The Phillies starting outfielders in 2022 need to be Matt Vierling, Mickey Moniak, and Bryce Harper from left to right. Harper is obviously a given to play in Philly for the rest of his career. Moniak and Vierling are each young guys with solid upside. Odubel Herrera has been the Phillies’ primary center fielder this season and it is time to move on from this offseason. Andrew McCutchen has been an amazing clubhouse guy for three years now and hopefully is back in a bench player role next season, but not at his current price. Cutch signed a three-year deal worth $50 million before the 2019 season. An ACL tear in his left knee cost him over 100 games in 2019. In the 59 games he did play, he hit .256 with 10 homers and 29 RBI’s. In the 60 season in 2020, Cutch played 57 games hitting .253 with another 10 home runs and 34 RBI’s. In 2020, his OBP sank to .324. This season, Cutch will end playing in 144 games (assuming he plays the final two games), his average has sank to .221 and his OBP is .335. The power numbers have gone up, but Cutch was on pace to strikeout more this season than any other season in his career. Bringing Andrew McCutchen back for another year or two is only smart if he comes off the bench.
Matt Vierling and Mickey Moniak both need time in the MLB. Vierling has played extremely well in very limited action (thanks, Joe Girardi) and Moniak has been called up to watch from the dugout then be sent down again. Vierling is hitting .344 in 64 AB’s (22/64), and has played good enough defense to stick in left field. The Phillies also need to see what they have in Moniak, other than a suitable defensive center fielder with above average speed. Buying players has not worked out. Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler are the only two exceptions. One thing the Phillies need more of is homegrown talent. They can keep buying players and being a subpar team that is in the race until the middle of September every year, or they can find a good mix of veterans and their own young talent to help them get over the hump and into the playoffs for the first time the “Dream Team” statement by Vince Young (yes, it has been that long).
An outfield of Vierling, Moniak, and Harper has versatility, contact, power, solid defense, and excitement. Having two number one overall picks in the same outfield may have never been done before. Even if Moniak bats eighth, all he has to do is play good defense and provide speed on the base paths. There just is not much more for him to learn anymore in the minor leagues.
In the fourth outfield spot, Adam Haseley could be a name to watch. After stepping away from the team early in the season, Hasely has returned to professional baseball and finished the year out at AAA. Haseley played nine games in 2021 and only hit .190 before stepping away. Haseley can play all three outfield spots and provides good speed as well. He did have a great year in 2020, hitting .278 and driving in 13 runs while playing in 40 games. If he can find his 2020 form, he may be the center fielder the Phillies have been looking everywhere for.