Alec Bohm is proof that sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make in the first place appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
PITTSBURGH — It’s that time of the baseball season. All you hear is trading. Commercial talks. Trade rumours. Transactions that make sense. Transactions that do not. Transactions that take place. Transactions that do not take place.
As Tuesday’s trade deadline of 6 p.m. is coming our way, it’s good to remember that sometimes the best trades you make are the ones you don’t make.
In March, Alec Bohm was available for a trade and everyone in baseball knew it. He was coming off a rough 2021 season and struggled offensively and defensively in spring training. Bryson Stott had a big spring and actually beat out Bohm for the starting third base job on opening day.
No one bit a deal for Bohm, and four months later, the Phillies are sure happy about it.
Bohm capped a sensational month of July in Sunday afternoon’s 8-2 win over the Pirates with a four-hit performance that pushed his season hitters’ average to .299. He singled twice, doubled and homered, all while holding down No. 3 in the batting order.
For the month, Bohm hit .434 (33 for 76). Overall, he has hit safely in 24 of his last 26 games at a .420 clip.
And he played strong defense.
Bohm has played so well that sometimes it’s hard to believe he’s the same guy who in March was sullen, hesitant and very available for a trade.
“Unbelievable,” manager Rob Thompson said of Bohm’s improvement. “On both sides of the ball. So credit to Bohm and credit to the coaching staff, Bobby Dickerson, Kevin Long, Jason Camilli. They put in a lot of hours with this guy. And it’s not just the physical aspects of his game that have really improved , but also the mental and emotional side of him. He’s grown up and he’s a good player right now.”
Bohm credits improved confidence and an improved ability to be on time with the fastball for his recent success at the plate. He keeps things simple and doesn’t miss pitches he should be hitting.
“You’re only as good as the pitches you go to,” he said. “So being simple and being on time are the two keys for me.”
Bohm turns 26 on Wednesday. After Sunday’s win, he was asked if he ever thought about March and how far he’s come.
“All the time,” he said.
“I think if there was no bad, there would be no good, so that’s just the polarity of the baseball season. You’re going to have bad stretches. You’re going to have good stretches. I think you take the most you can out of those bad stretches and that’s what makes the good guys worth it.
“I think I’m growing, getting comfortable, getting more experience. I think I just have to continue to find what works for me, how to bounce back from a bad game, a bad week, a bad month and put it behind me and not affect the rest of the season.”
Bohm showed excellent rebounding ability after a three-run game on April 11. Veteran teammates backed him up. Infield coach Dickerson went to work on him. The product isn’t finished, but it’s good, it gets better, and it’s Phillie. Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make.
“Jeez,” Aaron Nola, Sunday’s winner, said of Bohm. “He’s absolutely pulling the ball right now. He’s improved a lot. I’m just watching him on the field, in the box, at third base, the plays he’s making. He’s more relaxed. He’s a fun guy to watch right now.”
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