Through the first quarter of the MLB season, there have been a few surprises. Few surprises are more shocking than the 2016 Philadelphia Phillies. As it currently stands, the Phillies are tied for the 4th best team in the NL with a record of 25-19, which also keeps them among the top ten in all of baseball to this point in the season. Although the season is still very young, and we still have about 75% of the season to go, this Phillies team is impressing many people across the league.
As I’ve written about before, the Phillies have a very bright young team with a great future ahead, but if they keep playing at their current rate their future may be much sooner than most people expected. The Phillies boast the league’s 10th best ERA with a team ERA of a 3.75. The Phillies bullpen has also been one of the best in baseball as the unit leads the entire league in converted saves with 18 thus far. One of the most under rated, and telling, stats is the WHIP which stands for walks and hits per inning pitched. The Phillies currently rank 8th in all of baseball in WHIP, which tells the story of their start so far.
The Phillies could have many more wins if they had a more consistent and productive season from their hitters. The team as a whole is only batting .230 on the year, which is good for second worst in the entire league. In addition to their poor batting average, the team has only hit 31 home runs on the year, which also ranks them as the second worst in the league. Things, somehow, get worse for Phillies hitters though. The team is ranked dead last in the league in RBI’s to this point, with only 127 through their 43 games, or just 2.95 per game. The offensive unit is also third to last in OPS, which combines the team’s on base percentage and slugging percentage.
The Phillies are a mere middle of the road team in terms of fielding percentage, with a .983 fielding percentage. The catchers for the team have allowed an astonishing .750, or 75%, stolen base percentage which is 12th in the NL and 22 in all of Major League Baseball. However, defensive efficiency measures a team’s outs recorded in accordance to the number of opportunities the team has to make an out. In this category, the Phillies rank 8th best the MLB and 3rd best in the NL.
With the addition of another solid bat or two, whether it be a veteran not on the team or a young guy earning a call up, this Phillies team could make some serious noise down the stretch of the season and deep into the Postseason. As I’ve written before, the Phillies have some young bats in Nick Williams and J.P. Crawford who could be ready for an advanced role very soon. The Phillies also have one of the deepest minor systems in all of baseball as well, so a trade for a veteran bat that would send some good prospects to another team is definitely a possibility for this young team as well.
*All stats used in this article were gathered from MLB.com, and are valid through 5/21/2016*