Phillies Nation

2020 Offseason

Who will play center field for the Phillies in 2021?


While other teams within the NL East remain active, the Philadelphia Phillies offseason plans remain unclear.

Scott Kingery is a candidate to play center field in 2021. (Cheryl Pursell)

The priority for the team should be catcher, as J.T. Realmuto is currently a free agent. But figuring out who will fill in at center field in 2021 and beyond will be a key factor in the Phillies ability to contend moving forward.

The Phillies had poor centerfield production in 2020, with a combined slashline of .237/.294/.325 and zero fWAR in the 60-game season. Here are the options to fill in at the position in 2021:

Adam Haseley

The Phillies first-round pick from 2017 has been up-and-down since debuting in the middle of the 2019 season. In 109 career games, Haseley has slashed .269/.330/.382 and played a majority of his games in center field.

His light hitting would be less of an issue if Haseley was an above-average defensive player. But he has made some misplays in the field and profiles more as a plus corner outfielder defensively.

Haseley certainly could be the Opening Day center fielder in 2021, but it is far from a lock.

Roman Quinn

Quinn was the other half of the Phillies center field platoon in 2020, slashing .213/.261/.315 in 41 games. His biggest asset is his speed, but he has been a below-average hitter overall throughout his injury-plagued career.

Quinn is similar to Haseley, in that he is not good enough defensively to outweigh his offensive struggles. He could figure into the Phillies plans in 2021, but is unlikely to be a regular starter.

Scott Kingery

Kingery is probably the best defensive center fielder on the Phillies roster, but has had some offensive struggles in his short career. He had just a .511 OPS in 2020, casting doubts on his future as an everyday player.

Still, Kingery has grown defensively in the outfield despite spending the entirety of his minor league career as a second baseman. The Phillies could use him at least in a platoon role at the position in 2021, although he is also a candidate to fill in at shortstop and/or second base depending on whether Didi Gregorius returns.

Odubel Herrera

Herrera is only mentioned here because he is technically still an option, as he is currently in the Phillies organization. The Phillies have shown no intention to bring Herrera back to the major league team, so it would be a shock to see him back with the team in 2021.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

The Phillies were connected to Bradley Jr. by Jon Morosi of MLB Network, and the 30-year-old would be a clear upgrade over their current situation. He had a nice 2020 season, with an .814 OPS in 55 games.

Bradley is an elite defensive player, and had five defensive runs saved in 2020. His presence in the outfield would be especially valuable to a Phillies team that has Andrew McCutchen, who has slowed down in left field post-ACL tear.

It is unclear what Bradley will receive in free agency, but he is a much more likely target for the Phillies than someone like former Houston Astros star George Springer.

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