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March 09, 2023

Phillies 2023 preview: Trea Turner is the missing piece

Trea Turner arrives in Philadelphia with a 10-year contract and gives the Phillies a true elite leadoff hitter.

The Phillies are in the midst of an important spring training. After finishing the season two wins from a championship, the defending NL champions will have to quiet the doubters again — this time with an even higher payroll and tougher expectations to match.

Philly currently carries +1600 odds to win the World Series in 2023, the eighth best via OddsShark. They are third to win the NL East (+325) behind the Braves and Mets.

Before the team hits the field in central Texas to open their 2023 campaign against the Rangers on March 30, we're going to take a deep dive into each positional group.

Let's take a look at the Phillies' shiny new shortstop...

Scouting report

The Phillies have a new $300 million man at shortstop after signing multiple-time All-Star Trea Turner to a 10-year contract this offseason. Turner is instantly the Phils' best shortstop since Jimmy Rollins' MVP days, bringing a player to the plate who's won a batting title and led baseball in hits twice. Turner has also led the National League in steals twice, doing so most recently in 2021 with 32. 

Turner is the perfect leadoff man for this team, knocking Kyle Schwarber further down the lineup, putting him in a spot to send Turner around the bases again and again in 2023. Just look at this past Sunday's Spring Training game against the Blue Jays. Turner opened the game with a single and Kyle Schwarber promptly launched a two-run home run:

Phillies fans will be seeing that all summer long. 

A true leadoff hitter with power who also hits for a high average has sorely been missing from this Phils lineup for over a decade. This roster is filled with big-time sluggers, but having someone like Turner to hit in front of the likes of Schwarber, Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins will give the Fightins an elite offense in 2023 that is sure to rack up runs. 

This is a guy who could potentially pick up another battling title while also leading the league in runs, hits and/or steals. There's star power down in South Philly! 

The vibes are great. I'm sure we'll see a ton of Turner shirseys populating Citizens Bank Park through October. 

Turner's arrival moves last postseason's shortstop Bryson Stott to second base, where he should blossom in the coming years, but he's, of course, still available to spell Turner at short. Edmundo Sosa was a midseason acquisition in 2022 and came up clutch down the stretch. In 25 regular season games, sure, a super-small sample size, Sosa, 27, hit .315. He's a steady defender as well. Former All-Star Josh Harrison, entering his age-35 season, is here to be a utility man, too. 

NL East ranking

Francisco Lindor is damn good and I'm sure people in Queens will be up in arms over this, but for his more well-rounded offensive game, give me Turner. They both have pop, but Turner makes better contract with a higher batting average and steals more bases (projections and WAR courtesy of baseball-reference).

TeamShortstop (age) 2022 stats2023 proj  Career WAR
Phillies Trea Turner (30).298, 21 HR, 100 RBI.302, 21 HR, 80 RBI29.7
Francisco Lindor (29)
.270, 26 HR, 107 RBI
.254, 21 HR, 78 RBI
BravesVaughn Grissom (22).291, 5 HR, 18 RBI.271, 8 HR, 32 RBI0.9
MarlinsJoey Wendle (33).259, 3 HR, 32 RBI.257, 8 HR, 42 RBI13.7
NationalsCJ Abrams (22)
.246, 2 HR, 21 RBI.253, 6 HR, 31 RBI0.1

A local note: Miami's Joey Wendle was born in Wilmington, went to Avon Grove High School in West Grove and played college ball at West Chester. 

Phillies' future

The Phils' shortstop job isn't opening anytime soon. Turner is under contract through 2033. At that point though, he may be relegated to third base or DH duty.'s highest rated Phillies shortstop prospect is William Bergolla at No. 11 overall with an estimated major league arrival of 2026. Playing in the 2022 Dominican Summer League at age 17, Bergolla hit .380 with an OPS of .892 in 24 games. Good stuff there. His father, also named William, played 17 games in the big leagues in 2005 with the Reds. 

Phillies season preview
C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | DH | OF | SP | RP

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