Alec Bohm’s April Surge Has Phillies Finally Off To Strong Start

One of the biggest reasons for the Phillies' hot start is a phenomenal April performance from third baseman Alec Bohm.

Alec Bohm #28 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates hitting a one run home run during the seventh inning at Citizens Bank Park.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 06: Alec Bohm #28 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates hitting a one run home run during the seventh inning at Citizens Bank Park on May 06, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Phillies talked in spring training about not digging themselves into a hole in the first month of the season. While the Phillies have been able to rebound from slow starts the past two years and still make the playoffs, such starts have prevented them from competing with the Atlanta Braves for the NL East title.

Well, even without Spencer Strider, Atlanta isn’t going anywhere. A month into the season, the Braves are on top of the division they’ve won six years in a row.

However, unlike the last two years, the Phillies aren’t facing an already insurmountable deficit. They are 19-10, and outside of what is arguably the best starting rotation in baseball, the biggest reason for their success is a scalding-hot start to the season from third baseman Alec Bohm.

Stats, standings, and rankings were all updated prior to games on Monday, April 29.

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Over the weekend, the Phillies swept the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, with Bohm at the forefront of all three victories.

In a 9-3 victory on Friday evening, Bohm went 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored.

Bohm was overshadowed by another dominant start from Ranger Suárez in Saturday’s 5-1 win but drove in four of the Phillies’ five runs, two of which came on a first-inning home run off of Dylan Cease.

For good measure, Bohm doubled twice and recorded three hits Sunday afternoon as the Phillies defeated the Padres 8-6 to complete the sweep.

This past weekend wasn’t the beginning of Bohm’s dominant stretch at the plate, but it was the point at which it became impossible to ignore the reality that he’s been one of the best players in baseball over the first month of the 2024 campaign.

After a monster weekend in San Diego, Bohm is among the top five league leaders in batting average (.365), doubles (12), RBIs (26), OPS (1.056), wRC+ (191) and FanGraphs WAR (1.8).

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Perhaps the most amazing note about his performance in April is that his 1.8 fWAR is already a career-high for a single season. He finished each of the last two years with a 1.4 fWAR.

Bohm was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft, in large part because of his ability to make hard contact. So, to see him doing so isn’t especially shocking – not that it makes his .365 batting average any less impressive.

However, what is a surprise is that Bohm is currently second only to Mookie Betts in on-base percentage, with a .441 mark. Obviously, the high batting average is a major reason for that. But what’s encouraging is that Bohm has already walked 14 times this season. He set a new career-high with 42 walks last year. This is a much better pace.

Increased patience at the plate should make Bohm a more valuable overall player, even when he inevitably cools down.

Home run production remains the biggest question with Bohm. He hit a career-high 20 home runs a season ago. He’s not someone who swings to hit homers, but 30-home run power is certainly in there for the 6-foot-5, 218-pounder.

Bohm currently has four home runs this season. One of those came Saturday evening, and he narrowly missed another on Sunday, instead having to settle for an automatic double. It’s not hard to see flashes of his natural power.

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No one is suggesting Bohm needs to become a three-true-outcomes player who either homers, walks or strikes out. But, if the 27-year-old can combine 25-30 home run power with elite contact ability and increased patience at the plate, he may very well earn his first trip to the All-Star Game this summer.

It might also help the Phillies to give the Braves a real run for their money in the NL East.