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May 31, 2019

Phillies' in-house options to replace Odubel Herrera in outfield are limited

The Phillies are short in their outfield — with Odubel Herrera more than likely out of their immediate plans after an arrest for domestic violence

We've already scoured the league, looking for suitable and likely rental outfielders for the team's third starting outfield position. Today, let's take a look at the in-house options, should the team decide not to explore the trade market.

Nick Williams, Roman Quinn, Scott Kingery

This is the trio they currently have. Or, the one they will have once Quinn returns from a groin strain. 

Kingery is a utility man and can play pretty much every position, and ideally he'd be free to give the Phils' infielders some days off. He should be getting occasional starts in centerfield, not every start. 

Quinn will return and hit only right-handed, as he's struggled as a switch hitter at the MLB level. He's also been on the IL twice this season. 

And Williams, who has been logging plenty of MLB service time, just can't find a consistent stroke with the bat. 

Kingery*83.3083 HR, 11 RBI
Williams*74.1891 HR, 5 RBI
Quinn*52.2501 HR, 4 RBI 
*Combined minor/MLB

The big gaping hole here is power. Hererra had a single homer and 16 RBI in 39 games this season and the Phillies — even with Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper and all their other power hitters — are 23rd in the majors in home runs while playing in one of the more hitter-friendly MLB parks.

Being that it is still only the spring and the trade deadline is two months away, the Phillies will likely give the trio above some chance to get into a rhythm. But having an outfield spot as an automatic out is not ideal for a team hoping to contend for a championship.

Dylan Cozens

Cozens checks off nearly every box for the Phillies. He is a left-handed hitter. He has epic power ability, having hit 40 Double-A homers a few seasons ago (he has six so far this year in Triple-A). He is cheap, under team control and has MLB experience.

The only issue is, he hasn't been able to do much with it. In 39 official big league at bats, the 24-year-old has one home run and just six hits. One could argue it's due to a limited sample size, but he's been unable to hit with any kind of consistency. Things have gone straight down-hill since his record-setting 2016. Here are his career numbers at all levels since his 40 HR year:

2017 AAA27/75.210

If Cozens had showed any sustainable signs of life in the minors, he might have found his opportunity. But instead, it looks like Cozens will be stuck in Lehigh for another year.

Adam Haseley, Mickey Moniak, Cornelius Randolph

The final group here consists of three former first-round picks, all of whom play outfield, all of whom bat left-handed, and all of whom are playing like they want the promotion. A brief look:

 AgeLevel HR/RBIBA

Moniak and Randolph are both in clear need of continued adjusting to Double-A, and may need a visit to Triple-A before they make their big league leap. But we mention them just to emphasize that there is talent ready to knock on the door. There may be a hesitation to make a major commitment to an outfielder for years in the future (as they have with Harper) when they can go the home grown route. They can also same some serious cash and stay under the luxury tax.

Haseley just got promoted to Lehigh Valley. He is the eighth overall pick from just two Junes ago, having played three years at Virginia in college. He isn't on the 40-man roster yet but don't be surprised if the team makes room for him for a lengthy look in September — or if they elect to spend their resources on upgrading their bullpen and rotation and decide to give Haseley the chance to play in the big leagues right now.

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