The 2017 season is mercifully coming to an end for the Philadelphia Phillies and the fan base could not be happier. This season has been a huge disappointment from top to bottom for this organization, which saw the team struggle out the gate and never fully recover. Sure, this team was not supposed to compete for a World Series title in 2017 but nobody thought this team would sit in dead last in the NL East for the entire season. As this season concludes on Sunday, the Phillies host their rival the New York Mets, we look into the future and identify a few bright spots for this team entering the 2018 season.
Obviously a huge bright spot for this franchise the past two months has been the play of the rookie Rhys Hoskins. The home runs that Rhys was hitting in his first 34 games was impressive but he also hit .314 to start his major league career. He stormed onto the scene and showed the entire league that his future is bright by winning the NL rookie of the month in August. Sure his play has leveled off these past two weeks but that can be contributed to growing pains while gaining major Major League experience. His bat should be a major weapon for the Phillies offense entering the 2018 season.
Another huge bright spot for this team has been the play of closer Hector Neris. The bullpen has been a major concern throughout the season and when the team traded Pat Neshak before the deadline they lost one of their biggest bullpen stars. Since then Hector has stepped up. He has not blown a save since June 21st and has lowered his ERA to 3.05. He just recently converted his 26th save of the season, which is impressive for a team that only has 64 wins on the year. With his play down the stretch, Hector Neris has cemented himself as the closer for this team.
While those two players have stood out with their play, the biggest bright spot has been the entire team’s recent surge. Most teams would have thrown in the towel and would have concentrated to the future especially considering how young this team is. The Phillies, however, completely turned around their play and showed this team doesn’t give up. For most of the season, this team was on pace for 100 losses which is the ultimate embarrassment for a Major league franchise. Since the overall team play has improved, the Phillies now have won enough to silence the 100 loss chatter and the ultimate embarrassment will be avoided.
Sure 2017 was a huge disaster for the Phillies but hopefully the front office does the right thing by building on the players who have showed promise these past few months. It has been a while since this franchise has been relevant in the standings but that could change in the near future. Hopefully the organization can look at 2017 as the building block for a championship run sooner then later.
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