2016 Phillies Report Card: Rhys Hoskins

The Phillies entered 2016 with low expectations and big dreams for the future, so it kind of makes sense that some of their brightest spots shone from FirstEnergy Stadium. Home to the Reading Fightin Phils, FirstEnergy hosted the most exciting hitting tandem in minor league baseball this year.

Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins absolutely terrorized AA pitchers, ranking first and second in homers respectively and splitting the 2016 Paul Owens Award, given to the organization’s best minor league player.

While outfielder Cozens outslugged his teammate 40 homers to 38, Hoskins is arguably the more exciting prospect. In exchange for his dingers, Cozens struck out 186 times. Hoskins only whiffed 125 times to get there.

But this isn’t about how these players stack up against one another. It’s about the awesome season that Hoskins had. Aside from the round-trippers, the big-bodied 1st baseman slashed .281/.377/.566 across 589 plate appearances, good for 95 runs, 116 RBI, and 71 walks.

Hoskins deeply exceeded expectations. Drafted in the 5th round in 2014, the imposing right-hander was ranked the 19th best prospect in the Phillies farm system going into 2016. According to Baseball America, his performance this year was good enough to push him into the 6th spot as we look forward to 2017.

Hoskins will turn 24 during Spring Training. After that, he will likely start the season at the AAA level. But if he can build on what he accomplished last year, he’ll be suiting up down here in South Philly sooner than later. Lord knows the Phillies could use the power.

Grade: A

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11 comments

  1. Joe B

    December 22, 2016 12:20 PM

    With Joseph at first, where would he play? First?
    Outfield?

    • B

      December 22, 2016 01:06 PM

      Joseph had a good rookie year, but I don’t believe he is the 1B of the future. I think he will top out at average, at best.

      • Jerry Spradlin

        December 22, 2016 02:12 PM

        Agreed, but in the event they both excel we’ve got a great problem- a young, power- hitting 1B under team control for several years could fetch a nice return.

        The more likely scenario is the one you reference, B- one continues to shine, one falters. I’d love that one to be Hoskins so when the Phils start committing $$$ to big ticket free agents they don’t have to spend for 1B.

      • John s

        December 22, 2016 02:48 PM

        Joseph has show the ability to adjust and improve we might see him be more like he was over the 2nd half. Hoskins is interesting but he’ll need to learn to hit breaking balls going forward I wouldn’t count Joseph out just yet.

    • CTE

      December 22, 2016 02:33 PM

      Spilt milk, but Joseph would have been the perfect 2nd catcher for 2017. Maybe he can make a giant paper mache head like in that movie ‘Frank” to fit over the mask and get back there.

    • Romus

      December 22, 2016 03:57 PM

      Hoskins has played LF….37 games in his freshmen year at Sac State. And some in a summer college league. So LF is not completely foreign to him. But LF would appear to be his only other alternative in the field position.

      • lorenzo

        December 27, 2016 09:57 AM

        He’s really slow and has a bad arm. 1B or bust.

    • Michael C Lorah

      December 23, 2016 07:44 AM

      Joseph vs Hoskins is a premature debate right now – to me, Joseph needs to improve (significantly) on last season’s .308 OBP to be considered a future cornerstone. Love the power, love the story, but not sold on him long-term yet.

      Hoskins had an oustanding .377 OBP last year, with power to match Joseph. But he has to duplicate that selectivity above AA still.

      Hopefully one of them rises to the occasion, because it would be nice to have a relatively affordable slugger at first base for the next few seasons.

      • Romus

        December 23, 2016 09:40 AM

        Concerning Hoskins, I have seen he has hit at every level since his early years in HS, thru Sac State and at each minor league level. The projections should indicate it will continue The best feature of his hit tool, as a power guy, is his batting approach in regards to a fairly decent K% and BB%, and at the same time keeping a relatively high OPS+ rating..

  2. Romus

    December 22, 2016 03:54 PM

    Hoskins may have made the BA Phillies Top Ten at 6, but he was no where to be found in BA’s Top Twenty for the Eastern League…JPC at 6, Alfaro at 12 and Cozens at 13 were the only Reading players on that list.
    The only first baseman was Mets’ prospect Dom Smith at 15, who bats left handed.
    Unfortunately RHB first basemen do not rank high on prospect lists when compared to LHB first basemen. Case in point….Paul Goldschimdt never ever cracked the BA Top 100.
    In any event, Hoskins , based on his career minor metrics, especially his BB to K rate for a power guy, looks to be a solid major league hitter going forward..

    • lorenzo

      December 27, 2016 10:14 AM

      Don’t scout the box score, man.

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