New year, a new decade, new dreams.
The 2020s are bringing a new meaning to “hope springs eternal,” especially when it comes to the Philadelphia sports scene.
The next 10 years are filled with the illusion that the City of Brotherly Love will become the next “Titletown” as the Phillies, 76ers, Eagles and Flyers are expected to have championship aspirations over the next few seasons.
Whether that illusion is actually tangible or a mirage remains to be seen after a 10-year stretch from 2010-19 that provided just one lone title.
Regardless, we are flipping the page to a new chapter in the Philadelphia sports fanatic’s folklore. Familiar faces and heroes that aren’t even a thought in our minds yet will carry the hopes of millions over the next decade.
As we look forward to the ‘20s, we at Metro tried to predict who the top 20 Philadelphia athletes of the new decades will be.
Keep this in your records until 2029 so you can tell us how right (or wrong) we were.
Here is to a new year and a new decade of good times and great memories.
Metro’s Top-20 Philly Athletes of the 2020s
Bryce Harper- Phillies, OF
For a player making $330 million over 13 years, Harper needs to be the best athlete in Philadelphia to live up to the hype. He’ll also have to deliver a World Series ring or two.
Rhys Hoskins- Phillies, 1B
The power is there, but is the consistency? If Hoskins can find his swing for 162 games, we’re looking at a first baseman to rival Pete Alonso and Freddie Freeman in the NL East for years to come.
Aaron Nola- Phillies, SP
The Phillies’ ace had a down season in 2019, but changes to the coaching staff and added support in the rotation will see a Nola resurgence in 2020 and beyond. In a pitching-heavy division, Nola needs to be the guy in Philly.
Alec Bohm- Phillies, 3B
The 23-year-old third baseman is the Phillies’ top prospect and is expected to make the jump to the majors in the next year or two. We could be looking at the next Scott Rolen at the hot corner.
JT Realmuto- Phillies, C
He’s entering his prime and is already one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.
Ben Simmons- 76ers, PG
There might come a time in the 2020s where we’ll look back at all the hate Simmons received and just laugh. The 23-year-old is an All-Star point guard with elite intangibles. If he finds a jumper, forget it.
Joel Embiid- 76ers, C
On his day, he’s one of the most dominant big men in the game. With his versatility, he’s an MVP candidate as long as he stays healthy. Embiid is the engine that makes the Sixers go. If he’s running well, a championship is coming.
Devin Booker- 76ers, SG
Put this down as a bold prediction, but I could see the Sixers somehow coming away with the talented guard at some point during the 2020s. Whether that’s in free agency or via trade remains to be seen, but who doesn’t love a bit of mystery?
Carson Wentz- Eagles, QB
He found a way to will the Eagles to the playoffs, which will be the first of many trips over the next 10 years. Enjoy the ride, because we’ll be watching one of the best QBs in franchise history.
Miles Sanders- Eagles, RB
The Eagles might have stumbled upon their No. 1 running back in Sanders this season. He’s a dynamic playmaker that can pack a punch in the backfield.
Zach Ertz- Eagles, TE
Wentz’s favorite target will only continue to cement his place as the best tight end in franchise history during the 2020s.
Tee Higgins- Eagles, WR
The Eagles need a legitimate, young wide receiver to mold into Wentz’s favorite outside target. Higgins, currently at Clemson, is exactly that. He should be available for the taking during the latter parts of the first round in 2020.
Derek Barnett- Eagles, DE
He’s played through injuries this season and has been one of the Eagles’ most valuable pass rushers. Expect him to be a daunting presence on the D-Line for years to come.
Josh Sweat- Eagles, DE
In a reserve role this season, the second-year defensive end has four sacks and seven tackles for a loss. Just wait until he gets regular playing time.
Claude Giroux- Flyers, F
Giroux will put the finishing touches on a brilliant career in 2020 — one that could end up in the Hall of Fame. The Flyers’ captain and playmaker extraordinaire will continue to thrive at Wells Fargo Center.
Sean Couturier- Flyers, F
Expectations are high following two-straight 30-goal seasons. He’ll have trouble meeting that this year, but Couturier still can be that guy next decade.
Jakub Voracek- Flyers, F
For the set-up man, Voracek’s ability to rack up assists will allow Flyers fans to call his line with Giroux and Couturier one of the best in franchise history one day.
Carter Hart- Flyers, G
The Flyers’ young goalie is coming into his own as the calendar flips to 2020. At 21 years old, he is just at the beginning of a long, promising career.
Morgan Frost- Flyers, F
The 20-year-old could be the next big goal scorer for the Flyers thanks to a lethal set of offensive abilities.
Travis Konecny- Flyers, F
The 22-year-old led the Flyers with 34 points in 36 games. Expect this to be a normal occurrence over the next decade.