Despite missing the bulk of spring training with unexpected arthroscopic surgery on his knee, Brandon Marsh has been the Phillies’ best and most consistent hitter through the team’s first 16 games.

Marsh is batting over .300, leads the team in home runs, and is touting an OPS of just under 1 to start the year.

Although Marsh was viewed as a platoon piece in left field, set to split time with the newly added Whit Merrifield, he has seemingly taken over the job for the time being.

Marsh has proved thus far that he can indeed hit lefties, while Merrifield has struggled to find his footing yet offensively. 

There was a ton of skepticism when the Phillies traded their top prospect, catcher Logan O’Hoppe, to the Angels for Marsh at the 2022 trade deadline. O’Hoppe was highly regarded by the Phillies, but the team lacked leverage because O’Hoppe’s path to the majors was blocked by JT Realmuto, who was already considered by many as the best catcher in baseball and already signed to a big contract. 

Marsh was still a great prospect, though. Before reaching the majors in 2021, Marsh was ranked as the 53rd-best prospect in all of baseball, according to Baseball America. His success in the minors had not translated to the majors, however, as he struggled to put the bat on the ball during his time with the Angels. 

The trade made sense from a fit perspective, as the Phillies had no real options in centerfield. Odubel Herrera’s career had fallen off a cliff at the time and Marsh was under team control until his age 30 season in 2028. 

Although Marsh isn’t necessarily considered the Phillies’ centerfielder of the future just yet, the conversation is not dead. Johan Rojas’ bat has shown signs of life over the last week, but if Rojas can’t get it together offensively, Marsh could very well work his way back into centerfield. Given his start to the season, it wouldn’t be surprising if he never gives it back. 

Looking back almost two years later, this trade seems like a win-win for both clubs as Marsh has come into his own in Philadelphia after a very good 2023 season and a great start to 2024, while O’Hoppe seems to have a very bright future as the franchise catcher in Anaheim. 

Photo: Yahoo! Sports

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