November 04, 2018
There are two big prizes this offseason: Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
With the hot stove officially on, the Phillies are expected to be one of the favorites to sign both — or if you ask Las Vegas oddsmakers, THE favorite.
But for the sake of this exercise, and lets face it, reasonability, lets fathom to decide which is a better fit for the Phillies with the assumption that the franchise is only able to ink one of the duo to a longterm contract.
Which would you rather have?
Lets take a look at this from a few different lenses.
It's remarkable how similar these two players are from simply looking at their career stats. Machado has a better career batting average by .003 points while Harper has just nine more home runs and eight more RBI — this stretched over seven seasons apiece.
Each, also, has compiled a bevy of accolades as the pair has combined for 10 All-Star appearances. Harper won the 2015 NL MVP, while Machado has two gold gloves. Here's a deeper look at the basic offensive stats:
|TOT||- - -||610||183||184||521||.279||.900|
|TOT||- - -||522||211||175||513||.282||.822|
Machado plays third base, but could potentially play shortstop if required. The infield for the Phillies is young but not much jumps out about it. Mikal Franco was the best bat, hitting .270 and hitting 22 homers with Cesar Hernandez playing about as good as an average player, hitting .253 and stealing 19 bags mostly from a leadoff role. Other options at third and short from in house include Scott Kingery, who had a lackluster rook campaign and veteran Asdrubel Cabrera.
Harper, on the other hand plays outfield — a spot where Philly is a little deeper and has a little more promise. Right now, it seems like Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams and Roman Quinn are the outfield of the future, with Rhys Hoskins splitting time in right field and at first base (depending on what happens with Carlos Santana). The aforementioned group of four players are young and some have pop and some have speed, but none of them eclipsed a .260 batting average in 2018.
Who's better? Machado — who is a great defender — is a better fit for an infield that made more errors than any other.
Only time Manny Machado runs hard is when he’s hunting ankles. pic.twitter.com/W4XchcbVk2— Baseball Fam (@ShtBallPlayrsDo) October 28, 2018
Harper also is a known bat flipper and once had beef with Cole Hamels, who welcomed him to the big leagues a few seasons ago with a HBP — to which Harper responded by stealing home.
Who's better? Harper by a nose, his swagger could eventually endear himself to the Philly faithful.
For all their successes, Harper and Machado are not exactly coming off of red hot performances. Harper's regular season in 2018 was his worst as a pro, despite his impressive performance in the Home Run Derby.
Machado, who had one of his best regular seasons, whimpered in a deep postseason run with the Dodgers, hitting .182 in the World Series after hitting three home runs in the first two rounds.
The biggest question here is how Harper will bounce back from his down season. Machado has been a model of consistency.
Who's better? Machado is more of a sure thing.
Tell us who you think is the better fit for the Phillies in the comments section or vote below:
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