Phillies Call Up Rhys Hoskins

Earlier this week the Phillies announced they were moving their best pure hitting prospect from first base to left field to accommodate Tommy Joseph staying at first base. I have a lot of thoughts about what the move means strategically, but what is done is done. What that move does mean is that the Phillies are finally promoting Rhys Hoskins, just as an outfielder and not a first baseman. For the second year in a row Hoskins is one of the best hitters in minor league baseball, and this time he is doing it in a more neutral environment as opposed to the hitting paradise that is Reading.

Without talking about position or league context, we need to talk about Hoskins the baseball player. At the plate Hoskins features a simple swing, he has a bit of a leg kick, but overall is swing is quiet. He gets good loft with it, but it also isn’t a complete uppercut. Most of his contact is going to be to the pull side, but he does have the power to go the opposite way. When he first came up there were a lot of questions about his raw power, and they are mostly fair as his power is probably plus, maybe it is plus plus. What he has done incredibly well over the years is to refine his approach and pitch recognition. This has allowed him to get the most out of his raw tools, and so while his raw power doesn’t measure up to Dylan Cozens, he is able to match him in actualized production. Hoskins is mostly a fastball hitter, but he will crush mistakes over the plate. He has less frequently expanded the strike zone in the upper levels, but can still chase breaking balls. The complete package is one fairly light on weaknesses. This season he has reverse platoon splits, but only 123 PAs against LHPs so it is hard to read too much into his relative struggles vs them, given that he crushed them in 2016. This year he has walked more than he has struck out vs RHPs which is a stark improvement on last season where he had a 50 to 97 walk to strikeout rate vs same side pitching. Overall he should be an average hitter (.260-.270) with a good on base percentage, and he has the power to hit 30+ home runs a year with an equal amount of doubles. He might have a bit more ceiling than that if he can maintain his AAA strikeout rate, but I would expect it to regress back towards 20% from the 15.8% it is at right now. Continue reading…

A 30 Game Nick Williams Check Up

On June 30th the Phillies finally called up a major hitting prospect. Since then, Nick Williams has hit .289/.325/.535 in the majors with 5 home runs in his 30 games. Williams’ arrival in the majors coincided with an improvement in the Phillies offense (it turns out everyone in the lineup was better in July). With Aaron Altherr’s repeated injuries, Williams looks to have a hold on an outfield spot for the rest of the season. So now 30 games into his season, how is Nick Williams holding up? Continue reading…

Crash Bag Vol. 31: Looking Back 3 Years

The trade deadline is over, and the Phillies traded nearly everyone they could and got some stuff back. The team is still bad, and a sweep at the hands of the Angels reinforced that the bullpen is a major problem and the starting pitching is shaky on days when Aaron Nola doesn’t pitch. But, let’s just forget about all of that and take a step back in time to talk about some prospects and some of your other questions this week.

@PaulSocolar: Your 2014 prspct list led w Crawford-Nola-Franco; top 10 also had Biddle-Sandberg-Dugan. Where would those 3s 2014 selves be on current list

I am just going to go for the whole list and not just the groupings of 3. For those that want to read 3 year old wrong opinions, here is the link, but for those with less time, here is my 2014 midseason top 10 (which I have no clue why I wrote it on June 24).

  1. J.P. Crawford
  2. Aaron Nola
  3. Maikel Franco
  4. Roman Quinn
  5. Jesse Biddle
  6. Deivi Grullon
  7. Cord Sandberg
  8. Carlos Tocci
  9. Kelly Dugan
  10. Aaron Altherr

Continue reading…

The Phillies Have a Bullpen Problem

It shouldn’t be surprising that the Phillies have made themselves worse by trading away major league baseball players at the deadline. The Phillies had built in replacements for Howie Kendrick and Jeremy Hellickson in Daniel Nava (with Nick Williams playing LF everyday) and Jake Thompson (with a whole string of AAA starters available if he faltered). What the Phillies are unprepared for is the moving Pat Neshek and Joaquin Benoit out of high leverage innings. This isn’t really a fault of the Phillies, because if they had extra high leverage arms they probably would have shipped them out too. In the wake of the trades, the Phillies had to use Luis Garcia and Hector Neris for three straight days in order to complete a 4 game sweep of the Braves. This forced a call up of Drew Anderson from AA for the night. With Anderson sent down last night, this is how the bullpen stands.

  • RHP Hector Neris – 3.12 ERA
  • RHP Luis Garcia – 2.25 ERA
  • RHP Mark Leiter Jr. – 4.86 ERA
  • RHP Jesen Therrien – 20.25 ERA (1.1 IP)
  • LHP Hoby Milner – 4.22 ERA
  • LHP Adam Morgan – 6.43 ERA
  • RHP Edubray Ramos* – 5.52 ERA

Continue reading…

Monday (Tuesday) Morning (Afternoon) Roundtable: Trade Deadline Recap

In case you were under a rock, the Phillies did this over the past week or so.

After waiting to see if Matt Klentak did anything crazy I asked the writers here to weigh in.

The Phillies traded Pat Neshek, Howie Kendrick, Jeremy Hellickson, and Joaquin Benoit. What is your gut reaction to how the Phillies did?

Adam: I’m actually surprised the Phillies were able to move all four of those guys. Neshek was a slam dunk, but considering Kendrick’s injuries this year, and the underwhelming performances of Hellickson and Benoit, it’s got to be considered an A+ deadline for Klentak & Co. It’s been clear for weeks that there was no market for Tommy Joseph, whose 99 wRC+ is an unappealing 24th among all qualified first basemen. This offseason, there could certainly be a chance to deal him, probably in a package, but first base is so deep and power is cheaper now that everyone seems capable of hitting 20+ homers. Considering the leaguewide trends we saw at this deadline — tons of relievers and rentals moving, essentially no hitters moving, and low prices being paid compared to expectations — Joseph staying put is not a failure. Continue reading…