Nick Maton has been contributing at the big league level for the Philadelphia Phillies ever since his call-up April 19. The lefty is batting 0.286 with an OPS of 0.740, solid numbers for a rookie. Maton has shown the Philadelphia fans that he can contribute to the team now and in the future. So, how does Maton fit into the Phillies’ future?
I think it’s important to rule out a future in the outfield. Maton has been superb in the middle infield defensively and it’s hard to imagine a future with him in the outfield, knowing how much better he is defensively in the infield. The Phillies outfield also looks like it could be jammed up if some of their high draft picks pan out the way they expected.
Andrew McCutchen and Odubel Herrera both have team options to be decided on after this year, it’s most likely they are not coming back, but there’s a chance they could return on cheaper contracts. Adam Haseley and Roman Quinn are not going anywhere from all indications, and Mickey Moniak is still a hopeful developing player. Also, a change to another position could dramatically affect a young player like Maton in a negative way, both defensively and offensively. So, Maton as a future starting outfielder? I don’t think so.
The Phillies, as of now, are set in the middle infield. At the very least, the Phillies don’t have an opening in the middle of the infield until after 2022, unless they decide to part ways with Segura or Gregorius. Segura has a team option after 2022, and Gregorius’s contract is over after 2022. After that, the Phillies will need a new middle infield, as Segura will be 33 and Gregorius 32 years old.
Projecting into the future, there’s a good chance Bryson Stott will be a fit in the infield. Stott, the Phillies third-best prospect (according to MLB.com) is a shortstop, but there’s a chance he might move over to second base by the time he’s in the big leagues.
A couple years ago, Scott Kingery seemed like the Phillies’ future second baseman. Yet, he has not found any success in becoming productive again and still has a ton of work left to do. Maton and Stott, as of now, look like the next Phillies middle infield duo. Both could play second or short, so it’ll be interesting to see how that works out. Most likely, whoever is the better shortstop will play shortstop and the other at second, since shortstop is a premier position.
Even though Phillies fans wish they could see Maton play more when everyone is healthy, don’t fret—there will be plenty of Maton in Philly for the future. Homegrown talents always hold a special place in a fan’s heart, so don’t be surprised if Maton becomes a fan favorite in the city of brotherly love.