2021 Roster Review: Philadelphia Phillies

82-80 (2nd in Division; 15th in MLB)


SP Wins: 40 (20th)

RP Wins: 42 (10th)

Saves: 36 (21st)

1+ Save: 7 (Héctor Neris 12, Ian Kennedy 10, José Alvarado 5, Ranger Suárez 4, Archie Bradley, Sam Coonrod 2, Connor Brogdon 1)

100+ Ks: 3 (Zack Wheeler 247, Aaron Nola 233, Suárez 107)

.260+ AVG (min. 350 PA): 4 (Bryce Harper .309, Jean Segura .290, J.T. Realmuto .263, Odúbel Herrera .260)

65+ Runs: 3 (Harper 101, Andrew McCutchen 78, Segura 76)

65+ RBI: 4 (Harper 84, McCutchen 80, Realmuto 73, Rhys Hoskins 71)

10+ HRs: 8 (Harper 35, McCutchen, Hoskins 27, Brad Miller 20, Realmuto 17, Segura 14, Herrera, Didi Gregorius 13)

5+ SBs: 6 (Harper, Realmuto 13, Segura 9, McCutchen, Herrera 6, Travis Jankowski 5)

BEST BUY: Aaron Nola

It was an inconsistent season for Nola as his core skills remained remarkably strong (25% K-BB, 5th in MLB), but managed just a 4.63 ERA due in large part to a 1.3 HR/9 and 8.2 H/9 in 180.7 IP. He isn’t some sneaky sleeper as even those who just look at surface stats will see a 1.13 WHIP and realize he is worth drafting, but I’ll take any sort of discount here and run with it!

Make no mistake, Bryce Harper is an excellent buy, too. I’m a long-time Harper stan even when he was foolishly being regarded as overrated. But I’d rather not use the obvious superstar in this field when possible.

ON THE RISE: Ranger Suárez

It was such an interesting season for Suárez as he started it in middle relief then became their closer and wound up as their best starter by the end of it. Now he only had 12 starts, but he posted a 1.51 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 65.7 IP with an 18% K-BB rate. This isn’t who he is going forward as I doubt he will continue to strand 87% of the runners who reach base, but even if his ERA rose toward his 3.68 SIERA, that’d be perfectly fine. He showed multiple swing-and-miss pitches, a firm groundball tilt (59% overall, 57% as SP), and the stamina to regularly go 6 IP (did so in 6 of his last 8, including a 4-hit Shutout). This profile could easily yield 150 IP of a high-3.00s ERA, sub-1.20 WHIP, and a strikeout-per-inning or better.


This is a true buy low. Too often buy lows are guys with obvious signs of future improvement in their profiles with price tags that are lower than before, but not that great. This isn’t that. Bohm had a nightmare sophomore season, posting a 75 wRC+ in 417 PA and was even demoted to Triple-A at one point. Hopefully this makes fantasy managers think twice about saying someone with 44 career games has a “solid floor”.

And yet despite the brutal season from the 25-year-old, he is priced at a level worth buying back in on, especially if you were a believer last year. He is going around pick-300 is early drafts (292 ADP with a 254 high and 315 low) which puts him at a price that can’t really hurt you if he is more 2021 than 2020. His entire MLB track record is essentially a full season (94 wRC+ in 597 PA) which would follow a trajectory we have seen from many great prospects: start fast and look invincible before hitting that rookie wall as the league adjusts to you. I still believe in the hit tool and the big question coming into 2022 is the power. Is he a .270/15 HR type bat or can he blossom into a .280+ AVG/20+ HR stud?

HOT TAKE: Bryson Stott goes for 20 HR and 10 SB after his call-up.

The 2019 1st rounder had a great three-level season (.876 OPS in 487 PA at A+/AA+AAA) that is being capped off with a remarkable Arizona Fall League showing (.912 OPS in 97 PA) and he should be up for at least 5 months of the 2022 season outside of a meltdown in his return to Triple-A, which is where I assume he will start the season barring major changes to the CBA regarding service time manipulation.

ICYMI: Andrew McCutchen had a helluva season!

Cutch smacked 27 HR with a 107 wRC+ in 574 PA. He absolutely decimated lefties (1.027 OPS, 15 HR in 195 PA) and has great plate skills (23% K, 14% BB) setting him up to continue aging gracefully. A team that limits him against righties and DHs him regularly could find themselves a nice free agent bargain.

IF THE DH RETURNS: It is tailormade for Rhys Hoskins to fill most of the time with Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto spotting in for occasional day off the field to keep them fresh.

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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8 months ago

I’m sticking with Nick Pollack’s drum-banging that Suarez is nothing more than the product of an extremely easy schedule. He started 12 games and 10 of them came against awful offenses. Reminds me of Ubaldo Jimenez’s great run right before the Orioles signed him and regretted it.

8 months ago
Reply to  Paul Sporer

I assume the other guy means he’s an ace. Which he’s not, but like you said “This profile could easily yield 150 IP of a high-3.00s ERA, sub-1.20 WHIP, and a strikeout-per-inning or better.” That is very solid, and his minor league numbers back that up, except maybe the K rate. Suarez is going to get overdrafted this season, with many thinking they are getting a high end SP2, when he’s really a solid SP3.