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2018 Phillies season preview: Predicting the hitters

As it’s opening day, here are our predictions for each individual member of the 2018 Phillies.

First we predicted the pitchers. Now the hitters.


Jorge Alfaro – 25, C

Alfaro doesn’t look like a good hitter. He strikes out far too much, can’t walk, and his contact tool doesn’t look right. And yet he put it together for 114 plate appearances last season (.318/.360/.514). There’s no way that sustains. He’ll struggle while hitting a couple bombs and showing of his great arm. 2018 prediction: 481 PA, .245/.309/.402, 26% K, 5% BB, .144 ISO, 14 HR

– Tim Malcolm

Andrew Knapp – 26, C

I’m not apologizing for being high on Knapp this year. I think Jorge Alfaro is going to struggle mightily – perhaps even resulting in a demotion to get straight – and I think Knapp is going to get many more at-bats than we think he will. I think he’ll do well with those at-bats with a ceiling of 2006 Carlos Ruiz. 2018 prediction: 250 PA, .270/.340/.420, 21% K, 8.5% BB, .130 ISO, 8 HR

– Michael Sadowski

Carlos Santana – 31, 1B/LF/3B

Don’t let the Arrieta signing overshadow the fact that Carlos Santana has still been a pretty big get for the Phillies. He’s got great extra base power, he’s fantastic at getting on base and was even named a Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at first base (despite, oddly enough, not getting a Gold Glove). He could certainly stand to bump up his batting average, which stands at .250 over the past three years combined, but either way, he should very much be a welcome addition to the Phils’ lineup in 2018. 2018 prediction: 675 PA, .265/.370/.475, 16% K, 15% BB, .210 ISO, 28 HR

– Brendan Sample

Cesar Hernandez – 28, 2B/3B

All of Cesar’s predictions represent a slight rise from 2017 (his career year), which doesn’t seem like a stretch. He’s primed for a “jump” year going from good to very good … but how much will the Kingery factor be a part of his production? Will he be looking over his shoulder? Losing at-bats? I’m thinking no, or at least not much. Whether those are all for the Phillies or not, we’ll see. 2018 prediction: 550 PA, .295/.380/.430, 17% K, 12% BB, .140 ISO, 12 HR

– Michael Sadowski

Maikel Franco – 25, 3B

I’m going to be that guy. Maikel Franco will break the heck out in 2018. I’m staking my reputation on it. If it doesn’t work out I’ll walk from Westchester County, New York, to Philadelphia. I have good shoes, but I won’t need them. Get ready to be stunned by a guy who can slot into the middle of the lineup with home runs, a diminished strikeout rate and very good average. 2018 prediction: 627 PA, .281/.355/.522, 14% K, 6% BB, .220 ISO, 30 HR

– Tim Malcolm

J.P. Crawford – 23, SS/3B/2B

I love Crawford’s skillset – plate discipline, exceptional glove, good speed and working contact tool. He can become a very good regular shortstop for a long time. You’ll see some of that in 2018, but there will be slumps and fits. Be patient with him. 2018 prediction: 602 PA, .252/.348/.353, 16% K, 14% BB, .129 ISO, 8 HR

– Tim Malcolm

Scott Kingery – 25, 2B/3B/SS/LF/CF/RF

Hardest guy on the Phillies to predict. His worrisome K rate at Lehigh Valley in 2017 leads you to believe he’s going to have some issues adjusting to major league pitching. But spring training. I mean, did you see him in spring training? Since he’s been nothing but a team guy since the day he’s stepped on the field, and because he’s had such an astronomical rise to the top of Phillies’ prospect charts, you root for the guy. So these numbers are probably too high because I am rooting for him and unless I write 1,500 words on how he could project this year like Tim Malcolm eloquently did, I don’t think I can figure it out accurately and without bias. 2018 prediction: 400 PA, .270/.330/460, 25% K, 8% BB, .195, 20 HR (28 SB)

– Michael Sadowski

Pedro Florimon – 31, SS/2B/3B/LF/RF

I understand why Florimon is on this team: He played well when with the Phillies in 2017 … he was great in the spring … he can play multiple positions … he’s a veteran, something the offense lacks outside of Carlos Santana … he is a nice sure-thing stopgap for the bench. Still, he”s the forgotten bland guy on this squad. He’ll be forgettable and bland. 2018 prediction: 59 PA, .214/.265/.310, 31% K, 9% BB, .119 ISO, 1 HR

– Tim Malcolm

Jesmuel Valentín – 23, 2B/3B/SS/LF/RF

He nearly made the Phillies’ opening day roster this year after a stellar spring training. After his first full season with the IronPigs was cut short by shoulder surgery, Valentin may be able to grab a bench spot this season, potentially as a utility player. Valentín has shown solid on-base skills and good plate discipline, which, along with more total base power, he’ll need in order to hopefully earn a spot in the big leagues. 2018 prediction: 235 PA, .268/.348/.405, 14% K, 11% BB, .137 ISO, 5 HR

– Brendan Sample


Rhys Hoskins

I’ve been on record that I believe there will be a sophomore slump, but only in perception of what he did last year. His strikeout rate is going to increase as the book on him gets out, but he’s going to have a really, really good year. It just won’t be second-year Ryan Howard. 2018 prediction: 550 PA, .260/.360/.530, 24% K, 12% BB, .260 ISO, 36 HR

– Michael Sadowski

Odubel Herrera – 26, CF

He’s going to have his playing time cut into because of the outfield glut, which is going to cut down on his counting stat output. But I’m banking that the move away from Pete Mackanin has a positive effect on one of the franchise’s most valuable future players. I’m also being highly optimistic on his projections, especially cutting down on his strikeouts and re-establishing plate discipline. 2018 prediction: 530 PA, .280/.365/.440, 21% K, 8% BB, .185 ISO, 14 HR

– Michael Sadowski

Nick Williams – 24, RF/LF/CF

With Nick Williams set to start his first full season with the Phillies, expectations are certainly high for the young outfielder. Last season, he showed a good power and an ability to get on base at a steady pace, but also struggled with his discipline, striking out 28 percent of the time and walking at a rate of less than six percent. Improving these factors will be key for Williams’ potential success in 2018, but it’s a little easier to be optimistic when considering that he has a chance to prove himself this year like he didn’t quite have in 2017. 2018 prediction: 645 PA, .285/.341/.480, 23% K, 8% BB, .195 ISO, 22 HR

– Brendan Sample

Aaron Altherr – 27, RF/LF/CF

If Aaron Altherr can stay healthy (that’s the qualifier), boy, he could really break out as a top-20 outfielder. He has good extra-base power, speed, and a decent contact tool, plus he’s a fine defender. I’m not sure, however, that he’ll get all the plate appearances he wants. Maybe he’s dealt. Maybe it’s just a crunch. Or maybe – you know – he can’t stay healthy. 2018 prediction: 319 PA, .268/.339/.478, 23% K, 7% BB, .170 ISO, 11 HR

– Tim Malcolm

Roman Quinn – 24, LF/CF/RF/SS

After six seasons of playing mostly in the minors, Roman Quinn may have his best opportunity to have an extended stay with the Phillies in 2018. The speedy outfielder is probably the first position player called up, and with Gabe Kapler trying him out at shortstop, a position he hasn’t played since 2014, he’ll have more chances to make an impact. He’ll need to shore up his infield defense and develop a bit more extra-base power, but if he can make those improvements, we may finally be able to see him live up to the potential he’s been building up in the minors. 2018 prediction: 225 PA, .278/.340/.395, 22 K%, 9% BB, .117 ISO, 4 HR

– Brendan Sample

Andrew Pullin – 24, LF/RF

Coming back from a brief “retirement” at the beginning of 2016, Andrew Pullin is now fighting to make his major league debut with the Phillies. With the Phils’ outfield currently set for 2018, it’s hard to see Pullin as more than a bench player with the team, but that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute. He’s received some ringing endorsements from his former IronPigs manager Dusty Wathan, now the Phils’ third base coach, and if he can adjust to being a guy that usually won’t hit more than once per game, it could be a good transition for him. 2018 prediction: 160 PA, .265/.315/.425, 24% K, 5% BB, .160 ISO, 5 HR

– Brendan Sample

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