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Does Adam Haseley have a role with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2021?
The eighth overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, outfielder Adam Haseley hasn’t had the smoothest of transitions to the major leagues thus far. He’s undoubtedly shown a certain level of promise and potential through his first 107 games, but the Philadelphia Phillies have shown an odd reluctance to commit to him as an everyday outfielder. It’s obviously still super early in Haseley’s career, but questions have definitely started to arise regarding his longterm future in Philadelphia.
So, what should the Phillies do with their former top ten pick this upcoming season?
From the outside looking in, the obvious answer appears to be naming him the everyday starter in center field. Scott Kingery should ideally be back in the infield in 2021, and Roman Quinn is better suited for a bench role of sorts. With former All-Star Odubel Herrera no longer in the organization’s longterm plans, simply handing over the reigns to Haseley out in center makes an abundance of sense (on paper).
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However, for reasons unknown, manager Joe Girardi seemed opposed to giving Haseley a lot of reps in CF in 2020. Haseley only started 19 games in CF last year, and he only finished 13 of them. Girardi appeared to be operating under the belief that Haseley “couldn’t hit lefties”, a mindset that isn’t really backed up by any numbers.
On top of Girardi’s perceived lack of affection towards Haseley, the Phillies have also been linked to Jackie Bradley Jr. quite a bit over the last few weeks. This signals that Dave Dombrowski too believes the CF position needs an upgrade, which further casts doubt on the idea that the organization believes Haseley can be an everyday player in CF.
McCutchen is on his last legs out in LF, so there’s definitely plenty of room for Adam to get reps out there. However, using Haseley as a rotational player seems like a poor allocation of resources. Throw in the fact that Mickey Moniak (former #1 overall) pick is expected to see some more major league action this year, and there’s a bit of a logjam when it comes to depth in the outfield.
Ultimately speaking, if the Philadelphia Phillies don’t want to start Haseley in 2021, they should look to trade him. He hit .266 his rookie season and .278 last year – there’s some good value there. Trading him could net the Phillies an elite bullpen piece, or even a serviceable #4/#5 starter.
Personally speaking, I really like Haseley. He’s still just 24 years old and has shown a good amount of potential during his first two MLB seasons. I like his approach at the plate, and his defense has future “Gold Glover” written all over it. I’d love to see him as the team’s starting CF in 2021, with a potential move to LF in the future once Cutch departs.
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However, if Girardi and Dombrowski both feel otherwise, putting him on the trade block as soon as possible would be in the team’s best interest. The Phillies as an organization have minimal assets, and Haseley is currently one of their better ones. If they aren’t going to play him, netting back a return on his value is the next best thing.