Despite being founded in 1883 the Philadelphia Phillies took nearly 100 years to claim their first World Series title. They claimed their first National League Pennant in 1915 but fell short in the World Series and had the same happen again in 1950. They tasted success in their third attempt in 1980 behind legendary third baseman Mike Schmidt. In 2008 the Phillies got their second title with a terrific season from Cole Hamels and a monster year from Ryan Howard.
More recently the Phillies have struggled, their last winning season and playoff appearance was in 2011, and three consecutive 90+ loss seasons between 2015 &'17 really hurt. 2018 saw an upturn, with an 80-82 season that offered some glimmers of hope. In the winter the Phillies traded for star catcher JT Realmuto, and then they handed Bryce Harper an enormous contract to bring his talents to Philadelphia as they hunt a playoff return and a third World Series title. Can you guide them to the top of the baseball mountain?
*All stats correct at time of writing
MLB The Show 19 doesn't give teams a single OVR like other sports games, instead you get a ranking with which to judge teams by. The Phillies come in at 7th with strong top-5 rankings in contact and power. Their speed is also impressive, coming in 2nd in the league. Unfortunately their defense is terrible, ranking absolutely last.
While the Phillies have a lot of strong qualities, perhaps their strongest in their team budget. Coming in at $206 million, the Phillies have the money to make improvements where they need to, but a lot of the money is now tied up in Bryce Harper. So who are the players you can rely on at the Phillies?
Aaron Nola, Starting Pitcher (91 OVR)
Contract: 5 years/$61 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Curveball, Changeup, 2-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Break (96), Stamina (91), Clutch (88), H/9 (78), K/9 (78), Control (76)
The Phillies young ace was the seventh-overall pick in the 2014 draft and he got his MLB debut in 2015, making 13 starts with a solid 3.59 ERA. Nola's second season in the Majors was shaky, with 20 starts and a 4.78 ERA, pitching 111 innings with 121 strikeouts. Nola's third year was a massive rebound, and in 2018 he was brilliant, making his first 30+ start, 200+ inning season and becoming an All-Star for the first time. He registered a 2.37 ERA with 9.5 strikeouts per 9 innings and came third in the Cy Young voting.
In The Show 19 Nola is a superb pitcher. His stamina (91) is very strong so he can go deep into games regularly. His break (96) is good enough to make his curveball a deadly strikeout pitch. Nola's velocity (69) is not brilliant, but with two fastballs and a changeup he can still reliably get pitches across the plate, and his strength in the clutch (88) means he can get it done when the pressure is on.
Bryce Harper, Right Fielder (88 OVR)
Contract: 13 years/$330 million
Hitter Tendency: Extreme Pull
Best Stats: Discipline (99), Power vs R (97), Durability (97), Clutch (88), Arm Strength (84), Contact vs R (77)
Bryce Harper was the first-overall pick for the Washington Nationals in 2010. He got his MLB debut in 2012, playing 139 games with 22 homers, a .270 average and good defense on his way winning Rookie of the Year. Harper soon developed into one of the best hitters in baseball and in 2015 he hit 42 homers with a .330 average as he claimed the NL MVP award. Since then Harper's average has fluctuated somewhat but his power and on-base has always been relatively steady.
In The Show 19 Harper has superb power against right-handed pitchers (97) to go along with elite discipline (99) and durability (97). Harper also has strong arm strength (84) to throw out runners and good ability in the clutch (88). Harper is not as good against lefties as he is righties (contact 67, power 71) but he is still good enough to be in the lineup against lefties.
David Robertson, Closing Pitcher (86 OVR)
Contract: 2 years/$23 million
Pitches: Cutter, Knuckle Curve, Slider, 4-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Break (99), H/9 (96), K/9 (96), Clutch (80), Velocity (75)
David Robertson was a 17th round draft pick for the New York Yankees 2006. He got his debut in their bullpen in 2008 and became a regular feature in mop-up duty early on before developing into an elite set-up guy. In 2011 Robertson pitched 66.2 innings with a ridiculous 1.08 ERA and in 2014 he took over the closer role, picking up 39 saves and getting a big free agent deal with the Chicago White Sox. He soon got a trade back to the Yankees as they pushed for a World Series. In 2019 he signed with the Phillies as a free agent.
In The Show 19 Robertson has elite break (99) to make his cutter, knuckle curve, and slider vicious pitches to try and hit. As a result his K/9 (96) and H/9 (96) are terrific. Robertson has not been a closer much during his career, so his clutch (80) isn't as good as some others, but it is still strong.
Philadelphia Phillies MLB Roster
There can be some fluctuations in the OVR of individual players from save to save in MLB The Show 19's franchise mode. That can be frustrating but the underlying stats are all the same so we can still identify the key pieces of a team. We'll start our look at the Phillies MLB roster with the position players, and then the pitchers.
|Player||OVR||Position||Age||Bat Hand||Best Contact||Best Power||Fielding||Speed|
|Bryce Harper||88||RF||26||L||77 (R)||97 (R)||61||63|
|Cesar Hernandez||86||2B||28||S||82 (L)||50 (R)||58||83|
|JT Realmuto||85||C||28||R||84 (R)||63 (R)||56||73|
|Andrew McCutchen||84||LR||32||R||77 (L)||71 (L)||59||75|
|Jean Segura||84||SS||29||R||92 (R)||46 (R)||66||62|
|Rhys Hoskins||80||1B||26||R||68 (R)||90 (R)||59||37|
|Maikel Franco||78||3B||26||R||66 (R)||70 (R)||53||26|
|Odubel Herrera||74||CF||27||L||75 (L)||60 (R)||61||43|
|Aaron Altherr||69||RF||28||R||48 (R)||66 (L)||62||79|
|Phil Gosselin||69||2B||30||R||75 (R/L)||42 (R)||39||81|
|Nick Williams||68||LF||25||L||72 (R)||65 (R)||45||70|
|Roman Quinn||68||CF||25||S||54 (L)||39 (L)||60||98|
|Andrew Knapp||62||C||27||S||50 (R)||43 (R)||34||45|
The Phillies roster is made up of 13 hitters and 12 pitchers. That's a 5-man rotation with a bullpen of 7, including the closer. You get a 5-man bench with which to make pinch hitter moves and rotate your lineups.
The Phillies run production will come through the bats of Bryce Harper (power R 97, contact R 77), Cesar Hernandez (contact L 82, contact R 71), and JT Realmuto (contact R 84, power R 63), having strong offensive production from the catcher position is a big boost over most other teams too. Around that trio you have the likes of Andrew McCutchen (contact L 77, power L 71), Jean Segura (contact R 92, contact L 90), and Rhys Hoskins (power R 90, power L 79) to support them, making this lineup very strong. On the bench there isn't too much but the likes of Aaron Altherr (speed 79, power L 66) and Phil Gosselin (contact R 75, contact L 75) can provide some production too.
In the starting rotation Aaron Nola (break 96, stamina 91) is your ace and will be for years to come. Jake Arrieta (velocity 86, stamina 85) is a nice #2, but after that the rotati85on can get a little shaky. Vince Velasquez (break 77, velocity 76) and Jerad Eickhoff (break 86, stamina 84) are solid but lack the consistency you'd like and Nick Pivetta (break 88, velocity 85) is an ok #5 but unlikely to be anything more.
In the bullpen the Phillies have a lot of useful arms. David Robertson (break 99, clutch 80) and Pat Neshek (control 82, break 78) are superb options at the end of close games with Seranthony Dominguez (break 99, velocity 99), Juan Nicasio (break 80, velocity 79), and Jose Alvarez (break 74, control 74) providing excellent support if you need to pull your starter sooner than you'd like.
MLB The Show 19 gives you four basic lineups to set for your team. These are with or without the DH against right-handed starters and with or without the DH against left-handed starters. With the Phillies playing in the National League the lineups without the DH will be the ones you use more regularly.
Against right-handed pitchers without the DH The Show 19 puts SS Jean Segura at the top of the order, followed by 2B Cesar Hernandez, RF Bryce Harper, 1B Rhys Hoskins, C JT Realmuto, 3B Maikel Franco, LF Nick Williams, CF Odubel Herrera, and finally the pitcher spot. With the DH it puts Andrew McCutchen into LF at the #9 spot and gives Nick Williams the DH role.
Against lefties without the DH the top 4 are unchanged but McCutchen comes into LF in the #5 spot, followed by Herrera while Franco and Realmuto are demoted to #7 & #8. With the DH Nick Williams comes back into the lineup at #7.
These are pretty solid and you could get good production by just rolling with these, but you can also improve them.
Leaving the contact machines of Segura and Hernandez at the top of the lineup is acceptable, but with Harper and Hoskins having elite power against righties we want to get them more at-bats, so moving them into the #2 and #3 spots will do that. Realmuto also has better contact and power against righties than Hernandez, so he will move up and Hernandez's slide will stop at #5. Nick Williams and Odubel Herrera will also move up to #6 and #7 over Maikel Franco, giving us some contact-focused players a chance to get on-base in front of a more power-focused one. With the DH we drop Andrew McCutchen into the lineup at #6.
Against lefties Segura and Hernandez top the order. Bryce Harper is in at #3 with Andrew McCutchen getting the left field spot and #4 in the order. Odubel Herrera moves to #5 whiles JT Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins, who are far worse against lefties than righties, move down to #6 & #7 with Maikel Franco at #8. With the DH we drop Nick Williams into the lineup at #6 and drop Realmuto to #8 below Hoskins so we keep his power in the same spot.
The farm system can be inconsistent in MLB The Show 19. There are variations in OVR and potential that can cause a great prospect in one save to disappear in another. There can also be an absence of real life prospects, so just knowing some names and picking them up isn't possible either. However, that doesn't mean there aren't some good prospects lurking in the Phillies farm system.
Andres Acosta, Starting Pitcher (73 OVR)
Pitches: Cutter, Curveball, Changeup, Slider
Best Stats: Break (93), H/9 (75), Stamina (74), HR/9 (74), Velocity (73)
Andres Acosta could be the answer to the weaker back-end of the Phillies rotation. He is only 18 and is far from ready for the big leagues, but with superb break (93) already and solid stamina (74) he can eventually be a star on the mound. Acosta's pitch repertoire is rather unique as it is lacking a fastball, but with a curveball and a slider there are strikeout pitches galore here.
Tim Calvert, First Base (70 OVR)
Hitter Tendency: Pull Hitter
Best Stats: Durability (84), Power vs R (69), Arm Accuracy (65), Discipline (62), Stealing (61), Contact vs R (59)
Tim Calvert can provide a nice option at first base next to the right-handed Rhys Hoskins. He has solid ability against right-handed pitching (power 69, contact 59) and will develop with time into a more rounded player. He also offers some stealing ability (61) from first base that is rare.
Darnell Morse, Second Base (68 OVR)
Hitter Tendency: Whole Field
Best Stats: Durability (90), Contact vs L (78), Stealing (77), Clutch (74), Fielding (70)
Darnell Morse is MLB-ready in several aspects. He has the speed (63) and stealing (77) to be a very useful part of the the Phillies, and the fielding (70) to be an upgrade over Maikel Franco at third, albeit with a worse arm. Morse also has one good aspect at the plate, his contact vs lefties (78) but he does lack any power so he is best suited to a bench role for now, though with A potential he could develop into a quality option by season 2 or 3 of your franchise mode.