Who will lead the Philadelphia Phillies in home runs during the 2022 season? As Opening Day nears, we polled our staff on who of Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, Rhys Hoskins and Kyle Schwarber will lead the Phillies in home runs this upcoming season, and how many they’ll hit:
Tim Kelly: Kyle Schwarber – 39 Home Runs
For as disappointing as Schwarber’s 2020 season was, he hit 38 home runs in 2019, and then 32 in just 113 games split between the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox a season ago. I don’t think the effect reuniting him with hitting coach Kevin Long will have has been overstated, as I believe he’ll hit close to 40 home runs in his first season with the Phillies. I also will predict that Schwarber will become only the second player to hit a home run into the third deck in right field at Citizens Bank Park — joining Ryan Howard, who did it twice. Oh, and I believe that for the first time since 2009, the Phillies will have four players hit 30 or more home runs.
Destiny Lugardo: Rhys Hoskins – 41 Home Runs
I already had relatively high hopes for Hoskins this season and I feel even better with my offseason prediction after the Phillies added both Schwarber and Castellanos. The Phillies first baseman traded walks for power last season and that should benefit Hoskins, who could spend a lot of time in the No. 5 spot behind Harper and Castellanos. He’s been one of the more underrated hitters in the sport since he was called up in 2017 and I think he goes on a year-long power streak in 2022. PECOTA has his 90th percentile home run projection at 41 home runs and I think there’s a good chance he can hit that.
Ty Daubert: Rhys Hoskins – 38 Home Runs
Over the course of his five-year career, Hoskins has averaged 37 home runs per 162 games. The issue, however, has always been his health. If the 29-year-old can avoid any major injury issues in 2022 — a big if — the universal DH should help keep him in the lineup throughout the season. After beginning to sell out for power more last season, a career year in terms of home runs could be in store for Hoskins.
Nathan Ackerman: Bryce Harper – 41 Home Runs
I initially wanted to give this to Schwarber, then had settled on Hoskins, then went back to Schwarber — but it’s just too hard to look past Harper. The reigning MVP slugged 35 homers over 141 games last year, a pace that would’ve given him 40 over a full 162. He did all that despite being the only threat in the lineup for a solid chunk of the season, battling injury from time to time even while playing and not having the occasional day in the DH spot. He probably won’t stay perfectly healthy, but Harper has protection behind him in the lineup this year (whoever it might be) and he’ll be able to get off his feet every now and then, circumstances that should only help.
Jonny Heller: Rhys Hoskins – 45 Home Runs
During each of the last two seasons, Hoskins has had a torrid stretch that was interrupted by an injury. In 2021, he sustained a 162-game pace of 40 home runs, despite a less-than-stellar first two months. If he can stay healthy — and that’s a big if — Hoskins has a good shot at establishing himself among MLB’s elite power hitters. He may have a short cold stretch or two, but a full season of Hoskins facing less pressure in a stacked lineup is primed to be his best one yet.
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