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July 11, 2023

Grading the Phillies' hitters at the All-Star break

Nick Castellanos has been the club's best bat, Trea Turner has underwhelmed, and Bryson Stott is an everyday player on the rise.

The Phillies are in playoff position at the All-Star break. Of course, they did it in often frustrating fashion, with inconsistency and a little drama, but what else would you expect in Philadelphia?

With a few days off for everyone save for Nick Castellanos, Craig Kimbrel, and Rob Thomson — all participating in Tuesday's All-Star Game — there's plenty of time to pause and look back at the first half of a memorable season for the Phils. 

We've decided to hand out letter grades to each of the main players on the team, starting with the hitters today then circling back to the pitchers on Wednesday.

First, a look at how the overall offense has been through 89 games:

CategoryStatMLB Rank
Runs per game4.51 16th
Home runs9918th
Stolen bases7011th
 Batting average.2587th
BA with RISP.24820th
On base percentage.32118th
BA on balls in play.3184th
Walks 263 25th 

As you can see, it's been a mixed bag. A lack of power and hitting with runners in scoring position is an issue. They also aren't drawing many walks.

Now to the individual grades:

J.T. Realmuto: B-

.249/.307/.460, 10 HR, 34 RBI

The best catcher in baseball has been very up and down offensively this season, but he's been his regular incredible self behind the plate defensively.

Alec Bohm: A-

.280/.328/.426, 9 HR, 57 RBI

Even with a brief stint on the IL, Bohm leads the Phillies in RBI and is their best hitter with runners in scoring position. Many hoped he might have developed a bit more power as he matures as a hitter but it's hard to argue with his production. He's also been versatile, playing both third and first base this season.

Bryson Stott: A

.301/.338/.422, 7 HR, 33 RBI

This is exactly what you want from a first-round pick. He's an everyday player at a tough position (second base) and he's hitting over .300 through 83 games. 

Trea Turner: C-

.247/.299/.389, 10 HR, 32 RBI

Turner was supposed to hit .300 and be the Phillies' no-brainer leadoff man. Instead, he's had the worst season of his career so far. Here's hoping he looks more like himself in the second half.

Kyle Schwarber: C

.184/.313/.423, 22 HR, 49 RBI

Schwarber is definitely a unique player. His on-base percentage isn't awful, but his batting average is. He leads the Phillies in home runs and in strikeouts and neither is even close. Is it worth the tradeoff?

Brandon Marsh: B+

.275/.349/.450, 7 HR, 34 RBI

Marsh's production has been pretty close to what you'd hope for from a young everyday centerfielder. He has 20 extra-base hits (not including home runs) which is third on the team. He's also been their best defensive outfielder.

Nick Castellanos: A

.301/.344/.496, 13 HR, 55 RBI

This is exactly what the Phillies signed up for two offseasons ago when they brought in the former MVP candidate. He's been the best hitter on the Phillies all season long and a rare model of consistency at the plate. 

Bryce Harper: B

.290/.386/.400 , 3 HR, 23 RBI

Yes, the power is very much lacking, as he has mustered just three homers in 56 games. But he is less than a year removed from freaking Tommy John surgery. The man is a physical freak, and he may once again defy expectations with a debut at first base in the season's second half.

Edmundo Sosa: B-

.244/.263/.406, 6 HR, 19 RBI

Sosa has played the role of utility man reasonably well this season, doing a little of everything and giving key players days off without a ton of lost production.

Kocy Clemens: C

.230/.277/.367, 4 HR, 13 RBI

The Phillies were desperate for first base help at the start of the season and Clemens did the best he could. He had a few big hits in clutch spots but the numbers game eventually led to his demotion to Triple-A.

Josh Harrison: D+

.219/.274/.313, 2 HR, 10 RBI

The number speak for themselves. He's a veteran presence in the clubhouse and can play all over the field, but he doesn't do much at the plate.

Garrett Stubbs: C

.234/.308/.298, 3 RBI

It's not easy backing up Realmuto. Stubbs has started just 13 games at catcher (in contrast to 76 for Realmuto). In limited opportunities, Stubbs has done his best.

Cristian Pache: A

.327/.365/.592, 2 HR, 8 RBI

The sample size is small, so this 'A' grade will surely be adjusted as the second half progresses, but Pache has been a shot in the arm for the team both at the plate and in the field. If Harper indeed moves to first base and Schwarber to DH, Pache could get a chance to play in the outfield every day (until the trade deadline at least).

We'll hand an incomplete grade to the other bench players, like Darick Hall, who have less than 25 games played.

The combined results...

Everyday players: 3.05 GPA (B)

Bench players: 2.40 GPA (C+)

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