Saturday, March 11, 2017

2017 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #5 First Baseman Rhys Hoskins

Rhys Hoskins, image- Jay Floyd
First baseman Rhys Hoskins proved to be a prospect on the fast track for the Phillies with a breakout campaign last year. With a powerful bat and a great approach at the plate, the righty hitting slugger drew a lot of attention in his second full season as a pro.

A product of Cal State-Sacramento, Hoskins posted a .319 average with 25 home runs and 128 RBI in 168 college games prior to turning signing with the Phillies.

Drafted by the Phillies as a 5th round selection in 2014, Hoskins made his minor league debut as a member of the Class A short-season Williamsport Crosscutters that same summer. In 70 games there, the California native posted a .237 average with nine home runs and 40 RBI.

Hoskins, who stands six-feet-four and weighs 225 pounds, would spend time at the Florida Instructional League following the regular season. It was there that coaches implemented a leg kick as a timing mechanism, to assist with his efforts at the plate. It worked very well and the proof was in the numbers to come.

After a strong spring, Hoskins would open his 2015 campaign with Class A Lakewood. In 68 games for the BlueClaws, he put together a .322/.397/.525 slash line en route to being named a South Atlantic League All-Star as a 22-year-old.  Those numbers would prove worthy of a promotion.

At the time of the move, Hoskins led or was near the top of the Sally League in many statistical categories including hits, OPS and RBI.

After moving up to Class A Advanced Clearwater, Hoskins would notch a .317/.394/.510 slash line in 67 games for the Threshers.

That off-season, Hoskins is playing with Sydney in the Australian Baseball League. Through 44 regular season games, Hoskins posted a .324 batting average with eight home runs, 38 RBI and a .944 OPS.

In 2016 Hoskins spent the entire season with Double-A Reading.  In 135 contests, he tallied a .281 batting average with 38 home runs, 116 RBI and eight stolen bases.  With his tremendous offensive efforts for the Fightin Phils, Hoskins was honored as co-winner of the Paul Owens Award, which is bestowed upon the Phillies' top offensive and pitching prospects each year.

Over this recent off-season, Hoskins played in the Dominican Winter League, where he batted. 224 along with four homers and 16 RBI in 21 games for the Gigantes.  Hoskins asserts that his time playing abroad was valuable for his development.

Hoskins, who turns 24 years old on March 17th, has impressed his coaches with having a good feel at the plate and is cited as being a cerebral hitter.  A strong offensive performer with plenty of bat speed, Hoskins can hit the ball to to the opposite field and has shown that he recognizes pitching patterns and can have a plan at the plate. 

Additionally, Hoskins gets on base a lot, drawing a hefty amount of walks, as he sports a .372 career on-base percentage in the minors.

Speed is not a factor on the field for Hoskins.  He is more of a traditional power hitter in that regard- a masher, not a speedster.

On the defensive side of the game, Hoskins has very good reaction time and solid range to handle batted balls at first base.

Hoskins should open the 2017 season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  If his offensive efforts there are anything like the standout collection of numbers he posted with Reading last season, it may not be very long before fans can expect to see him reaching the big leagues.  His ceiling is as an everyday middle of the lineup RBI guy in the majors.

You can follow along with this year’s Phillies prospects countdown by clicking this link.
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