An era has ended with Ryan Howard no longer on the roster, but Phillies fans should be excited for the future with a host of promising young players making their way onto the big league diamond.
Despite playing in a tough division, the Phillies could make some noise if their young rotation can develop quickly. Guys likeJerad Eickhoff andAaron Nola have immense talent.
This season is still expected to be a transition year for the Phillies. The makeshift lineup is comprised of young stars (Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco) while also featuring some veterans in Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders.
Philadelphia will need Kendrick to have a bounceback season offensively after he hit just.255 with eight home runs and40 RBIs last season with the Dodgers.
It may be a couple years before the Phillies contend for a postseason spot, but they are no longer pushovers in the National League.
Philadelphia Phillies schedule 2017
The Phillies begin the season with a three-game series starting opening day April 3on the road against the Reds.
Philadelphia's first home series runs April 7-9 against the Nationals.
The Phillies' biggest series might be April 21-23 at home against the Braves. It could springboard a young team into contention, or prove they are not yet ready for success.
Philadelphia Phillies roster
Phillies projected opening day lineup:
1.Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2.Howie Kendrick, LF
3.Odubel Herrera, CF
4.Maikel Franco, 3B
5.Tommy Joseph, 1B
6.Michael Saunders, RF
7.Freddy Galvis, SS
8.Cameron Rupp, C
Phillies projected rotation:
Phillies projected bullpen:
Closers:Hector Neris,Jeanmar Gomez
Phillies fantasy baseball sleeper:
Odubel Herrera, CF — Herrera was more consistent last season, batting.286 with 15 home runs, 49 RBIs and 25 stolen bases. Though the No. 3 spot may not be his optimal batting order location — No. 1 or 2 would be ideal — he has enough power to take advantage of the RBI opportunities. Hisspeed should be there again this season as well.
Phillies top prospect(s):
J.P. Crawford, SS;Jorge Alfaro, C — With all of Philadelphia's massive contracts off the books, it can finally start focusing on the young prospects cultivated in the minors. Crawford is one of the best prospects regardless of position, and Alfaro could soon be one of the best hitting catchers in MLB.