No one has been higher on Rhys Hoskins than yours truly. All season long I’ve talked about him as a potential superstar in the making, a true power hitter couple with the kind of plate discipline that could make him an All-Star caliber hitter at the Major League level one day, even at a position as stacked as first base.
But I never expected this.
Hoskins clubbed the 8th home run of his career on Thursday, tying Carlos Delgado and Trevor Story as the only players in MLB history to hie 8 bombs in their first 15 games. He tied Trey Mancini and Delgado for the most homers within a player’s first 50 career at bats. He has 19 RBIs in his first 15 contests, and keep in mind, this is after struggling in his first four games and starting out 0-for-10.
Feels like a world away right now.
Of course, Hoskins is off to an unprecedented start for any player in Phillies history. But even more than the power is the plate discipline he has displayed so far. He has 11 strikeouts and 10 walks so far, and entered Thursday with a slash line of .308/.357/1.000 in 14 plate appearances in which he fell behind 0-2, with three of his bombs coming in those situations.
He doesn’t panic when he gets behind in the count, and when he gets ahead, he looks for his pitch. If he doesn’t get it, he spits on it and takes his walk. And he doesn’t miss mistake pitches, a trait that sets him apart of many of his teammates.
Rhys Hoskins obliterates mistake pitches. Check out the location of his eight homers this year. pic.twitter.com/pFHIz07Z1z— Ben Harris (@byBenHarris) August 24, 2017
On Episode 144 of The Felske Files, I spent much of the time talking about Rhys’ hot start with Phillies beat writer Matt Breen of Philly.com as well as Tom Housenick of “The Morning Call.”
Among the other items discussed on this episode...
- Another Phils rookie, Nick Williams, is also off to an outstanding start, overshadowed by Hoskins’ arrival.
- Breen provides an injury update on Aaron Altherr and Odubel Herrera
- Vince Velasquez is out for the rest of the year, is it wise that the Phillies want him to be a starting pitcher next year?
- What is the rotation going to look like in 2018?
- J.P. Crawford continues to rake at AAA... why is he getting so much time at third base?
- Housenick admits it’s sometimes tough to cover a team that continually loses its best players to the big league club, but there is still a lot of talent in Lehigh Valley
- Scott Kingery is also learning a bunch of new positions, what is that all about?
- The pitching staffs of the Phils and Pigs are a mess right now... which of the young starters that have shuttled back and forth (Zach Eflin, Jake Thompson, Ben Lively, Nick Pivetta, Mark Leiter, Jr.) have the best chance to be in the Phillies’ rotation in 2018?
- The National League MVP picture is a crowded one this year... and a surprising player may have the edge thus far.
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