In the second of a three-part series about the fantasy outlooks of Philadelphia Phillies players, we look at the men in the middle – Phillies players that will be taken in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts.
The Philadelphia Phillies boast a number of top fantasy options for your league such as Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto, as we discussed in detail during Part 1 of this series. But even if you miss out on the likes of these top options, the Phils offer plenty of potential value in the middle rounds if you’re just jonesing to roster a Phillies player or two.
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To be clear, these evaluations are based on 12-team leagues that use the standard fantasy categories for hitters and pitchers and a typical snake draft (1 through 12, then 12 through 1, alternating rounds). If your league is smaller, bigger, or has some kind of weird scoring, adjust accordingly.
This time we’ll shine a light on six “middle ground” Phillies players, and we begin with one that’s more of a borderline call.
Where to grab him: We mentioned last time that Hoskins could actually end up going before Zack Wheeler but didn’t include him in Part 1. So why did we knock Rhys down into Part 2? It’s partially due to the shifting fantasy landscape that says to grab top pitching because you largely can pick up reliable hitters later than you used to be able to. And it’s also a bit of a knee jerk reaction to how bad Hoskins was last year, especially in the second half. Still, someone in your league will likely be high enough on him to spend a 10th round pick for his services. So if you really want him, you’ll need to pull the trigger right around then.
What to expect: I wish I knew. With the juiced baseball and in the Phillies’ lineup, Hoskins SHOULD be able to put up something like 40 HR and 115 RBI. But let’s try to be more realistic and say that Rhys can bring his average up to .250 while giving you 35 dingers and around 100 RBI and 90 runs scored. If he can deliver on that, you should be happy to have him.
Where to grab him: Saves are the most volatile thing in fantasy baseball, as only about half of presumptive closers at the beginning of the year manage to stay healthy and be productive enough to hold onto the gig all season. Neris, of course, wasn’t expected to fill the role after the Phillies signed David Robertson last year. But following Robertson’s injury, Neris took the job and ran with it. He’s worked himself firmly into the middle tier of closers, and that should merit a 14th or 15th round selection. Just look out for that inevitable closer run in your draft. Blink and you’ll miss him.
What to expect: Neris had an awful 2018, so there is always a danger that he could lose his command and, subsequently, the ninth inning. But if he has his trademark splitter working like he did last season, expect him to eclipse 30 saves for the first time while posting 90 or so strikeouts in about 70 innings pitched. A challenge by Seranthony Dominguez might be just about the only threat to Neris racking up saves at this point.
Where to grab him: Kingery can be particularly valuable in fantasy, since he enters 2020 with eligibility at third base and the outfield. You might also be able to plug him in at second or short, depending on your league’s setup. Since the Phillies intend to play him everyday, wherever that might be, the 14th/15th round is a totally justifiable place to pounce on Kingery.
What to expect: Kingery will push past 20 homers this year after stopping at 19 last season. His place in the lineup will play a big part in determining if his RBI total ends up at the low or high end of his range (presumably between 65 and 80). Scott should also be able to tack a few points onto last year’s .258 average, and his 15-20 stolen bases will offer a nice bonus for his owners. Plus, he’s got 20/20 vision in 2020. Sorry, I had to.
Where to grab him: There are now a ton of great fantasy options at shortstop, from Trevor Story to Xander Bogaerts and beyond. As such, it’s easy to dismiss a player like Didi, especially since he still needs to show that he’s completely back from Tommy John surgery. Mock drafts have Gregorius going in about the 16th round. He’s an excellent “middle infield” option once you’ve filled both 2B and SS, if your league has that designation.
What to expect: Didi’s average was low in half a season with the Yankees last year, but the power came back. Hitting at cozy Citizens Bank Park, a healthy Gregorius should be able to best his career high of 27 home runs while knocking in about 85 and hitting around his career .264 average. Not too shabby as your draft starts to turn toward the later rounds.
Where to grab him: McCutchen’s stock is fluctuating, as he’s going anywhere between the 13th and 17th rounds right now. Coming off his ACL tear, his stock will obviously depend greatly on how he looks at spring training. Hopefully your draft is pretty late so that you can make an accurate evaluation. If you’re doing it in the next two weeks, McCutchen is probably too much of a gamble, even in the 16th or 17th round.
What to expect: We profiled McCutchen in depth a few days ago, and it will tell you the full tale of what to expect. But essentially, you should be happy to get 130 or so games with around 25 homers and 70 RBI. If he regains the leadoff spot, he could score you a ton of runs, but “Cutch” is not for the faint of heart this season.
Where to grab him: Like McCutchen, Segura’s perceived value is all over the place. The 16th round is probably appropriate, but I could see taking him earlier given that he enters the year with SS eligibility and will quickly gain second base (maybe third as well). He was a trendy pick last year as he looked poised for a big season in the Phillies’ lineup, but most of the shine has worn off.
What to expect: Segura is another player who we took a deeper dive on recently. Expect modest improvement on last year’s .280/12 HR/60 RBI season, with double digit steals again in the forecast. But be warned that he could find himself playing for another team before the end of this season, and the situation may not be as favorable.
That’s it for Part 2 of this series. We’ll return for one final edition where we discuss some Phillies who could be late-round fodder or potential dart throws for you at the end of your draft.