Phillies’ Bryce Harper: We need more homegrown talent

For players eager to win now, the usual move is to want their teams to add veteran players to help put the club over the top. Bryce Harper may be an exception, as when speaking to The Athletic’s Matt Gelb and other reporters following the Phillies’ season-ending loss to the Marlins, Harper stressed that “we can’t just keep going out and buying and buying and buying. We need homegrown talent. When you look at teams that have homegrown talent, those are the teams that have success….We need guys to come up from the minor leagues and have success and be successful. Not have to go up and down.”

Aaron Nola and Rhys Hoskins stand out as recent success stories from Philadelphia’s player pipeline, but apart from that duo, the Phillies have struggled to find consistent contributions from within the organizations. Highly touted youngsters such as Alec Bohm, Scott Kingery, Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley have yet to make much of an impact at the big-league level, and Gelb notes that the Phils have been lacking a streamlined approach throughout the organization — there appears to be “a disconnect between what was taught below and preached in the majors.” The Phillies are already making changes in the player development department and are on the lookout for a new hitting coach, although it remains to be seen if Philadelphia can figure out this “disconnect” while still addressing its 2022 needs and being competitive next season.

More from around the NL East…

  • J.D. Davis will undergo surgery Tuesday to fix a torn ligament in his left hand. The Mets infielder played in only 73 games this season due to four separate trips to the injured list related to his hand injury, and Davis told The New York Daily News’ Deesha Thosar and other reporters that he expects to have a normal offseason after his surgery, so he should be ready for spring training. As to whether or not he’ll be at the Mets’ camp is another question, as after a year of trade rumors, Davis said his “gut feeling” is that he “could be out of here” and headed to another team. “It’s kind of 50/50, kind of a flip of the coin,” Davis said. “I know there’s going to be plenty of changes up and down from the front office all the way down to here….But there’s a possibility that I could come back. I love New York. I love the fans.”
  • As Davis mentioned, the Mets will be undergoing many changes, including a possible overhaul of the coaching staff that could include manager Luis Rojas. Of all the coaches, the New York Post’s Mike Puma (Twitter link) believes pitching coach Jeremy Hefner is the likeliest to remain in Queens. Next season is the last guaranteed year of Hefner’s original two-year contract, but the Mets hold a club option on Hefner’s services for 2023.
  • The Nationals definitively won’t be making a change at pitching coach, as manager Davey Martinez told reporters (including’s Mark Zuckerman) on Saturday that Jim Hickey is returning for a second season on Washington’s staff. Other changes could be forthcoming to the coaching corps, however, and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo told Zuckerman and company on Sunday that the Nationals are “certainly going to make some changes in the player development and scouting ranks.”  The idea is that “10 or 12 years with the same staff shows the cohesion, and then when you make some nice tweaks to get a new set of eyes and some new ideas is never a bad thing,” Rizzo said.

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