Do you remember dreading the moment of seeing that yellow envelope sitting atop the pile of mail in your childhood house? Or were you the kid who beat your parents to the mailbox in hopes of disposing of the dreaded envelope? Wait; were you the kid unfazed by the yellow envelope?
Well anyhow, it is that time of year.
The players are returning home for the All-Star break to see their friends, family, and a yellow envelope nestled into their mailbox that contains their midseason report card—an evaluation of how their season has gone based on opinions and analysis by yours truly.
In this series of four articles, I will cover each player that suited up for the Phillies in 2022. I’ll consider their speed, power, overall hitting ability, experience, and the expectation for them coming into 2022. When making my final grades, I will review highlights, analyze Statcast, read through box scores, and use their stat sheets to help make my final conclusion.
Without any more jibber jabber, let’s get started with the Phillies’ outfield!
Nick Castellanos: C
|How they have played compared to their expectations and the role they serve to the team||33/45|
Nick Castellanos is the undisputable disappointment when you look at the Phillies’ roster. He is coming off a 2021 season where he won a Silver Slugger and was one of the runner-ups for MVP.
In 2022, he has not been close to the same player.
Castellanos is hitting .251 and has an OPS of just .673. He has posted career lows in nearly every statistical category and seems to have lost his passion for the game. He shows no emotion and continues to make the same mistakes leading him to the same results. He has not made any adjustments and has shown no signs of improvement from game one to game 92.
His strikeout numbers are way up, and all of his power numbers have gone down. He has 10 home runs fewer than he did at the time of the All-Star break in 2021, and his batting average is 80 points lower than it was before the break last season.
Bryce Harper: A+
|How they have played compared to their expectations and the role they serve to the team||44/45|
Bryce Harper was serving as a designated hitter for the majority of his first half because of a UCL injury, but it did not stop him from being his usual self.
Harper, the 2021 National League Most Valuable Player, has continued his elite level of play in 2022. Unfortunately, he was hit by a pitch in San Diego and had to get surgery on his finger. He has not yet returned from the injury, but before he was sidelined, he was an A+ player. He had a batting average of .318 and an OPS of .984, which put him near the top of many league leaderboards.
He sprayed the ball all over the field and hit home runs to both his pull side and his opposite side. His elite speed allowed him to steal nine bags, and he was near the top in nearly every exit velocity leaderboard.
A slow start to his season knocked a few points off his grade, but he also gained a fair amount of points for how clutch of a hitter he was. Harper had a .357 average and a 1.188 OPS with runners in scoring position, and he had six hits in 15 at-bats in the ninth inning. And nobody can forget his game-tying grand slam against Raisel Iglesias and the Angels, which is just another example of Harper coming up huge in tough situations.
Odubel Herrera: B-
|How they have played compared to their expectations and the role they serve to the team||40/45|
Odubel Herrera was one of the toughest players to grade in the outfield. His role has bounced between everyday centerfielder and third or fourth bench bat due to injuries, and this made his expectations coming into the season very unclear.
As a bench bat, Herrera does his job. His plate discipline can be near embarrassing, but he is above average defender and speeds around the bases. His awareness can be frustrating, given he has taken horrible routes to flyballs and ran through stop signs on multiple occasions.
So far in 2022, Herrera has hit .244 and owns an OPS of .679.
I am sure that he is not the most liked player on the team and does not help the team’s chemistry, given his questionable history. But he has been with the Phillies for a long time and is familiar with the organization.
Oscar Mercado: D
He played on the Phillies, so we have to give him a grade. Granted, it was only for two innings. Mercado was claimed off waivers from the Guardians but was designated for assignment just a few days after coming to Philly. He struck out in his one at-bat with the Phillies and had no chances during the two innings he spent in centerfield.
An F seems harsh, but he did not impact the outcome of the game that he played. He stood in centerfield and occupied the spot, so we’ll gift him the D.
Mickey Moniak: F
|How they have played compared to their expectations and the role they serve to the team||20/45|
With Moniak, we cannot avoid the F. He was absolutely abysmal in his 18 games in the major leagues. He hit for a .130 average and posted a laughable .336 OPS. Moniak only had one extra-base hit in 50 plate appearances before being optioned to triple-A.
While Moniak has never had much big-league success, his poor performance surprised a lot of people. He hit .351 in Spring Training and posted a 1.351 OPS. In just 37 total plate appearances, he managed to leave the yard six times, which helped him achieve a slugging percentage of just under 1.
Just a few hours after learning that he’d made the major-league squad, he injured his finger and put himself on the shelf until May 30.
Needless to say, Moniak failed to live up to the hype that formed during Spring Training. When he returned, he was hitless in four at-bats and struck out in three of them.
Simon Muzziotti: F
Muzziotti only had seven at-bats with the Phils, so he won’t get a full report card. But he does get a grade. While he only had one hit in those at-bats, he played 30 innings in centerfield. Unfortunately, those 30 innings also did not go well. He had a .909 fielding percentage, which does not fare well for a player recalled to primarily be a defensive replacement.
Roman Quinn: C-
|How they have played compared to their expectations and the role they serve to the team||38/45|
If you forgot about longtime Phillie Roman Quinn, it is okay. I did, too.
Roman was the same Roman in his short stint in the majors this year that we have seen since his debut in 2016. He is still one of the fastest players in baseball, but he struggles to get hits and find a way on base.
He was great in centerfield, but being a speedy baserunner is worthless when you cannot get on base to do the running.
Quinn hit .162 in 40 plate appearances.
Kyle Schwarber: A-
|How they have played compared to their expectations and the role they serve to the team||42.5/45|
Kyle Schwarber, the lone Phillie playing in the 2022 All-Star Game, has been absolutely mashing in 2022. He leads the National League with 28 home runs, and his .503 slugging percentage is ninth-best in the NL. He has not hit for average as he did in 2021, but his power makes up for it.
Schwarber has an excellent eye at the plate and has the fourth-most walks in all of baseball, making him a great leadoff hitter—something that the Phillies have not had in a very long time.
And his copious amount of playoff experience should benefit the Phillies as the pennant race gets more competitive in the second half of the season.
Matt Vierling: B
|How they have played compared to their expectations and the role they serve to the team||41.5/45|
Matt Vierling was the centerfielder for the Phillies on Opening Day, but he struggled to even get a hit in the first few series. It took him eight games before he recorded his first hit, and after his struggles continued, he was sent down to the minors.
And when he came back, he was a lot different. Vierling only has a .231 average on the season, but he has been so good since coming back that he was named the primary centerfielder by Rob Thomson just a few days ago. He hit .313 in June, and he is one of the few players to homer off star closer Josh Hader.
Defensively, he has been almost perfect, and that dates back to his call-up He has only made one error in his entire major-league career, which was a throwing error at third base. And since h is not a third baseman, some might argue that he has been perfect defensively, adding to his value significantly.
Defensively, the Phillies have been much better than they were expected to be, and honestly, that goes for their entire team. Moniak and Castellanos have been the two largest disappointments, but Matt Vierling, Bryce Harper, and Kyle Schwarber have all exceeded their expectations in one way or another.
Team Outfield Grade: B