It’s January 22nd, pitchers and catchers report to camp in 23 days, the roster seems set pending another bench bat (maybe Scott Kingery) and Dave Dombrowski has to be loving what he is seeing. But now a new decision is looming and it’s time to lock up the longest tenured Phillie on the roster. Yes…. That beeping sound you are hearing is the brinks truck backing up with a large contract offer for Rhys Hoskins.
Phillies fans have a love hate relationship with Rhys Hoskins to put it nicely. At times, Hoskins shows us why he is a Top 10 1B in baseball. Yet Rhys also gets stuck in these cold streaks where he is more useless than a wet a paper towel, which leads to boos and hate from the Philly Phaithful. And let’s not forget about the glove…. Rhys showed some improvement in the field this year, but he’s never going to be a gold glover and will most likely be a DH before the end of his career, a position that was recently signed/filled with last years acquisitions of Schwarber and Castellanos. Rhys improved his fielding percentage up to .990, and after a tumultuous start to the year that started with 7 errors before June, finished the season with 10 total after putting in major work with Bobby Dickerson, the Phillies infield coach.
When looking back at that magical world series run last year, you see two different version of Rhys Hoskins. In a 10-game stretch, Hoskins batted .263, had 6 bombs, accumulated 12 RBIs and one epic bat spike that will live in Philadelphia Lore for years. On the other hand, you look at the overall stats and you see a .159 average, with only 1 other RBI outside of the forementioned 10 game stretch, and a .640 OPS. In the World Series alone, Hoskins hit a measly .120 with 10 strikeouts in 6 games. In this exact stance you see the dilemma in what has been a continuous game of give and take with Rhys’s career.
Rhys and the Phillies avoided arbitration earlier this month, agreeing on a 1year, $12 mil deal. Hoskins was recently voted as MLB 10th Best 1st Basemen, which he should continue to grow on this list in the coming years. It’s time to pay the man his money. With the signing of Trea Turner, Rhys should move down to a more traditional spot in the lineup, where we can see his power numbers grow, especially in place of Harper until he returns from TJ. Rhys is what he is, and that’s a .250 hitter, with 30+ homers, 85+ RBIs. Taking in those numbers, you can see Rhys coming in under the recent contracts of fellow first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, & Matt Olson. A 4–5-year deal with a Team or Player option on year 6, around a 20-25 AAV should put Hoskins right around the 100-130mil range, keeping him in Red Pinstripes for the future. It’s now on Dombrowski to lock up our longest tenured player. We are in win-now mode and Hoskins bat makes our lineup lethal from 1-9, especially when you look at what other options could be out there for next off season (Votto, Muncy, Josh Bell, & CJ Cron or internal options of moving Bohm to 1b or Hall). Dave, the ball is in your court to stamp an A+ on this offseason.