After weeks of languishing in Lehigh Valley having already proven that he was ready for his big league call-up, first baseman/outfielder Rhys Hoskins finally made his big league debut on Thursday night against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park.
The game itself was brutal, a 10-0 beatdown at the hands of the Mets, who have been a nightmare for the Phillies at CBP. But the real news of the night wasn’t the final score, and it wasn’t even the potential injury suffered by starting pitcher Vince Velasquez.
It was the debut of Hoskins, the 24-year-old slugger who most believe will be an impact Major League bat for years to come.
Hoskins didn’t do much in his first game in a Phillies uniform. Against the great Jacob deGrom, who has historically owned the Phils, Hoskins was called out on strikes in his first big league at bat on a 97-mph fastball at the knees on the outside corner of the plate.
Folks, Mike Trout wouldn’t know what to do with that pitch.
In his second plate appearance, he grounded into a double play. Finally, in his third at bat of the night, he walked, giving him a sterling OBP of .333 one game into his big league career!
Hoskins is the most exciting young player to reach the Majors since Aaron Nola, and most exciting young position player since Domonic Brown. Of course, everyone hopes Hoskins’ story turns out better than Browns,’ and most believe it will.
The call-up of Hoskins is the most significant step in the Phillies’ rebuilding plan yet. Other building blocks will come, presumably Scott Kingery and J.P. Crawford in 2018. Free agents will be added, and other players will come via trades.
But Hoskins’ arrival is the first big move. We just have to hope manager Pete Mackanin actually, you know, plays him over the last month and a half of the season.
On Episode 141 of The Felske Files, most of the episode was devoted to Hoskins’ debut. Editor of The Good Phight, Liz Roscher, also of Yahoo!’s Big League Stew, dropped by to talk about the call-up of Rhys, as well as whether manager Pete Mackanin is the right guy to shepherd Hoskins through his early playing days.
Also discussed on this episode:
- Vince Velasquez had to leave his start on Thursday after one inning due to “numbness in his middle finger
- Is it time to end the Velasquez starting pitcher experiment and move him to the bullpen permanently?
- Pete Mackanin seem averse to playing his young players, specifically Jorge Alfaro... why?
- Odubel Herrera has been worth more WAR than any player in baseball since the All-Star Break... why he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
- Liz Roscher’s piece on girls playing baseball and the need for MLB to cultivate that more in their youth programs
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