Analysis

Grading the 2016 Phillies: Outfielders

Aaron+Altherr+cA4lf8sRzJqmBefore we move ahead with scouting the 2017 offseason, we’re going back this week to grade the 2016 Phillies.

Today we’ll tackle the outfielders. Tomorrow we’ll grade starting pitchers, and Thursday we’ll go over relievers. Friday we’ll sum up the 2016 club.

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Overall: Yeah … so Odubel Herrera was good. Otherwise the Phils gave a hodgepodge of veterans and youngsters opportunities in the corners, and nearly everyone put up atrocious numbers. The only saving grace seemed to come late in the season, when Roman Quinn was handed a left field audition. It went well. Then he got hurt.

The outfield stunk in 2016. For 2017 one can expect Herrera to have a job. One may think Quinn has the inside track at a job. Then … it’s anyone’s guess.

It can’t be worse than 2016 … right?

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Left Field

Tyler Goeddel – D-

There were small flashes of potential from Goeddel in 2016, but ultimately the Rule 5 pick struggled to hit major league pitching.

Blame Manager Pete Mackanin for some of this. After finally getting a month of regular playing time Goeddel was hitting .255/.296/.402 – or, to take it another way, better than Freddy Galvis. He was mired in a little slump at the time, but that was the end for Goeddel. He would be relegated to bench (for Cody Asche), finishing the year with a disappointing .192/.258/.291 line.

Goeddel never got the fair shake he deserved. Yes he showed his youth at the plate and in the field, but given consistent starting time, he could’ve approached those obstacles better. Instead we got a 23-year-old pinch hitter type, which is just stupid for a true prospect, a Rule 5 kid who otherwise should’ve been on the Durham Bulls.

Cody Asche – D-

The Next Scott Rolen he’s not. Nor is he the Next Ty Wigginton. Asche returned from injury and had a hot bat to start, but quickly reverted to mediocre numbers. His .213/.284/.350 line won’t play in left field, won’t play at third base, won’t play in the majors.

It’s a shame, too, as Asche once had a real opportunity to stick as an everyday starter. Those days may be gone, however.

David Lough – D

One of the many options in the Phils 2016 Outfield Caravan, Lough got a chance to stick after Cedric Hunter failed in early April. Lough put up a good on-base percentage (.342) with decent defense, but he otherwise failed to prove his worth.

Cedric Hunter – F

Five years from now you will absolutely forget this name when you take the “Name the 2016 Phillies Opening Day Lineup” quiz on Sporcle. Hunter shared left field with Goeddel early on and wasn’t good. His .088 average wasn’t good. He did hit a home run, however. Remember that? The moment we thought the Phillies found a diamond in the rough?

Yeah, good luck with that Sporcle quiz.

Roman Quinn – B

In 69 plate appearances during his September callup, Quinn showed a decent hit tool, some gap power, a little patience and blazing speed. The numbers: .263/.373/.333, 4 XBH, 8 BB, 19 K, 5 SB. As the season was closing, we all started to think that maybe the Phils had a starting outfielder for 2017.

Then, as Quinn is wont to do, he got hurt.

He should be fine for 2017, but you can’t ever write down his name with an ink pen.

Center Field

Odubel Herrera – A-

Odubel! El Torito! Dubes! Herrera started 2016 on a mission: walk more. And he did. In the first half Herrera walked 44 times to 69 strikeouts. His .378 on-base percentage was quite good.

The second half was different. He walked less (19 BB to 65 K) and didn’t hit as well, but he still produced. His hitting never really suffered (.277 in the second half), his power took a slight dip but nothing drastic, and he actually became a better baserunner (13 SB to 0 CS).

So what’s the deal with Herrera? He’s a 24-year-old kid who was pushed from double-A to the majors, put up good rookie numbers and improved upon them in his sophomore season (.286/.361/.420, 15 HR, 63 BB, 134 K, 25 SB, 7 CS), all while playing a new position for him. His fielding, while still interesting, is good enough.

Odubel Herrera is the best position player the Phillies have. He’s not elite, but he’s closer to elite than many. He was an all-star in 2016. And he flips his bat whenever he can.

He’s also put up 8 WAR over his first two seasons.

The last Phillies position player to put up a total of 8 WAR over consecutive seasons? Chase Utley in 2010 and ‘11 (9.6 WAR).

Right Field

Peter Bourjos – D

Bourjos was brought in to provide defensive stability while hopefully getting close to a .300 average. Neither happened. Bourjos made a few nice plays in the outfield but had some trouble, too, and his offense wasn’t very good (.251/.292/.389). He did flash his good speed, but not enough (6 SB, 4 CS).

Ultimately the consummate fourth outfielder never lived up to a potential that he probably won’t hit again.

Aaron Altherr – D-

Altherr, in some ways, is like Bourjos, just a few years younger. We expected him to shine in 2016, the product of an outstanding trial in late 2015 filled with extra-base hits and graceful defensive play.

Instead the 25-year-old outfielder got hurt in spring training and, upon returning, never got himself going. He finished with a poor .202/.304/.293 line. He looked overmatched, never showed consistent power and didn’t get on base enough to flash his speed.

There’s still hope for Altherr, but time is an enemy. He’ll have to fight Herrera, Quinn, Nick Williams, Dylan Cozens and likely another one or two players for major league time in 2017. With more stumbles, a fourth outfielder profile will look more and more likely.

Jimmy Paredes – D-

Paredes did hit four home runs for the Phillies, but ultimately the .217 hitter was a white flag in 2016. The play of guys like Paredes, Lough and Hunter show just how lucky the Phillies were in acquiring Shane Victorino, Greg Dobbs and Jayson Werth at the beginning of the Golden Era.

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Tomorrow, Corey Sharp grades the Phils’ starting pitchers.

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