Rhys Hoskins had a breakout 2017 in the minor leagues that saw him emerge as the No. 70 overall prospect in baseball while hitting 29 home runs, but he path to the majors was blocked by Tommy Joseph. After the Phillies failed to deal Joseph at the trade deadline, they ultimately moved Hoskins to left field to get him playing time at the major league level and it has paid off.
Hoskins just clubbed his seventh home run tonight in just 14 games. For the season, he is has a slash line of .261/.404/.717, leading to an OPS of 1.121. He also has more walks (10) than strikeouts (nine) and surprisingly, all of his extra base hits have left the park. His penchant for home runs is unprecedented in Phillies history.
Rhys Hoskins (PHI): 7th player in last 100 seasons with at least 6 HR in his first 12 career games (1st Phillies player to do so over span)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 22, 2017
What makes this even more impressive is that Hoskins didn’t come out hot. He failed to get a hit in his first 12 at bats and registered just one run batted in. Since then, he is 11 for his last 33.
— MLB Insider Dinger (@atf13atf) August 20, 2017
Hoskins’ emergence is one of the many things that will force the Phillies to get creative this offseason, as CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury points out. Ideally, the team would like Hoskins back at first base since they has a glut of talent in the outfield both at the major league level and in the minors. Because of this, Joseph is again expendable this winter (unless he is moved this August). Second baseman Cesar Hernandez is another name mentioned in trade talks who could move to make room for Scott Kingery.
Former top prospect J.P. Crawford has begun playing the hot corner, which is being touted as making him more versatile, but with third baseman Maikel Franco struggling, Crawford could also be seen as a potential replacement if the Phillies opt to keep Freddy Galvis at shortstop. The question then, of course, would be what to do with Franco, whose value would be at an all-time low.
The Phillies have played bad baseball all season, but there has been signs of a team who would be much improved in 2018, and Hoskins is one of those signs. Pitching is still a focus, but the offense seems to be finally taking shape.