Two of the more productive players on the Phillies current roster weren’t there when the season started, Corey Dickerson was on the Pirates and Adam Haseley was coming up through the Phillies minor league organization.
Dickerson wound up on the IL with the Pirates with a right shoulder strain on April 10th and didn’t return to the major league roster until June 8th. Seven weeks later, Pittsburgh dealt him to the Phillies for a player to be named later and international slot money, a cheap enough price for a guy who was a career .280 hitter over seven major league seasons. Pittsburgh ditched him because he is eligible for free agency after the season and they didn’t see him entering into their long-term plans.
As for Haseley, he was on the Double-A Reading roster to open the season and had a slash-line of 8-21-.267/.349/.485 with the Fightins. He came up to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and continued to produce, hitting .294 in just 18 games with the IronPigs. It was then that Haseley’s adventure truly began.
On June 4th, the Phillies purchased Haseley’s contract to add him to the 40-man roster and bring him to the majors when Andrew McCutchen went on the IL. After just two games – and he played hurt in the second game – Haseley wound up on the IL himself with a left groin strain. He wound up back with Lehigh Valley until mid-July when Sean Rodriguez went on the IL. A month later, Jay Bruce appeared ready to come off the IL and Haseley was optioned back to Lehigh Valley, but never even left San Francisco where the Phillies were playing. Bruce wound up back on the IL and Haseley returned to the Phillies.
Both players have played well for the Phillies both offensively and defensively. Haseley has made a few highlight reel catches in both center field and left field and he’s performed well at the plate with a line of 5-21-.268/.330/.421 in 51 major league games. The question is just what does the future hold for the two Phillies outfielders?
Dickerson is unsigned for next season and could hit the free agent market if the Phillies don’t make him an offer and get him re-signed. Haseley is under team control and his contract can simply be renewed, but he deserves to stick with the big league club. The problem is that both players are left-handed hitters.
With Bryce Harper written into right field for the foreseeable future and either left or center going to McCutchen, the Phillies only have one other full-time spot open in the outfield. Haseley came up as a center fielder, while Dickerson is more of a left fielder defensively, although he could spend some time in center for the Phillies. McCutchen prefers left field, but would likely be okay with playing center field on a fairly regular basis.
Add into this the presence of Jay Bruce, another left-handed bat, and things are really bunched up in the outfield. Bruce’s contract runs through next season and technically has $13-million left for 2020. However, the Mariners sent a boatload of cash along with Bruce to pay off all but $2.75-million of the money remaining for both 2018 and 2019.
Dickerson hits left-handers well, batting .272 against them for his career versus .290 against right-handers. Power-wise though, 102 of his 115 career home runs have come against right-handed pitchers. Haseley is much better suited to facing right-handed pitching, hitting .280 against them versus a .231 average against lefties. He has also hit all five of his career home runs against right-handers.
Haseley, 23, represents more of an upside long-term than does Dickerson, but the veteran Dickerson’s better overall splits give the Phillies a little more flexibility with him offensively. With two options remaining, Haseley could open next season with Lehigh Valley, giving him more time to develop and serving as insurance for an injury. Keep in mind that both Dickerson and Bruce have spent significant time on the IL this season and neither is getting any younger.