In the first three innings of yesterday’s Phillies-Mets game, Alec Bohm committed three throwing errors. And the home crowd wasn’t exactly supportive – cheering when he makes a routine play in the top of the second. This led to Bohm responding in a not exactly family-friendly way, as Chris Henrique outlines in his article here. However, the situation brings up a larger issue for the Phillies: is Bohm the team’s long-term solution at third base?
Alec Bohm was the third overall pick in the 2018 draft and quickly shot up the minor leagues, debuting for the Phillies in the shortened 2020 season. In 44 games that season, he slashed .338/.400/.481. Not bad at all. However, 2021 was not nearly as successful, as he only hit .247/.305/.342 in 115 games. The power in particular has not arrived for Bohm, as he’s only hit 11 HR between the two seasons. Considering third base is normally a place you want to have a power bat, this is a little concerning.
With production like this, one would hope Bohm had steady defense to at least justify his bat. However, with 19 errors and a -19 DRS in 141 games at third, Bohm isn’t exactly a Gold Glover at the position. He’s still young, so he could still grow into a capable defender, but the Phillies as currently constructed are looking to compete in the here and now. Which brings me to my next point.
Bohm isn’t the only top pick in the Phillies infield. Bryson Stott was picked a year after Bohm, at 14th overall, and has had a similar breeze through the minor leagues. A natural shortstop, the Phillies decided coming into the season to give both Stott and Bohm playing time at 3rd. Stott isn’t much of a power hitter either at this point, hitting 22 in 160 minor league games, but it’s better than Bohm has shown. Plus, his defense is considered to be better than Bohm’s. So, unless Stott is moved back to short, things aren’t looking good for Alec, at least in the short term.
So, between Bohm’s overall lack of production and competing with another prospect for playing time, what should the Phillies do with him? Personally, if the team wants to compete now, I think Bohm has got to be a trade piece for them. I still think Bohm can be a decent player, but part of his development might be to move him over to first, which the Phillies can’t do. With Rhys Hoskins cemented there, Bohm’s best bet would be to go to a team where he can develop more slowly. I wouldn’t be surprised if a player like the Pirates’ Kevin Newman becomes available later in the season. Newman would give the Phillies a much needed defensive boost at either short or third, and still provide league-average offense. Bohm would then get to develop with a young core in Pittsburgh. There could be many other trade candidates that come during the season as well. We’ll see if any moves end up being made.
Image Source: The Good Phight
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