Lots of fans around Philadelphia think Phils general manager Matt Klentak needs to be fired. I completely agree, and I’m going to go over why I think he needs to be gone.
Klentak was hired by President Andy MacPhail after the 2015 season in which the Phillies finished dead last in the league at 63-99. He was introduced as the Phils GM on October 26, 2015. Since then, he has made many questionable “non-moves.”
To start, what moves has Klentak made? This past offseason he was able to get Zack Wheeler and Didi Gregorius, but last offseason the owner John Middleton had to fly out to Las Vegas to sign Bryce Harper. Klentak has also ignored the fact that the Phils have NOBODY in their bullpen. There were plenty of great bullpen arms out on the market this offseason, and Klentak refused to try to sign any of them. Other than the signing of Wheeler, Klentak hasn’t done anything to make this team better. The city is beginning to get tired of it, and it should be.
It doesn’t help that the Phils never scout any players out of high school. I feel like all the teams around the MLB have these young guys that are getting to the majors by the age of 19 or 20. The Phillies do have Alec Bohm, who is the best third base prospect in the MLB farm system, but they don’t have that really young guy who is ready for the bigs now. I think there’s a reason for all of this. Matt Klentak has said himself in press conferences that he hasn’t been aiming for high school players since they drafted Mickey Moniak in 2017. Klentak has refused to seriously scout high school guys for the past two years even though teams like the Braves and Nationals, who have Ronald Acuna Jr., Juan Soto, and Ozzie Albies, have shown that it is worthwhile to scout these guys.
The thing that annoys me the most is that he refuses, absolutely refuses, to bring guys up from the minors. Scott Kingery was in the minor leagues for all of 2017. He shouldn’t have been. He was the best player in the Phil’s farm system that season. Even in September after the minor league season ended and the big league rosters expanded, Klentak still wouldn’t call him up. The Phillies system is bad right now, but back in 2016, 2017, and 2018, they had three teams making the playoffs in the minors every year. Klentak took a long time to bring up Nick Williams, Aaron Altherr, and Cam Perkins (few remember). We’ve seen all these guys in the majors now, and they turned out to be nothing special. But who knows how differently their careers could’ve gone to this point if they hadn’t been rotting in the minors all these years? Cam Perkins was hitting in the 290s with 20-25 homers and very good defense for two years in triple-A. He was 26 years old by the time he got a chance in the bigs back in 2017.
I think the Phillies should bring Bohm up out of spring training. I know people don’t want to rush him, but he’s proven he can hit very well in the minors. We need all the help we can get up on the big squad, so why not? Klentak has given us so much of his disease that now we’re scared to bring up a guy that hit .305 in the minors last season. And why? Because he’s not ready? Not ready? He’s 23 and in the best shape of his life. Bring him up! Klentak-ism has spread so badly that Phillies better get him out of here before it gets worse.