF: Odubel Herrera
Like Franco, Herrera has elite skill at the plate but is frustratingly inconsistent. Still, he’s the only Phillie aside from Santana inked longterm and he’ll start the season in center.
LF: Nick Williams/Aaron Altherr
The battle to start in left will pit veteran Altherr and returning rookie Williams. Each has power and speed, and each has the potential to develop into a mid-line up bat. Both will make the 25-man roster.