'I love this place': Bohm's remarkable '22 turnaround

October 10th, 2022

ATLANTA -- didn’t hit the ground after he took a 100.8 mph fastball off his left shoulder on Friday. In fact, he looked at his dugout and gave three emphatic claps.

Phillies fans have been witness to some of the highest highs and lowest lows during Bohm’s 2022 season. They saw him mutter some choice words after a frustrating night in which he committed three errors vs. the Mets on April 11.

In the Wild Card Series, they saw Bohm drive in the Phillies’ first postseason run since 2011 with his ninth-inning hit-by-pitch in Game 1 and put on a defensive show in Game 2 to help his team advance to face Atlanta in the NLDS.

What they haven’t seen is the behind-the-scenes work Bohm has put in to turn his season around. The results on the field speak for themselves: Bohm has improved markedly both defensively and offensively. But if you ask the 26-year-old, his biggest accomplishment this season has been his maturity.

“You only get one chance at this,” Bohm said. “So many guys come up, fail, go through things I went through and they don't make a change. And that's the only chance they get. So I didn't want to let those simple things be the thing that got in the way of me being able to put the uniform on every day.”

The third baseman credits his coaches, specifically infield coach Bobby Dickerson and hitting coach Kevin Long, for the tough love they’ve provided during the lows.

“I think Bobby, the way he goes about his business is he just frees players up to let them be them and just go play. And [Kevin Long], same thing,” Bohm said. “He doesn't let you spin your wheels and think something's wrong.”

Bohm has also leaned on veteran teammates such as Jean Segura and Rhys Hoskins, who pointed out Bohm’s maturity as his biggest area of growth this year.

“To see him grow and figure out how to get on the other side of some of those valleys that we encounter often in this game is something that he never had to do before, and [he] had to learn kind of on the fly,” Hoskins said. “Unfortunately, for him, he had to do it under the brightest lights and in a market that we play in, which is honest. It's just an honest market. I'm proud of him for that.”

During Spring Training, Bohm wasn’t sure he’d have a spot to grow into this season. For one, he was competing with Bryson Stott for the third-base job. For another, it was reported the Phillies were open to using Bohm as a trade piece if they were to tweak their roster.

“This guy was a high Draft pick,” Hoskins said. “He was a stud in college. I'm sure he was a stud in high school. Ran through the Minor Leagues, just hit everywhere he went. He got to the big leagues and did the same thing. [Then, he] kind of got slapped in the face like a lot of us do. That's what this game does.”

“He's a guy that has improved more within a year than I've ever had in my career,” said manager Rob Thomson, who had the interim tag removed on Monday. “Not only offensively, but defensively, maturity-wise. I give a lot of credit to him, but give a lot of credit to Bobby Dickerson [and] Kevin Long for the work they do with him on a daily basis. They keep him upbeat. They keep him confident. They tell him the truth when he's not doing well, and he responds, and a credit to all of them.”

In addition to his coaches, Bohm happens to compete in a market full of fans who also aren’t afraid to tell the truth. After his three-error game in April, Bohm was trending on Twitter after cameras picked up a moment of frustration in which Bohm said, “I [expletive] hate this place.”

He owned up to what he said and apologized.

Six months later during an on-field interview with MLB Network after the Phillies swept the Cardinals in the Wild Card Series, Bohm again made headlines with a new quote: “I love this place.”

“[It’s good to] have their support and they saw the human element of it,” Bohm said. “People messing up, owning up to it or whatever and growing from it. I definitely understand [the fans] point of view of things a lot more and I definitely appreciate that a lot more.”