Washington Nationals: 5 storylines to watch as Phillies make final trip to DC
By Drew Douglas
Nats’ first look at Rhys Hoskins
Since debuting on August 10, Rhys Hoskins has done nothing but mash. Catching everyone by surprise, the rookie has hit home runs at a pace rivaling Giancarlo Stanton. He even became the fastest player to reach 11 homers, doing so in just his 18th game.
Now, Hoskins has played in 27 games and while his homers aren’t coming quite as often, he is still raking. In his first 27 games in the majors, he owns a slash line of .309/.425/.734 with 12 homers and 27 RBI’s. He has also walked 17 times. To put things into perspective, he has walked as much as Wilmer Flores, despite playing 83 fewer games. Hoskins has also walked more than Alcides Escobar, despite playing 111 fewer games.
While Hoskins was not well-known as a prospect, he has always possessed impressive power. In a partial minor league season this year, he hit 29 homers. Despite being in the majors for about a month, Hoskins still has the third-most homers in the International League (AAA) this season.
Hoskins enjoyed his first outstanding professional season last year, crushing 38 homers, which was good for the second-most in the Eastern League (AA). Although he was always a threat to hit a homer, he struck out way too much; his 125 strikeouts were fifth-most in the Eastern League last season. However, Hoskins has appeared to figure everything out in the majors, walking almost just as much as he strikes out.
In addition to his offensive prowess, Hoskins provides defensive versatility. In his brief MLB career, he has appeared both in left field and at first base. With the way he’s hitting and his ability to play multiple positions, he has been extremely valuable for the Phillies and appears to be a long-term building block.
The Nats have yet to face Hoskins, so how they pitch to him and how he fares will be worth keeping an eye on.