On Monday I asked the question “Can Rhys Hoskins wind up as the Phillies 2017 HR leader?” With some law-professor-quality math, I showed that it was possible for him to overtake Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph, but that it would ultimately be difficult because he was, respectively, 6 and 7 home runs behind them with only 19 games to play.
Well, what on Monday seemed like a silly blogger experimenting with numbers on an off-day now seems like a foregone conclusion: Rhys Hoskins is going to lead the Phillies in home runs by the end of the year.
True, if you want to get technical about it, I can’t predict the future. Just ask any of my friends, family, and Facebook followers about what I said concerning the 2016 election.
But, this time, it’s happening. Hoskins is an unstoppable force of nature who is driving major league pitchers and managers batty. In fact, we might as well write it in stone that not only will he lead the team in home runs this year, but he’ll do it by at least a few home runs, if not more.
Two things have changed since Monday that have given me such confidence. First, Pete Mackanin announced that Hoskins will spend most of the remaining games at first base. The consequence of this announcement is that Joseph will be spending a lot more time on the bench in the coming games.
So far, Mackanin has lived up to his words on this issue. In both games since he made the announcement, Mackanin has started Hoskins at first with Joseph only pinch-hitting. If this continues, Joseph will not have the plate appearances to hold off Hoskins.
Second, and more importantly, as we all know, Hoskins has continued to hit home runs at his record-setting pace. He had two Tuesday night and another last night. Not only is this a sign that he is not slowing down, but it also changes the math.
After last night, Hoskins is now hitting one home run every 8.4 plate appearances. With 17 games left, he should have about 71 plate appearances remaining in the season. Simple extrapolation puts him at 8 more home runs on the season, for a total of 25.
As I showed on Monday, with full playing time, Joseph should wind up with 24 and Franco 23. Hoskins will eclipse both of them.
Hoskins is hitting with such authority, I’d say he’s going to pass both Joseph and Franco by more than just one home run. I’ll go out on a limb and say that he’s going to finish the season with 28 home runs - another 11 in the remaining 17 games. That’s a big stretch, but is there any reason to doubt what this guy can do?
Regardless of whether it’s by 1 or by 5, at this point, you can bank on it — Rhys Hoskins is going to finish the year as the team leader in home runs.
Who will finish the season as the team HR leader?
This poll is closed
Rhys Hoskins by 1 or 2
Rhys Hoskins by 3 or more