2024 Phillies Player Spotlight: Orion Kerkering

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 with the Phillies. This week we highlight pitcher Orion Kerkering.

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2023 Season

 He dominated hitters at every minor league level. A historic and meteoric rise through the system he began the 2023 season in low A Clearwater and ended pitching for the Phillies in NLCS. He appeared in 3 games all in relief for the Phillies during the regular season. He also appeared in 7 games all in relief for the Phillies in the 2023 postseason.

He was 1-0 in the regular season with a 3.00 ERA. He pitched 3 innings, struck out 6, and walked 0, with a 1.67 WHIP. In the postseason he was 0-0 with a 3.38 ERA. He pitched 5.1 innings and struck out 5 with a 1.88 WHIP.    

Strengths

Kerkering the righty is a power pitcher with a high velo four-seamer (96 to 99 mph — has reached 102) and a wipeout slider. His rise through the Phillies system is a testament to his stuff and the belief the Phillies have in him. His youth means he is under team control for the foreseeable future. Kerkering has MLB closer potential.

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Weaknesses

Whether you blame the Phillies coaching staff or believe Kerkering may not have the required ice water in his veins to be closer at the MLB level. The Phillies’ use of him in high-leverage high-stress situations in the postseason is questionable. During those situations, Kerkering relied on his power to see him through. The results were not good but they should serve as a teaching tool for the young pitcher.   

2024 Projection

With the departure of Craig Kimbrell and the Phillies current payroll situation. It would not surprise me to see Kerkering be allowed to be a huge part of the back end of the Phillies bullpen. The Phillies rely on a closer-by-committee approach. If Kerkering continues his rise through the Phillies system, it would be interesting to see how manager Rob Thompson uses him.

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

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.

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