At 25 years old, Rhys Hoskins has yet to play in 162 games in the Major Leagues but in the 2018 MLB Home Run Derby he showed that he deserves to be in the conversation as one of Baseball’s best young sluggers.  In a Home Run Derby that was without Aaron Judge (25 Home Runs this season), Mike Trout (25 Home Runs),and Jose Ramirez (29 Home Runs), Major League Baseball was missing some of their biggest, most recognizable young hitters.  In a field headlined by big names like Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, and Freddie Freeman the expectation was that inexperienced hitters like Rhys Hoskins were just there to fill out the field.

But Rhys Hoskins wasn’t just happy to be there, he came to show that he deserved to be there with those established stars.  In the first round, Hoskins upset the National League Leader in Home Runs (Jesus Aguilar has 24 Home Runs this season) by hitting 17 Homers versus Jesus who only mustered 12 long balls.  In the second round, Hoskins improved on his first round by launching 20 Home Runs but lost to Cubs’ young slugger Kyle Schwarber, who edged out Hoskins with 21 Homers.  Hoskins two longest Home Runs were 466 Feet and 463 feet, so his 37 total Home Runs in the Derby were not a bunch of “lucky shots”.

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Hoskins broke out on the Major League scene last August with a blistering Home Run pace his first few weeks and in 50 games hit 18 Home Runs and added 48 RBIs to his resume.  So far in his young career, Hoskins is hitting a Home Run every 14.97 At Bats, an impressive showing for a guy who was a Fifth Round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft.  He was never rated one of the top prospects in Baseball like JP Crawford (who was drafted 16th overall in the 2013 MLB Draft) nor was Hoskins given a big Major League contract before he ever played his first MLB game like Scott Kingery (a six year, 24 million dollar deal).  Hoskins earned his place in the big leagues by working his way up the Minor Leagues, nothing was promised or handed to him.  In just 136 games in the Majors, Hoskins is showing how he is more valuable to the Phillies than any other every day player on the roster.

In the nine games the Phillies were without Hoskins during his time on the Disabled List, the offense averaged 2.56 Runs Per Game.  Overall since Rhys came up to the Majors, the Phillies are 3-7 when he does not get an at bat in a game.  In Rhys Hoskins 136 games in the Major Leagues, the Phillies offense is averaging 4.6 Runs Per Game.  His impact on this offense cannot be denied or overlooked anymore.  His impact is no longer a “nice story”, it’s a reality that is not changing any time soon.

Rhys Hoskins is more than a guy making a impact statistically for the Phillies, he’s also passing the eye test of others around Baseball.

“So steady, he’s not going to pop off, he’s not controversial, but his work ethic’s impeccable, he has leadership skills, he’s great with fans, he’s terrific with the media, he checks every box.  And he’s the kind of guy that you just watch him every single day and appreciate him even more than what you see in those numbers which in and of themselves are extremely impressive.”

Former Phillies Slugger Greg Luzinski says

“Rhys is a big strong kid, he’s a hard worker, and I think as he gets to know these pitchers (better) his success will be greater – We expect big things out of Rhys and hey, he expects big things out of himself.”

Hoskins has also posted comparable statistics with some of the best young hitters in Baseball through their first 136 MLB Games:

-Rhys Hoskins: 32 Home Runs, 104 RBI, .255 Batting Average

-Aaron Judge: 39 Home Runs, 88 RBI, .236 Batting Average

-Mike Trout: 27 Home Runs, 82 RBI, .280 Batting Average

-Bryce Harper: 22 Home Runs, 59 RBI, .269 Batting Average

-Cody Bellinger: 40 Home Runs, 99 RBI, .264 Batting Average

Hoskins statistics through his first 136 games put him in the same category with some of the biggest young sluggers in Major League Baseball.  Rhys has more Home Runs than Trout and Harper, better Batting Average than Judge, and more RBI than all of the above.

Monday Night was just another example of why Rhys Hoskins needs to be in the discussion as one of the top young sluggers in Baseball.  He is a rising star in Philadelphia and as the team continues to win, he will continue to be a catalyst in that success.

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