Phillies 2016 Season Preview
Ready to check out our 2016 Philadelphia Phillies predictions? At the end of Spring Training, one of the clubs that is undeniably rebuilding is our representative from the City of Brotherly Love.
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Philly has some intriguing prospects that should see some Major League service time in 2016, but, thanks to former GM Ruben Amaro Jr’s intransigence about tearing down the roster, it may be another step back or two before it’s time to take a leap forward.
2016 MLB Team Previews – Phillies
It took far too long for the Phils brass to realize that the core of Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels wasn’t going to be enough to bring home a World Series championship this decade.
Over the past year or so, the Phillies finally made the choice to tear it down in earnest, so now is the time for growing pains, patience and shrewd drafting.
With 3B Maikel Franco and SS super-prospect J.P. Crawford to pair with pitchers Aaron Nola, Vince Velasquez and Jerad Eickhoff, the Phillies have some pieces that will be part of their future.
Yet, this rebuild is far from being a finished product. The Phillies should be a bucket of chum for the sharks at the top of the NL East division, the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals.
Phillies National League Pennant Future Odds: +6600
Phillies 2016 World Series Future Odds: +15000
Phillies 2016 Win Total: 71 wins
2016 Phillies Predictions – Projected Lineup
1. RF Peter Bourjos
2. 2B Cesar Hernandez
3. CF Odubel Herrera
4. 3B Maikel Franco
5. 1B Ryan Howard
6. C Cameron Rupp/Carlos Ruiz
7. SS Freddy Galvis
8. LF Cody Asche
9. P Aaron Nola
Veteran 1B Ryan Howard has been the anchoring power bat in the lineup for years in Philadelphia, but he is constantly leaking bat speed these days and is a shell of his former self.
Carlos Ruiz is the remaining holdover from the franchise’s “glory years” last decade, but he is slowing down also and will platoon with Rupp.
The most intriguing bat – and player – in this lineup is definitely Franco. The ball explodes off his bat, he takes a professional approach and he can field the three-bag position also.
He is a keeper. Center fielder Herrera is another player that will occasionally bring butts out of seats at Citizens Bank Park. He is athletic, electric and spunky, and his cocky play sometimes rankles opponents.
He can make things happen in the outfield and on the basepaths. In right, nicked-up Cody Asche is nothing more than a temporary solution.
2016 Phillies Predictions – Projected Rotation
1. Aaron Nola
2. Jeremy Hellickson
3. Charlie Morton
4. Jerad Eickhoff
5. Vincent Velasquez
Philadelphia’s starting five is a combination of promising youngsters and veteran retreads. Young Aaron Nola will anchor the rotation as Philly’s de facto ace, and while his is young and had his turbulent spots in his rookie season in 2015, he has a high ceiling.
In 13 starts last season, the 22-year old put up a 3.59 ERA and a WHIP of 1.20. He was also sported an impressive 6-2 record on a terrible team.
The Phillies are hoping to squeeze something more out of Hellickson and Morton, who were both rather gladly released by their previous teams, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Pittsburgh Pirates, respectively.
The No. 4 spot is where it gets interesting again, as Eickhoff is a starter that battles and really shows the moxie to be successful long-term. In 51 innings pitched last year, he had an impressive 2.65 ERA and great WHIP of 1.04.
He’ll be a key component of Philly’s rotation this year if he can stay healthy.
Vince Velasquez is also turning some heads. He has the most potent fastball of the group, putting it up there at roughly 95 mph. He came over from Houston, a franchise loaded with tantalizing prospects.
He is also still only 23. If anyone gets nicked up, the Phillies have Brett Oberholtzer and Matt Harrison waiting in the wings.
2016 Phillies Predictions – Projected Bullpen
1. David Hernandez
2. Dalier Hinojosa
3. Jeanmar Gomez
4. Andrew Bailey
With last year’s great closer Ken Giles gone to Houston in the deal that netted Velasquez and Oberholtzer, David Hernandez will get a chance to close whatever ballgames he can for the lowly Phils.
He features a dynamic fastball, at least. Relative unknowns Hinojosa and Jeanmar Gomez round out the top of the ‘pen for a group that may be heavily taxed in 2016. Expect Andrew Bailey to have a significant role this season also.
2016 Philadelphia Phillies Predictions
As mentioned, the Phillies are currently taking their medicine in their bid for becoming a contender in the coming seasons.
If Howard and Ruiz can turn back the clock some and have a strong first half of the season – although they both make a ton of money in what were ill-advised contract extensions at the time – they could be movable assets for a franchise that is eagerly trying to stockpile futures.
Phillies fans will anxiously await the debut of Crawford, who should make Freddy Galvis redundant before long. Scouts love Crawford’s multi-faceted game.
In what is probably cold comfort, fellow NL East club Atlanta is also terrible. The Phillies will be able to grab a few wins versus a bad Braves team.
It is also hard to know what you’ll get with the Miami Marlins, even with them featuring Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and ace Jose Fernandez. Clearly, the East is going to be a two-horse race this year between the Mets and Nats.
The Phillies will likely finish fourth in the NL East, only because the Braves are also so hapless this year.
What do you think of our 2016 Philadelphia Phillies predictions? Comments are welcome below.
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