Phillies plan to keep Bryce Harper at first base

League: MLB

Posted on: 09 Nov, 2023 at 03:18 AM

Credit: Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Philadelphia Phillies will keep Bryce Harper at first base for the near future, allowing Rhys Hoskins to exit as a free agent.

Harper, 31, spent the first 10 years of his career as an outfielder before moving to designated hitter for most of 2022 due to a torn elbow ligament.

The two-time National League MVP underwent Tommy John surgery in November 2022 and was slated to be the Phillies' full-time designated hitter upon his return. However, Hoskins missed the entire 2023 season due to a torn ACL, and Harper wound up taking over at first base upon his return to action in May.

"I thought it was important that we listen to (Harper), he understood. He's very happy to do it," Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said of the position change. "I think he'll meet the challenge and become an outstanding first baseman."

Harper played 126 games this year, hitting .293 with 21 homers and 72 RBIs. The Phillies are expected to feature an infield with Harper at first, Bryson Stott at second, Trea Turner at shortstop and Alec Bohm at third.

Hoskins, 30, was the second-longest tenured player on the team and had been with the organization since the Phillies drafted him in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. In six years with Philadelphia, he appeared in 667 games and hit .242 with 148 home runs and 405 RBIs.

--Field Level Media