Phillies First Baseman Rhys Hoskins Adopts “Hybrid” Stance
PHILADELPHIA - When Rhys Hoskins broke into the major leagues in 2017, his first major league hitting coach was former Phillies outfielder Matt Stairs. But that quickly changed, with John Mallee coming aboard with new manager Gabe Kapler in 2018. After Charlie Manuel filled the role on an interim basis in late 2019, Joe Dillon joined the Phillies in that role for 2020.
Add in assistant hitting coach Pedro Guerrero, that is a large number of voices that Hoskins has heard over the last four years.
Add onto that some late-season struggles in 2019, and one must think that Hoskins could have a hard time finding an approach to the plate.
Hoskins began 2020 adopting a new batting stance. Hoskins, however, is not willing to call it a "new" stance. Hoskins told reporters on a Tuesday afternoon Zoom call that this stance is instead a "hybrid" stance that he has put together other the offseason and in conjunction with Dillon.
"I experimented in some changes in my set up. I thought it was going well in Spring but obviously the pandemic hit and I was unable to get some live reps. Since we got back it's turned more of a hybrid - a hybrid between those changes and what I've done in the past".
For Hoskins, what was important to his approach was the "feel".
"I found myself getting a little bit too mechanical in some of these intersquads and exhibition games," Hoskins said. "I talked with Joe Dillon and the rest of the staff and we have thought that the work we had done over the last five or six months was going to help with something I was already familiar with."
Hoskins says he is feeling strong in the batter's box and is feeling well as he heads into 2020.
"I think he's going to have a pretty tremendous impact. I think a lot of the work that he likes to do and suggests that we do are going to make the game a lot simpler. He really tries to make it hard in the cage and in practice so that when get into a tight situation in a game against a guy that has 98 and sink, we'll have already seen something like that in the cage and feel a lot more comfortable."
Hoskins says that the stability that comes with a new coach brings with relationship. And with relationship comes trust and the ability to work through challenges quickly.
"I think we've taken to him pretty well already in a short amount of time. I personally have a really good relationship already...a lot of guys in the clubhouse would echo the same thing"
Hoskins sees new Phillies manager Joe Girardi having a good impact, too.
"Joe just has a level of poise about him that I'm not sure I've ever seen from a person...not only in a baseball setting but in a life setting as well. Nothing seems to take him off guard. He's always prepared and every thorough...That level of poise and confidence that he upholds himself with is going to spill over into the clubhouse and I think you'll see a pretty confident bunch."
What are the chances the Phillies can contend?
"I think we're feeling pretty confident. At least nationally we're being overlooked a little bit. I think you couple that with a chip on our shoulder with the confidence we have there. It's going to allow for us to have a great season."