Tommy Joseph provided the Philadelphia Phillies with some decent power numbers in his first season with the ball club. However, even with his power it seems wrong to not look at the rest of his make-up to see whether or not he has what it takes to be the Phillies first baseman of the future.
Joseph’s numbers show the reflection of a player who is a bit streaky. The 25-year-old hit 21 homeruns with 47 RBI’s in 315 at-bats. These aren’t terrible numbers for a first year player. They show promise, however, in that same span his batting average was .257 and he struck out 75 times. So, clearly, there is room for improvement if he wishes to stay in the line-up.
His defense wasn’t terrible either when evaluating his play. He fits the part as a big-bodied player and has all the tools to be a sufficient fielder at the position. While he may have had trouble early on, it certainly seems that he can continue to play first base in this league.
While the jury may be out if Joseph truly is the Phillies first baseman of the future a lot of questions come to mind. The most important one being, if not Joseph then who? The Phillies have a couple of options in regards to this question, one of them being prospect Andrew Knapp.
While Knapp is a catcher right now in the Phillies system, it seems as though they are more excited with the potential that Jorge Alfaro offers at the position rather than Knapp. Having said that, Knapp still has the ability to be a pretty decent hitter in the majors, which means one of two things; the Phillies trade him to another team to get some value or they switch him to another position such as first base to get him in the line-up.
Another option is that the Phillies could potentially sign a free agent acquisition to try and field the position, but it seems more likely that they test out who they have first before they poor a boatload of money into a player during the free agency period.
Whatever this team decides to do, it seems that they finally have some wiggle room to try a few things out. Tommy Joseph had himself an impressive rookie year, if he can manage to work out a few bugs, he might be able to remain at first base for the Phillies for a long time.
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