It’s Black Friday and you have a bit of a problem on your hands. Last year, you purchased the jersey of a certain player who you thought was a lock to receive a long-term contract within the next few months. A year goes by and he’s a free agent for some inexplicable reason. He might still re-sign but there’s a good chance that he can play for a hated division rival.
You might need a new jersey. If you’re having a hard time deciding which jersey you should buy or you’re looking to buy a loved one a new Phillies jersey, I made a few suggestions.
For the purposes of this list, I used current Phillies only. No offense to Mike Schmidt or Jimmy Rollins.Embed from Getty Images
No. 10: Andrew Knapp’s No. 5
Andrew Knapp has worn four different numbers during his tenure with the Phillies: 34, 15, seven and five. He switched from 34 to 15 following Roy Halladay’s passing and made the switch from 15 to seven after the Phillies announced their intentions to retire Dick Allen’s No. 15. He switched numbers for the third time in 2020 after Nick Williams, who previously wore No. 5, was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds.
The idea of buying a Knapp jersey before 2020 seemed absurd. While he was always a solid defender behind the plate, he struggled to be a consistently good hitting catcher. He established himself as a solid backup catcher and could see significant time in the starting lineup if the Phillies don’t re-sign J.T. Realmuto.
Knapp is under team control through 2022. With another good year under his belt, Knapp could be a candidate for an extension. You’ll probably be the only fan in Citizens Bank Park with his jersey. You may also hear some jeers while walking around the concourse for wearing the name Knapp on your back.Embed from Getty Images
No. 9: Jean Segura’s No. 2
Jean Segura was perhaps the most underrated Phillie of 2020. He played both third base and second base at a high level and posted an OPS plus of 106. Overall, he improved after a less than eventful first season in Philadelphia.
He was apart of that exciting core of players brought in before the 2019 season, so there should be plenty of jerseys and t-shirts donning his name for fans to purchase. While Segura will most likely never be an All-Star for the Phillies, the fact is that he’s going to be here for a couple more years. He’s under contract through the 2022 season with a full no-trade clause.Embed from Getty Images
No. 8: Andrew McCutchen’s No. 22
He only has a year left on his contract but it’s safe to say that Andrew McCutchen has left his mark on the Phillies fanbase. He was the dynamic lead-off hitter the Phillies hoped he would be before he tore his ACL in June 2019. McCutchen struggled in 2020 and is hoping to bounce-back in what will most likely be his final year in Philadelphia.
So why should anyone buy a McCutchen jersey during his walk year? He’s the coolest Phillie on the roster by a wide margin. His Uncle Larry bit on social media during quarantine was phenomenal and he’s spent time informing baseball fans on the history of the Negro Leagues as well as taking part in a voter empowerment campaign in Pennsylvania before the Presidential Election. The former National League MVP is one of the most beloved players in the game and while he wasn’t the player he was during his time in Pittsburgh, his Phillies jersey should be wearable around the ballpark for years to come.Embed from Getty Images
No. 7: Spencer Howard’s No. 48
His rookie season was a disappointment but that shouldn’t stop you from considering purchasing his jersey. Spencer Howard is the Phillies’ No. 1 ranked prospect according to Phillies Nation and at the very least, should be a regular in the Phillies rotation for years to come. He has six years of team control left.
If anything, you can just find the Ryan Howard jersey in your closet and get creative.Embed from Getty Images
No. 6: Rhys Hoskins’ No. 17
A No. 17 jersey was a hot commodity three years ago when Rhys Hoskins burst onto the scene, hitting 14 home runs in his first 30 days in the big leagues. He looked nothing like the budding star he was in his rookie year in 2019 but Hoskins bounced back in a big way in 2020. When he went down with a UCL injury in September, the Phillies’ high-powered offense was never the same.
Hoskins will enter his first year of arbitration eligibility this year and is expected to hit the free-agent market after the 2023 season. His name continues to be floated around in trade rumors but in all honesty, it’s highly unlikely he’ll ever be traded.
Staying power and the likability of the player plays a big role in a fan’s decision to purchase a jersey and Hoskins has both. He took on a leadership role in both the media and the clubhouse in 2018 and was a nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award in 2019. It’s easy to root for a player like Hoskins, so it’s understandable why there are plenty of No. 17 jerseys in the crowd at Citizens Bank Park during normal times.Embed from Getty Images
No. 5: Aaron Nola’s No. 27
Speaking of a Roberto Clemente Award nominee whose jersey was flying off the shelves after a terrific season, a lot of the reasons why you’d want to buy an Aaron Nola jersey coincide with why you’d get a Hoskins one. Both Nola and Hoskins are two very likable homegrown players who will play an instrumental role in the team’s successes and failures over the next few years.
Believe it or not, Nola is the second-longest tenured member of the team. He’s signed through 2022 with a $16 million club option for 2023 that the Phillies will surely pick up. If he signs an extension, Nola could have the chance to establish himself as an all-time Phillie. All that means is that you wouldn’t look silly if you wore his jersey to Citizens Bank Park in the year 2035.Embed from Getty Images
No. 4: Zach Eflin’s No. 56
Like the Knapp jersey, this one is going to be hard to find. You’ll probably need to go to the New Era Team Store at Citizens Bank Park and order a custom jersey. However, this purchase is definitely worth considering.
Zach Eflin’s 3.97 ERA in 2020 might seem pedestrian to those who didn’t watch the Phillies much but he established himself as the No. 3 starter moving forward. New Phillies pitching coach Caleb Cotham threw high praise at Eflin when he said the Phillies have “three guys who could all be Cy Youngs.” He was clearly referring to Nola, Wheeler and Eflin.
Eflin proved that the team can rely on him in the biggest situations, throwing eight solid innings in a key win against the Nats and pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen on the last day of the season against the Rays. He turned his struggles in 2019 into a positive: He admits that he now knows how to pitch up in the zone. The 26-year-old can also throw his sinker with conviction on a consistent basis and flash his curveball when he needs to.
Eflin overcame a lot to get the big leagues and it’s inspiring to see him on the rise. He’s under team control through 2022 and is probably the most clear-cut extension candidate on the team. Buying his jersey is a risk but it’s one worth taking.Embed from Getty Images
No. 3: Bryce Harper’s No. 3
Barring a bizarre situation in which he requests a trade within the next couple of years, Bryce Harper has already established himself as an all-time Phillie through the sheer length of his contract. When he signed the record deal in 2019, Phillies fans bombarded Modell’s (RIP) and any other store that sells Phillies shirts and jerseys. His No. 3 jersey became the top-selling jersey of all time within the first 24 hours it went on sale, per Fanatics. They all wanted to be the first to get their hands on a Harper jersey.
As someone who worked at the Bank in 2019, I noticed that about 70 percent of Phillies fans wore a Harper shirt or jersey to the ballpark. The reason why he isn’t much higher on this is that most Phillies fans probably own a Harper jersey already. If you don’t own one, the good news is that they’re pretty easy to find and you can get them in whichever color you want.Embed from Getty Images
No. 2: Zack Wheeler’s No. 45
Zack Wheeler had a stellar first season in Philadelphia, going 4-2 with a 2.92 ERA in 11 starts. He never pitched in front of home fans at Citizens Bank Park as a member of the Phillies but when he does, there should be plenty of No. 45’s in the crowd.
He signed a five-year, $118 million deal during the 2019-2020 offseason, so a Wheeler jersey purchase should last you until 2024. For the sake of getting way ahead of ourselves, a player has to spend at least four years with the team to qualify for the Phillies Wall of Fame. If Wheeler can replicate the success he had in 2020 a few times over and sprinkle in some playoff success along with it, he could build a strong case for earning the honor down the road.
Honorable Mentions: Héctor Neris’ No. 50, Scott Kingery’s No. 4, Connor Brogdon’s No. 75, JoJo Romero’s No. 79, Adam Haseley’s No. 40 and J.T. Realmuto’s No. 10 (if it’s on sale).Embed from Getty Images
No. 1: Alec Bohm’s No. 28
Thinking about where the Phillies would be without Alec Bohm is a depressing exercise. Thankfully, nobody has to think about that. In his first year in the big leagues, Bohm slashed .338/.400/.481 and showed an innate ability to hit in key situations and avoid lengthy slumps. In a time of so much roster uncertainty, Bohm is exactly what the Phillies and their fanbase needs.
His No. 28 jersey is at the top of many lists this holiday season. He’s under team control through the 2026 season, which ironically is the year in which the Phillies host the All-Star Game. Wouldn’t it be neat to snag a ticket to the game and wear the Bohm jersey you bought in 2020? It wouldn’t be surprising at all if Bohm is representing the Phillies in that game.
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