The Phillies have been falling short of fan expectations since dropping out of 1st place in the division early in the summer. The 2019 season has had a lot of high highs and low lows. The unsung hero of the 2019 season has been Rhys Hoskins.
Since being called up in late 2017 and quickly making a name for himself, Rhys has been one of the best offensive players in all of baseball. Even though Rhys is an offensive powerhouse, he is mediocre at best in the field. Playing almost every game this season at first base was a breath of fresh air from the 2018 season. Hoskins was a huge defensive liability in left field last season.
Hoskins is an offensive juggernaut who makes pitchers work. He easily has one of the best eyes in all of baseball. The Phillies have played 112 games and he has played in 111 of them. Hoskins leads all of baseball in pitches seen per plate appearance at 4.58. He is on pace to draw 107 3-2 counts this season. Not only does he have a great eye, but he is incredibly clutch. Since being called up in 2017, he is one of the league leaders in go-ahead RBIs. Hoskins has gone under the radar and has been snubbed the past 2 years to be an All-Star.
The Phillies were able to successfully avoid any arbitration negotiations this past summer with Aaron Nola. The way free agency has panned out for most baseball players, it would be in Hoskins’ best interest to follow in Nola’s footsteps. The only reason the Phillies are able to pay Rhys a fraction of what he is worth is because he is under team control through the 2020 season.
It would also be in the Phillies best interests to offer Rhys an Alex Bregman-type contract to avoid all three years of arbitration negotiations. A 5-year/$100 million contract would cover Rhys’ three arbitration years and take him two years past unrestricted free agency. At age 32, he would still be underpaid for what he is worth and the Phillies could move on at that point or continue his and Bryce Harper’s tenure as the face of the team.
The Phillies will go as far as Hoskins will take them. As he reaches his prime years, there is no doubt a National League MVP is headed his way.
If the Phillies fall short of the playoffs this year, the highlight will be Mets pitcher Jacob Rhame nearly hitting Hoskins in the head one at-bat before he took his time rounding the bases after a satisfying home run.
Photo Credits: The Good Phight