Phils' top prospect Bohm doubles in debut

August 14th, 2020

PHILADELPHIA -- is here to play, not to sit on the bench or ease into things.

The Phillies promoted their top prospect before Thursday evening’s 11-4 loss to the Orioles at Citizens Bank Park. The team placed outfielder on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left wrist to make room for Bohm on the 28-man roster and designated right-hander Edgar Garcia for assignment to make room for Bohm on the 40-man roster. Bohm hit sixth and played third base. moved from third base to second. , who has been struggling at second, did not start.

Bohm doubled down the left-field line in his first at-bat, in the second inning. He finished 1-for-4.

“I was kind of surprised [that] I didn't really feel that nervous,” Bohm said. “Rhys [Hoskins] told me that someone once told him you only get one try to hit a home run on the first pitch you see, so I decided to go for it. It was nice. When I saw the ball go past [third baseman Rio] Ruiz down there, I think I just started floating to second. I don't even remember running.”

Expect to see Bohm in the lineup nearly every day, at least for the foreseeable future.

“If we're going to call up a player like Alec, we want him to play every day,” Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said. “I think what you're going to see today is pretty indicative of what the next week or so will be like. Alec will play quite a bit at third. Segura will move over and play some second. Kingery now will help us in a variety of different spots, but notably, he may need to take down some reps in center field.

“We want Alec to play regularly. We think he's that kind of player.”

Bohm is the No. 31 prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, and he hopes to give the offense a jolt. Three-quarters of the Phillies’ infield is struggling. Segura (.205/.354/.359), Kingery (.100/.163/.100) and Hoskins (.190/.404/.238) are performing far below expectations.

“[Bohm] is the best option,” Klentak said. “You know his track record in the Minor Leagues, and you've seen him in both the Spring Training and the Summer Camp. He's a hitter. We do think he can help our lineup. Our lineup thus far -- and I'm mindful of the fact that we're only 13 games in, and even those 13 games have been somewhat disjointed -- has had several players really off to fast starts from the very beginning and others that have struggled. Adding another quality bat into that mix can only help us. That's the way we're looking at it.”

Really, the only question about Bohm’s game is his defense. There are folks inside and outside the organization that question his ability to play quality third base on a daily basis, which is why some people see him as a future first baseman.

But Bohm will play third base for now.

“There may not be a harder worker in our organization than Alec Bohm,” Klentak said. “As much as we, the Phillies, were committed to giving him every opportunity to become a good third baseman, he was equally committed and driven to make that happen. I think that’s where the credit starts, just with his work ethic. Obviously, there have been a lot of folks in our player-development group that have worked with him on that, and it’s come a long way. It’s his pre-pitch routine, just the consistency on fielding routine plays, it’s throwing from different angles. He’s worked on all that and turned himself into what we think is going to be a pretty good defensive third baseman.

“His big league career starts tonight. We don’t expect him to be a finished product in his first-ever big league game, but we like where he’s at right now.”

Haseley collided with Orioles first baseman Chris Davis on Tuesday. He woke up sore Wednesday. X-rays were negative. The Phillies do not expect him to miss much more than 10 days.

Haseley’s injury opened up the spot for Bohm on the roster, but Kingery’s struggles also provided Bohm the opportunity at third. The Phillies hoped to keep Kingery at second base this season, rather than move him around the field like during the past two seasons. But Kingery is on the move again.

“Who knows how long that will be the case?” Klentak said. “We still view Scott Kingery as an everyday player, and we don’t have to look back much further than last season. He was playing a different position, but he had a pretty good offensive year, and when you layer on the defense and the baserunning and the kid’s makeup and everything, he was a very valuable player for us. But right now given his offensive struggles, given Bohm coming up and given the need for an extra capable defender in center field, I think this makes sense for the team right now.”