PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies season will last just 60 games.
But as brief as it will be, it's going to be a pivotal season for plenty of players.
What follows is five Phillies to watch in 2020. How they perform will impact their future and how many games Philadelphia wins this season.
The power-hitting first baseman struggled the final two months of last season, batting .165 (32 for 193) with six home runs, 17 RBIs and 62 strikeouts.
Hoskins, 27, adjusted his stance in the offseason, lowering his hands below his shoulder. Hoskins was once seen as someone who would hit in the middle of the Phillies' order for a decade.
He needs to have some success this season to revalidate that viewpoint.
Hoskins said he was able to hone in on the adjustments in his stance during the COVID-19 quarantine.
“I have a bat on every floor of my house,” he said. “I would pick up the bat (practice the new stance) and then 20 minutes later the same thing.”
Velasquez first teased Phillies fans April 14, 2016 when he, in his Citizens Bank Park debut, struck out 16 and threw a complete game in a 3-0 win over the San Diego Padres.
Fans have been waiting for Velasquez to consistently pitch like an ace ever since but more often than not, the right-hander has struggled.
Velasquez, 28, threw five or less innings in 20 of 23 starts last season.
The hope is that new Phillies pitching coach Bryan Price could unlock something in Velasquez that will enable him to pitch more effectively and deeper into games.
The results in summer camp intrasquad games have been promising. Velasquez added a cutter to his repertoire during the time off.
“I don’t think you can ignore what he’s doing.” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said.
Catcher J.T. Realmuto is also optimistic about Velasquez.
“I was talking with Bryan Price about (Velasquez),” Realmuto said. “We’re not going to be so one-dimensional with him. We’re going to move the ball around the plate, pitch up and down, mix the changeup in, mix that cutter in. I expect big things from him.”
Howard, 23, struck out 94 and walked just 16 in 71 minor league innings last season. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound right-hander never pitched above double-A, however.
But his effort last season was enough to establish him as one of the organization’s top prospects.
If he doesn't make the Phillies' 30-man opening-day roster, he will be among the players training at the team's triple-A stadium in Allentown. Those players will serve as a taxi squad for the big league team.
Price said he would expect to see Howard pitching for the Phillies at some point this season.
Girardi said Howard showed “electric stuff” in Thursday’s intrasquad game.
After that contest, Bryce Harper took to social media and proclaimed that Howard should be in the starting rotation by game six of the regular season.
“I’m ready for whatever they throw at me,” Howard said.
But baseball rules will probably keep Howard in Allentown for at least the season’s opening week. If Howard isn’t on the active roster for the first week, it would delay his first season of free-agent eligibility by a year.
Still, what Harper said is a good sign of things to come for Howard and the Phillies.
"It's cool, man," Howard said. "Obviously, (Harper has) been one of the faces of baseball forever it seems like, and for him to be a Philadelphia Phillie for 13 years or however long, I think he's definitely looking out for younger guys coming up in the system, and he's trying to integrate them into the whole Phillies organization, so I think it's really cool."
One of the most often asked questions about the Phillies' concerns next season: Will J.T. Realmuto still be in Philadelphia?
Realmuto, who is considered the game’s best catcher, will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak has said the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could complicate the Phillies' ability to sign Realmuto.
Realmuto, 29, knows that a 60-game season with no fans in the stands will impact team’s revenues and most likely tighten the free agent market this offseason.
"It definitely concerns me," he said. "The top guys usually find a way to get their dollars. I think it could affect free agency as a whole, but as for myself, I am not too worried about it."
Quinn has speed.
Girardi has been impressed by the center fielder’s power at the plate.
But the big question is will the 27-year-old Quinn have health?
Because of a variety of injuries, Quinn has played more than just 90 games once in his eight-year professional career.
But if he can stay on the field he has the physical ability to be a dynamic player.
Quinn’s speed could be even more valuable this season, where teams will start the 10th inning with a runner on second base if games go into extra innings.
Quinn would be a natural pinch runner for that situation.
“I’ve experienced some of that when I was in triple-A,” he said. “I mean, I liked it. It sped the games up, and they didn’t last as long. I thought it was a pretty cool thing they were doing, and I’m excited to see how it plays out up here.”