The Philadelphia Phillies, as currently constructed, can compete for a playoff spot.
They are currently 17-19, so their roster isn’t perfect, but they are designed to go for a playoff berth in 2022.
They are, however, having some issues with a crucial spot in the lineup: the leadoff hitter.
“Phillies leadoff hitters this year: .163 AVG, .218 OBP, .261 SLG So…desperation?,” Codify Baseball tweeted, in response to a tweet by Alex Fast wondering why Rhys Hoskins, a known middle-of-the-order producer, is being used in the first spot of the lineup.
Phillies leadoff hitters this year:
.163 AVG, .218 OBP, .261 SLG
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) May 18, 2022
Hoskins does have some solid on-base skills: he is currently sporting a 10.2 percent walk rate and his career mark is 14.1 percent, which is ideal for a leadoff hitter.
The Phillies Need To Address Their Leadoff Hitter Situation
However, his batting average is so low that his final OBP doesn’t look very good at the top of the lineup.
Hoskins is currently hitting .229/.306/.435 for the Phillies: he has contributed some power (six home runs), but his batting average and walk rate are somewhat diminished.
In reality, Hoskins is one of the Phillies’ best options at the top, even if he is very slow.
Schwarber is similar to Hoskins, with a bit more power, while Bohm and Segura are more contact-oriented.
The Phillies’ best hitter, Bryce Harper, is usually the third hitter in the lineup.
Philadelphia doesn’t have a prototypical leadoff hitter, so they need to improvise with internal options or bring in one via trade.
In any case, addressing the issue is urgent, as the leadoff hitter sets the tone for the rest of the offense.