Losing Hoskins a big blow to the Phillies

by Marc Narducci | Mar 27, 2023
Losing Hoskins a big blow to the Phillies
Rhys Hoskins sure heard his share of criticism with the Phillies and while the first baseman was far from a perfect player, he will be sorely missed this season after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee during an exhibition game and will likely cost him the 2023 season.

Hoskins, who played left field and first base his first two seasons, has been primarily a first baseman or DH since then.

He was criticized for his defense at first base and rightly so, but that didn’t mean he didn’t offer great value to the Phillies.

First off, he was a fifth-round draft pick in 2014 out of California State University, Sacramento.

He has been with the Phillies since 2017 and is the team’s longest-tenured position player.

Yes, he was often known to be a hot and cold hitter – sizzling when hot, and below-freezing when cold.

There were plenty of ups and down, but there was also some impressive production.

Just look at the last two seasons where he had a .246/.333/.489 slash line, good for a .822 OPS. He also had a 125 OPS+ over the last two years, which meant he was 25 percent higher than the average Major Leaguer.

Hoskins had some up-and-down moments, but the up ones were really special.

In the two-game wild card series win over the St. Louis Cardinals, Hoskins was 0-for-9.

Then in the NLDS win over the Atlanta Braves, he was 4-for-17 (.235) with a home run and four RBI.

His homer came in the Phillies 9-1 win in Game 3 and gave them a 2-games-to-1 advantage. The Phillies were leading just 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning when Hoskins hit a three-run home run and then gave the most famous bat spike in team history.

Where Hoskins stood out was during the Phillies 4-games-to-1 win over the San Diego Padres in the National League Championship Series, vaunting them to the World Series.

Against the Padres he was 4-for-18, but all four hits were home runs and he knocked in seven runs.

In the six-game World Series loss to Houston, he was just 3-for-25 (.120) but did hit a home run in the Phillies’ 7-0 win over Houston to give them a 2-game-to-1 advantage only to see the Astros win the next three games.
Hoskins hit just .173 in 69 postseason at-bats, but six of his 11 hits were home runs and he also added 12 RBI.

Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters that Darick Hall would be the likely replacement, although nobody should put anything past Dombrowski about making a trade.

Either way, it won’t be simple to replace Hoskins, who was also a key team leader.

The 2023 season was his final one under contract for the Phillies and he is earning $12 million this year. He will become a free agent after the season.

Whether he has played his last game with the Phillies remains to be seen, but it won’t be easy to replace his power production. Despite the up-and-down play, he was a positive player for this franchise and one who will be sorely missed this season. 

 

Photo Courtesy: Phillies Twitter 
 
 


Author: Marc Narducci

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