With the 2024 MLB season bearing down on us. We here at EOP will spotlight a Phillies player every week until the start of the 2024 season. We will highlight their 2023 season, strengths, weaknesses, and 2024 projections. This week we will highlight third baseman Alex Bohm.
On a team that was so poor at driving in runners while in scoring position Alec Bohm was by far and away the best for the Phillies. In 2023 Bohm was hitting .344 when he had the chance to knock in a few RBIs. Compare that .344 to his overall BA of .274, and you start to get the sense that Bohm with empty bases and Bohm with ducks on the pond are almost two different players.
Overall, for 2023 Bohm’s line of 145 G, 611 PA, 20 HR, 97 RBI, 42 BB, .274/.327/.437, 1.1 WAR. He cemented himself as a key part of the Phillies middle of the order attack.
Throughout 2023, Bohm proved himself to be a more patient and disciplined hitter than he had been in the past. He swung less at pitches in the zone than ever before but made better contact on those that he did go after at a greater rate than ever before.
In terms of his fielding, he did cut down on his errors overall (from 13 to 9). His ability to play first also offered a degree of flexibility that proved crucial during Harper’s absence from the defensive side of the game.
He improved his contact rate on pitches outside the zone as well. He didn’t swing and miss much, ranking in the 89th percentile for whiff rate. The result was a career low in strikeout rate (15.4%, down from 17.4% a year before, and a whopping 26.6% in 2021), along with career highs in walks (42), homers (20), and doubles (31).
Although Bohm’s fielding wasn’t as much of a sore spot this year as last, he wasn’t exceptional at either position he played, and at this point, his arm strength and range are what they are.
The fact that he played roughly half of the year at 1st base a relatively unfamiliar position should be considered, and it’s worth noting that his fielding numbers show a significant split: he compiled -5 outs above average overall, comprised of 1 OAA at 3rd and -6 at 1st.
Bohm’s career-best numbers in homers and doubles belie that he put up career lows in barrel percentage and exit velocity. Suggesting that his improved contact may have come at the cost of some power. At least in the peripherals (although this trend didn’t show up in his slugging percentage of .437, the second-best of his career).
Regarding improved contact, while he did show more of an ability to make contact on pitches outside of the zone, he remained too comfortable swinging at them, doing so 30.1% of the time. And even though he took more free passes than ever, his walk rate was still subpar, ranking in the 32nd percentile leaguewide.
Having firmly established himself as a Phillies regular, and with a few seasons left on his contract, Bohm figures to be a fixture for the foreseeable future. While he has a ceiling as a defender, returning to third base full-time should allow him to properly showcase how he’s improved as a fielder, and further improvement is possible.
His strides towards greater contact and discipline at the plate in 2023 bode well, and there is every reason to expect solid (though not spectacular) production from him with the bat. A rise to All-Star level isn’t likely, but Bohm will continue to help the Phillies win for years to come.
Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.