It is difficult to muster enthusiasm for a player on a minor league contract. As to the selection of a team’s fifth outfielder, it is much the same. Today, then, the Phillies doubled down on unexciting in the minor league signing of Chris Coghlan, who will come to Spring Training with aspirations of netting one of the remaining bench slots on the roster.
When examining Coghlan’s player page, it’s difficult not to cringe at the 66 wRC+ he put up last year. But if you step back and expand your field of view, you can spin a more optimistic narrative.
Outside of Coghlan’s disastrous stint in Oakland, he’s been an offensive asset over the last three years, although mostly in a platoon role. But as they often do, the projections dampen that positive spin. Steamer expects below average offense out of Coghlan, figuring him for a 91 wRC+ going forward. Still, as an above average base runner that can play multiple positions, that’s a useful piece off the bench.
It’s worth noting that Coghlan also has excellent plate discipline. The organization has stressed their desire for players to “control the strike zone”, and Klentak’s offseason additions have fit that mantra. Saunders, Hanigan, and Coghlan all excel at discerning balls and strikes. Even Kendrick did well in that area last year.
With the presumption that Roman Quinn will start the year in AAA, Coghlan will compete with Tyler Goeddel and a group of other non-roster invitees for the remaining outfield spot. That leaves a good chance he’ll find himself in Philadelphia come April, however unexciting that is.