Grades for all the Philadelphia Phillies who mattered in 2023

The Philadelphia Phillies once again fell short of their goal for 2023, but some very surprising players earned As.
Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Six
Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Six / Elsa/GettyImages
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J.T. Realmuto ($23.8M+):  B. This is simple. In a B season, J.T. Realmuto is clearly still among the top three catchers in baseball because of his handling of pitchers, his intelligence, and his rare baserunning skill and speed for his position. His caught stealing rate was only 22% this year (less than half his career-best), but keep in mind he had to overcome Craig Kimbrel’s Scarecrow-in-Oz setup and very slow delivery, as well as Aaron Nola’s early struggles with the pitch clock.

Nick Castellanos ($20 M):  A-. (More howls are audible: “What about the playoffs?!?”) The right fielder, however, bounced back from his sub-par first year with the Phillies to lead the team in regular-season RBI (106). That he went cold as ice late in the playoffs after a hot start merely highlights the fact that no one else picked him up. He has also become an above-average outfielder in Philadelphia and was an All-Star this summer.

Kyle Schwarber ($20 M):  B. Kyle Schwarber’s inspiring game-leadoff home runs (11) and walks supposedly make up for his .197 average. His leadership is also unquestioned, and he drove in 104. However, if or when he is pressed into defensive service, he is the worst player available even if he has an actual outfielder’s glove. His OBP (.343, fourth on the team) is also somewhat undercut by the fact that he can not run, really. He was caught both times he tried to steal this season after a huge outlier of a season in ’22, when he was successful 10 of 11 times. That’s right. All his stolen bases you recall were last year.

Alec Bohm ($748 K):  A-. Bohm drove in 97 this year and nearly doubled his career homers with 20 dingers in his fourth season. He also drove his K-rate down to a four-year low of 15.4 percent. The third baseman, once thought to be possibly too tall and awkward to play his position, also exceeded his position’s league fielding average by 15 points, posting a .978 at his primary spot with only four errors. He is also beginning to make some spectacular plays, making him a bargain at his price before his first arbitration-eligible year in in ’24.

Bryson Stott ($734.5K):  A. As he is not eligible for arbitration until ’25, Stott is an even bigger bargain than Bohm. The second-year player is a finalist for the second base NL Gold Glove and raised his batting average by 46 points over his rookie campaign to .280. He appears to be a star in the making, having concentrated, with coaching by Kevin Long and Jean Segura, on putting pitches in play, particularly with two strikes.

Brandon Marsh ($734.5K):  B+. Marsh appears to be settling in as the Phillies left fielder, is productive in general, and was one of the few offensively consistent hitters in the NLDS and NLCS, hitting .342 for the entire postseason. He also doesn’t hurt the team in center if Johan Rojas has a day off or is banged up. Another bargain, not eligible for arbitration until ’25.

Johan Rojas ($720K/$344.5K+):  A-. Johan Rojas was promoted mid-season from Double-A Reading and was the team’s most pleasant surprise, playing what will one day be Gold Glove defense, including a very important catch in the postseason. He also hit .302 with the MLB Phillies, then was mildly insulted, more than once in the playoffs by TBS broadcasters, who kept noting his playoff offensive struggles.

On to all the others deserving grades, beginning with the other starting pitchers…