Published by: Bear Acuda
Phillies name first baseman of the future — Bryce Harper
The Philadelphia Phillies have charted a new course for their infield, positioning 2-time MVP OF Bryce Harper as their future first baseman, a move that signals the team’s departure from big-bat Rhys Hoskins.
On Tuesday, Phillies’ top baseball executive Dave Dombrowski indicated that after careful deliberation with manager Rob Thomson and other front office staff, the consensus is that Harper stands out as the optimal choice for first base. At 31, Harper, who transitioned to the position following an ACL injury to Hoskins during the preseason, has started 36 games in this new role.
Dombrowski, speaking at the MLB General Managers’ meetings, conveyed his belief in Harper’s potential to excel at first base:
“We think he projects to be an outstanding first baseman. He’s willing to do whatever for the organization, and we just think for us, it makes us a better club now and as we go forward…It gives us a really good, athletic infield that can be together for years.”
Harper, traditionally an outfielder before undergoing elbow surgery last year, has adapted well to first base. He made a remarkable return to the field on May 2, earlier than anticipated, posting a .293 batting average with 21 home runs and 72 RBIs across 126 games. His performance was a pivotal factor in the Phillies’ run to the National League Championship Series, where they were ultimately defeated by the Arizona Diamondbacks in a tight seven-game series.
Dombrowski has communicated the strategic shift to Hoskins, who has entered free agency, acknowledging that the lineup—with heavy hitters like Kyle Schwarber consuming significant designated hitter duties—would not provide sufficient at-bats for him.
With Harper now anchoring first base, the Phillies look forward to boasting a seasoned and skilled infield in the upcoming season, which will feature Bryson Stott at second, Trea Turner at shortstop, and Alec Bohm at third base.
Harper, during the postseason, attributed his successful transition into the infield in part to the guidance of Phillies infield coach Bobby Dickerson.