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February 20, 2020

Projecting 2020 stats for Phillies Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Nola and others

The Phillies finished 81-81 last year and a repeat performance won't cut it in 2020. With Joe Girardi and (hopeful) health on the team's side as they prepare to begin their spring training slate of games this weekend, attention is slowly starting to focus on the team's key players.

Baseball is a sport that is all about marginal improvement. If Bryce Harper, who hit .260 last season, had accumulated just 10 more hits (spread out over his 682 plate appearances in 2019), he would have hit .277. A few hits or strikeouts here or there really makes a difference over a 162 game season.

And so, we've decided to piece together various performance projections for seven key Phillies players — Harper, Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto and prospect Alec Bohm on offense, and Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Jake Arrieta on the mound. Are they expected to improve in 2020? How are they perceived by various mathematical analytical outlooks?

We included two fantasy baseball projections, two advanced statistical projections and's own outlooks for the purposes of having a few different perspectives:

Here's what we found:

RF Bryce Harper

Harper is projected to increase his home run total (35) in four of five projections with his RBI total (114) dipping or staying the same in all five. His slugging percentage, .510 in 2019, looks to be trending up as well.

2019 stats.260/.372/.5109811435
ESPN Fantasy.269/.390/.53510111037
Fantasy Pros.261/.379/.52410010336
 Baseball Reference.267/.380/.521949732
Streamer .259/.383/.54110210241

1B Rhys Hoskins

Hoskins, as many know, went from being an on-base/home run-hitting machine to an easy out with a terrible second half last year. Every projection expects his .226 batting average to improve, as well as his home run (29) and RBI (85) totals.

2019 stats.226/.364/.454868529
ESPN Fantasy.235/.360/.486889533
Fantasy Pros.239/.356/.487899433
 Baseball Reference.241/.359/.479838731

C J.T. Realmuto

Realmuto was so good last year that a repeat performance will still make him, probably, the best catcher in baseball statistically again in 2020. He hit .275 with 25 homers and 83 RBI.

2019 stats.275/.328/.493928325
ESPN Fantasy.281/.337/.510898426
Fantasy Pros.274/.325/.481787523
 Baseball Reference.272/.330/.479 777322

3B Alex Bohm

Bohm is competing to start the year as a rookie at third base. In Double- and Triple-A last year, the 23-year-old infielder hit .305 with 21 homers and 80 RBI in 125 games. Baseball Reference has no projection for him, while just ZiPs and Streamer projected his production over a whole season.

ESPN Fantasy.271/.333/.5089104
Fantasy Pros.259/.318/44614165
 Baseball Reference

SP Aaron Nola

Nola is projected to improve in every area, it seems, except for innings pitched (he had a career high 202.1) last season and strikeouts (he fanned an impressive 229 batters). 

2019 stats202.13.87
ESPN Fantasy2023.6114-?225/66
Fantasy Pros198.63.7613-9218-68
 Baseball Reference1823.5112-7201/62

SP Zack Wheeler

None of the projections we looked into thought Wheeler would have an ERA below 4.00 (he was at 3.96 last year). They all also project he will pitch fewer innings than his career best 195.1 in 2019.

2019 stats (Mets) 195.13.9611-8195/50
ZiPS1774.02 10-8170/52
ESPN Fantasy1884.4510-?143/48
Fantasy Pros189.34.0112-10190/55
 Baseball Reference1764.0410-8175/54

SP Jake Arrieta

Arrieta was only healthy enough to make 24 starts last year, over 135.2 innings. The projections are optimistic that he'll make more starts, but don't see his 4.64 ERA from last year improving all that much.

2019 stats135.24.648-8110-51
ESPN Fantasy1694.799-?133-61
Fantasy Pros161.64.699-10134/58
 Baseball Reference1454.419-9126/52

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