Does Tommy Joseph have a future in the Phillies rebuilding process?

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 28: Tommy Joseph
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 28: Tommy Joseph /

With the trade deadline quickly approaching, questions surround Tommy Joseph. Will he be traded now, following the season or remain with the Phillies?

The Phillies have already traded All-Star reliever Pat Neshek to the Colorado Rockies for three Single-A prospects, which hopefully will be part of the rebuilding process down the road. Another name coming up in trade talks has been Tommy Joseph, but with the market limited at the moment, the team appears to be in no hurry to move Joseph. But will he be around next year and be an integral part of the future?

Back track to last season and Joseph hit .257 with 21 home runs in 315 at-bats. His slugging percentage and OPS were very solid at .505 and .813, respectively. This season, Joseph has actually regressed somewhat, with a higher at-bat per home run ratio, slugging percentage down to .453 and OPS at .765.

Joseph has still been productive in terms of power, hitting 15 home runs and driving in 48 runs. As has been the case with Joseph since arriving in the Major Leagues, his batting average is mediocre, he doesn’t walk and his defense is nothing spectacular.

Now there is talk that Rhys Hoskins, who is tearing it up at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, could be called up shortly. Hoskins is batting .285 with 24 home runs and 78 RBI in 103 games this season.

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For those that know little about Hoskins, he was drafted by the Phillies in the fifth round in 2014 and has made a relatively quick ascent through the system.  He particularly turned heads at Double-A Reading last season, setting a team record for home runs with 38 and driving in 116, while posting a very good .281 average for a power hitter.

Both Hoskins and Joseph are right-handed, which creates a log-jam at first base should Hoskins get the promotion.

One must now wonder if the last few months will be a battle to see who plays first next year. If Hoskins outperforms Joseph, you may very well see Joseph in another uniform next season. Should that be the case, what is the best for him?

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Given that Joseph has shown little in the field, a spot on an American League roster as a designated hitter is not out of the question.  A return for Joseph will likely be more prospects with hopes that one is a diamond in the rough and can contribute once the Phillies are in position to contend down the road.