July 15, 2018
It's break time.
Aside from Rhys Hoskins' participation in Monday's home run derby and Aaron Nola's inning of work as the Phillies' sole All-Star Tuesday, there won't be any baseball for Phillies fans to care about until Friday as the annual All-Star Break is finally here.
As we turn the page and start focusing with intrigue on the impending trade deadline and eventual pennant race this fall, lets pause to take stock on the best and brightest from the first half for the Phillies — a group that has somehow managed to stay in first place despite a meager +18 run differential (the Astros are +191, the Cubs +111).
Though they ended their first half with a whimper — a 10-5 loss to the Marlins to drop an ugly series in Miami, they remain an impressive 53-42. Here are some awards:
Just before the season started, the Phils handed Kingery an unprecedented six-year, $24 million deal before the then 23-year-old had ever played a major league game. And while the deal could wind up a bargain if Kingery rounds into a big league staple, it is looking like a terrible short term investment. Kingery's lack of consistency and production with his bat is one of the main reasons the Phils are so heavily interested in trading for Manny Machado.
Dominguez has been one of the most enjoyable players to watch this season, as he's embraced the role of de facto setup man — often times getting the most important three (or six) outs of the game while occasionally getting the save. Just 23, Dominguez has struck out 43 batters in 33.2 innings while allowing just six runs and one homer. If he keeps it up, he'll certainly find one of the more important roles on the squad as the summer continues.
Hoskins' inclusion in the Home Run Derby is a good indicator of where the Phillies' outfielder stands in the hierarchy of major league sluggers. His on base percentage (.363) is in the top 35 of all big league hitters while his on base plus slugging rate (.819) is the best on the Phils. As the summer has heated up so has his bat, offering the Phillies a real threat in the heart of their order.
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