MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 10: Chase Utley #26 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with Jimmy Rollins after crossing home plate on a RBI double hit by Ryan Howard in the top of the eighth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on July 10, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

This current Phillies team has some of the best talent we have ever seen together in franchise history. They came just short the past two seasons. In 2022 they were 2 games away from the 3rd World Series win in franchise history. Last season they were 1 win away from getting back for a chance at redemption in the World Series. Perhaps the only shame, is how little homegrown talent there is on this Phillies team.

Many Great Phillies Players Were Not Homegrown

Many of the star players came here via free agency or trade. Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler, Kyle Schwarber, JT Realmuto. Some of them are already legendary players in Phillies history. But they didn’t get their start here.

Is that abnormal in Phillies history though? Does the franchise have a rich history of homegrown guys, or is relying on free agents and trades typical for this team? To find out, we put together a roster of some of the best homegrown Phillies players ever.

What Defines “Homegrown Phillies”

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 12: Chase Utley #26 of the Philadelphia Phillies high-fives Jimmy Rollins #11 after scoring a 10th inning run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on May 12, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona. Philly athletes
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

We are not talking about players born in Philly. If you want the best baseball players ever who grew up in the local area, we already have you covered here. This list is for the guys who started their careers as members of the Phillies. Either by being drafted here, being traded as a prospect, or signing as an amateur free agent.

Some of the positions were easy to pick. There were some tough choices. Also, a few positions that exposed just how bad the Phillies have been at acquiring amateur talent in their history. But there are some truly great players who got their start here.

So who is the best left fielder to come up through the Phillies system? The best relief pitcher? Starting pitchers? We picked the best players from each position.

Here is the All-Time Roster of Homegrown Phillies Players:

  • Catcher) Carlos Ruiz

    .264/.350/.391/.742 

    71 HRs, 405 Runs, 415 RBIs, 25 Steals 

    This was tough between Darren Daulton and Carlos Ruiz. Daulton was the better hitter, but Ruiz was better behind the plate and accomplished more in his time here. I went with Chooch as my pick. He caught 4 no-hitters, including a perfect game. There are a few catchers better at the plate than him, but none can touch what he accomplished behind it.

    Also, he was part of the greatest commercial ever.

  • First Base) Ryan Howard

    .258/.343/.515/.859 

    382 HRs, 848 Runs, 1194 RBIs, 12 Steals 

    The answer was obviously Ryan Howard. Over a 5-year period few players were more terrifying at the plate than him. He got called up too late, and an injury ended his career too soon. So his career numbers look less impressive than they should. But Howard is one of the best hitters in Phillies history. His 2006 season was magical.

    I did consider Dick Allen, who also got his start here, and who by the end of his career played more at 1st than anywhere else. But he was mostly a 3rd baseman in Philly. And I think I’d pick Howard over him even if he did play 1st here, just for the sheer impact of Howard’s prime years. 

  • 2nd Base)- Chase Utley

    .275/.358/.468/.823 

    259 HRs, 1103 Runs, 1025 RBIs, 154 Steals 

    The Infield is going to be way too obvious for these choices. It is debatable if Utley is the best player of the bunch from those late 2000s Phillies teams. But Utley is far and away the best second basemen in Phillies history, homegrown or not. The next guy down would probably be Juan Samuel. Samuel gets underrated a bit. But he doesn’t come close to touching what Utley did.

    Utley had a pretty good debut in the Hall of Fame vote this year. It gives him a decent chance to be the one member from that 2008 team to get into the Hall of Fame.

  • SS)- Jimmy Rollins

    .264/.324/.418/.743 

    231 HRs, 1421 Runs, 936 RBIs, 470 Steals 

    For my money, the best player from that team. He was the heart and soul of the Phillies. He also leads the franchise in hits. People who look at spreadsheets instead of baseball games are going to keep him out of the Hall of Fame. Which is a shame. Jimmy Rollins is one of the greatest Phillies players ever, arguably the 2nd best shortstop of his era behind Derek Jeter, and among the most fun players to watch on a baseball field.

    The guy had a season with 30 homers, 41 steals, 20 triples, and 38 doubles. He won an MVP. Jimmy Rollins was a damn good baseball player who gets overlooked for some reason.

  • 3B- Mike Schmidt

    .267/.380/.527/.908 

    548 HRs, 1506 Runs, 1595 RBIs, 174 Steals 

    Again, the infield was way too obvious. Mike Schmidt is not just the greatest Phillies player ever, he is the greatest 3rd Baseman period. 548 HRs, 10 Gold Gloves, 3 MVPs, and the MVP of the Phillies first ever World Series.

    There are other great Phillies 3rd Basemen. We already mentioned Dick Allen, but there is also Scott Rolen. Both were tremendous players for the Phillies, even if the teams they were on weren’t so great at times. But neither comes close to touching the greatness of Schmidt.

  • LF- Greg Luzinski

    .276/.363/.478/.840 

    307 HRs, 880 Runs, 1128 RBIs, 37 Steals 

    Finally, another position where there is some competition. It came down to The Bull, vs Pat “The Bat” Burrell, vs Del Ennis. I find it hard to put Del Ennis on here when not even my father got to see him play. T least when there are more modern players who are just as good of options. I grew up with Pat, and there are plenty of people I can talk to who watched Luzinski play. It was very close, but I went with Bull.

    It might be understated just how good he was for them in the 70s. He was a bit past his prime by the time they won the World Series. But he finished 2nd in the MVP race in 1977. From 75 to 78, he was top 5 in RBIs, HRs, and Slugging. So I went with him. But I love Pat, and won’t argue with anyone who puts him here instead.

     

  • CF) Richie Ashburn

    .308/.396/.382/. 778 

    29 HRs, 1322 Runs, 586 RBIs, 234 Steals 

    Centerfield was another one without much debate. They have one homegrown Center Fielder in the Hall Of Fame. It kind of takes the choice out of it. Richie didn’t have much in terms of power. But he is a .300 career hitter who got on base nearly 40% of the time. He is also a legendary broadcaster.

    There is also the fact the Phillies dont have very many other homegrown centerfielders who rose to greatness. Garry Maddox started with the Giants. Shane Victorino with the Padres. Cy Williams with the Cubs. You’d have to go back to the 1800s to find another name even worthy of mentioning. Maybe Johan Rojas, or eventually Justin Crawford, will change that.

    Shibe Vintage Sports on Twitter: "Harry Kalas reads a poem he wrote in honor of his longtime broadcast partner Richie Ashburn on the day Whitey passed away. pic.twitter.com/BEYHGNv5SQ / Twitter"

    Harry Kalas reads a poem he wrote in honor of his longtime broadcast partner Richie Ashburn on the day Whitey passed away. pic.twitter.com/BEYHGNv5SQ

     

  • RF- Chuck Klein

    .320/.379/.543/.922 

    300 HRs, 1168 Runs, 1201 RBIs, 79 Steals 

    The history of homegrown right fielders for the Phillies is as bleak as centerfield was. All the notable right-fielders you can think of from recent history started somewhere else. Werth came up with the Blue Jays. Bobby Abreu with the Astros. Callison with the White Sox.

    I had to go back to the 20s and 30s. I can’t really say much about Klein. There is not even much footage of his playing days. But he won a triple crown and hit over 300 career HRs, 243 of which came in Philly. He is also in the Hall of Fame and hit over .300 with over 300 HRs. Kleinm is also one of a few players to hit 4 HRs in one game.

    He is deserving of the spot. It just feels disappointing to include someone on the list pretty much no one reading this will have seen play. But he was the obvious choice here given the next best option was from the 1800s.

    National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum ⚾ on Twitter: "Chuck Klein's 1930 season was one for the books. His 158 runs scored were the most by a National Leaguer in the 20th century, and no hitter in the last nine decades has topped his 445 total bases. He was elected to the Hall of Fame #OTD in 1980. https://t.co/6yd7zWw9gG pic.twitter.com/VJ6R4wD3nS / Twitter"

    Chuck Klein's 1930 season was one for the books. His 158 runs scored were the most by a National Leaguer in the 20th century, and no hitter in the last nine decades has topped his 445 total bases. He was elected to the Hall of Fame #OTD in 1980.

  • SP) Robin Roberts

    3.41 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 286 Wins, 2357 Ks 

    The Phillies two greatest starters, Steve Carlton and Roy Halladay, did not begin their careers here. Leaving Robin Roberts and Ferguson Jenkins the only homegrown pitchers from the Phillies to make the Hall of Fame. But Jenkins only pitched two seasons here.  So Robin Roberts was the obvious choice to be the Ace of this staff.

    Philly Sports By Number on Twitter: "Phillies #36 (RETIRED)- Robin Roberts, P (1948-61)- 7x All-Star- 7x MVP Nominee- 529 Games, 234-199, 3.46 ERA, 1871 K pic.twitter.com/MyPLDhveDQ / Twitter"

    Phillies #36 (RETIRED)- Robin Roberts, P (1948-61)- 7x All-Star- 7x MVP Nominee- 529 Games, 234-199, 3.46 ERA, 1871 K pic.twitter.com/MyPLDhveDQ

  • SP) Cole Hamels

    3.43 ERA, 163 Wins, 1.18 WHIP, 2560 Ks 

    Pitching with Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee makes us forget how amazing Cole Hamels actually was. He is not a Hall of Famer, but is not too far off that mark.

    His ERA here was 3.30. He was an Ace in every season except 2009, and his rookie season. Without Cole Hamels, the Phillies would not have won their second World Series. Cole is a Phillies legend, and should arguably be held up there with Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and Chase Utley as a Phillies legend.

    Paul Hembekides (Hembo) on Twitter: "Cole Hamels 2008 postseason4-0 W-L | 1.80 ERANLCS & WS MVPMost pitcher WAR, 2010-14Clayton Kershaw (34.6)Félix Hernández (27.4)Cole Hamels (26.8)Most K, Phillies historySteve Carlton (3,031)Robin Roberts (1,871)Cole Hamels (1,844)He was such a stud. What a career. / Twitter"

    Cole Hamels 2008 postseason4-0 W-L | 1.80 ERANLCS & WS MVPMost pitcher WAR, 2010-14Clayton Kershaw (34.6)Félix Hernández (27.4)Cole Hamels (26.8)Most K, Phillies historySteve Carlton (3,031)Robin Roberts (1,871)Cole Hamels (1,844)He was such a stud. What a career.

  • SP) Aaron Nola

    3.72 ERA, 90 Wins, 1.129 WHIP, 1582 Ks 

    The only modern player to make this list. Mostly because the current team has little in the way of homegrown talent. It is Nola, Bryson Stott, Johan Rojas, Seranthony Dominguez, and Orion Kerkering. Everyone except Nola is way too early in their career to be worthy of a place on this list.

    Nola is one of two homegrown All-Stars in the past decade. The other is Odubel Herrera, who we don’t really want to talk about. Nola has been great at times, baffling at others. But he is still easily among their best pitchers drafted by the team. Id have to go back to the 1800s to find a better pitcher. Nola is now here for 7 more seasons. He will likely pitch his entire career in Philly. As frustrating as he can be, he is worthy of being on this list.

    PhilliesNotes on Twitter: "With his 1,555th career strikeout, Aaron Nola has moved into sole possession of 5th place on the Phillies all-time strikeout list, passing Curt Schilling (1,554). Nola now trails Steve Carlton (3,031), Robin Roberts (1,871), Cole Hamels (1,844) and Chris Short (1,585). / Twitter"

    With his 1,555th career strikeout, Aaron Nola has moved into sole possession of 5th place on the Phillies all-time strikeout list, passing Curt Schilling (1,554). Nola now trails Steve Carlton (3,031), Robin Roberts (1,871), Cole Hamels (1,844) and Chris Short (1,585).

  • Closer) Ricky Bottalico

    3.99 ERA, 116 Saves, 1.39 WHIP, 575 Ks 

    I am not just putting him here because he is my co-worker. Nor am I putting him here because I have to see how hard he still throws balls when he whizzes a Nerf ball down the hall and past my head during every commercial break. He genuinely is the best reliever who came up as part of the Phillies.

    Brad Lidge, Ron Reed, Tug McGraw, Billy Wagner, Gene Garber, and Steve Bedrosian all started their careers elsewhere. As did Mitch Williams, Larry Anderson, Jonathan Papelbon, and many others. Not only is Ricky the best RP who came up through the system, but there is not too much competition. At least not among people who eventually got a chance to close.

    Ricky Bo was an All-Star in 1996. He is 9th in Phillies history in saves. Oh, and the guy many people would agree is the greatest hitter in MLB history, Barry Bonds, has a slash line of .091/.231/.182/.413 against Ricky. Most pitchers pitched around Bonds. Ricky only ever allowed 1 hit to him, and struck him out 5 times.

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