Fantasy Preview in a Nutshell: Philadelphia Phillies
Players to Watch
Rhys Hoskins — One of the biggest problems with Fantasy Baseball owners is their need to see things happen multiple times before believing something to be true. For instance, I think a lot of Fantasy owners still have doubts about whether Rhys Hoskins can hit major league pitching consistently. I have no doubts that Hoskins is a force in the middle of the Phillies’ lineup. The only problem I have with Hoskins is whether he will be comfortable defensively in LF. A lot of times players take bad defense with them to their next at bat which can often lead to struggles at the plate. So long as Hoskins succeeds in the OF, I think he will follow with success at the plate and hit 30-100 in the middle of the Phillies solid lineup.
Scott Kingery — It’s only a matter of time before Kingery gets the call up and is the starting 2B for the Phillies. He has a mixture of power and speed that could make him a perennial all-star for the next decade. The only problem is that the man playing 2B now, Cesar Hernandez, is a solid player in his own right. Kingery will eventually get the call in 2018, but it might not be as quickly as Fantasy owners are hoping. Draft Kingery expecting him to sit on your reserve squad until Memorial Day.
Jorge Alfaro — Alfaro has big-time power, but he also could really hurt your team’s batting average. That said, I think he is one of my favorite options as a late second catcher in deeper formats due to his ability to hit 20 HR.
Odubel Herrea — I have loved Herrera ever since he was a Rule 5 pick who stuck with the team. Since that time, Herrera has bulked up considerably and has fallen in love with hitting home runs. Ideally, Herrera is using his speed to cause havoc on the base paths and hitting balls in the gap. If he is not doing that, then it wouldn’t shock me to see the Phillies try to trade him at some point during the season. Herrera is full of talent, but his immaturity gives him a knucklehead status like that of Yasiel Puig.
Aaron Nola — If there is one guy not named Kershaw or Scherzer who could win the NL Cy Young Award, I think that it would be Nola. Nola has matured nicely as a starter and the next step in his maturation is to throw close to 200 innings. If he can do that I would expect about 15 wins to go along with about 225+ Ks.
Jake Arrieta — It worries me that the Cubs, who were looking for pitching, decided not to resign Arrieta but let him leave. If they really thought that highly of him, I am sure they would have made some sort of deal to keep him for another two years. This is not to say that I don’t like Arrieta, because I still think there is some Fantasy value there. It’s just that I am not sure he should be treated as one of the top 20 pitchers in the NL come draft day.
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