Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, and Thomas Eshelman all represented the Phillies in Baseball America’s 2017 minor-league All-Star teams.
2017 was a step forward for the most part for the Phillies farm system thanks to the standout performances of several top prospects. Perhaps the three best this year were first baseman Rhys Hoskins, second baseman Scott Kingery, and pitcher Thomas Eshelman. All three had breakout years, and it has shown in postseason awards.
The prospect with the most hype surrounding him this season has been Hoskins, who built on his 38 home run season in Double-A last year with another strong showing this year.
Hoskins showed his power in Reading wasn’t a fluke of the stadium he was in by hitting 29 home runs in 115 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley before hitting another 14 so far through 31 games in the majors. Hoskins also had a .284/.385/.581 line with the IronPigs.
Hoskins was easily one of the most well-rounded hitters in the minors this year, and it showed by being named a first-team minor-league All-Star by Baseball America along with being named to the Triple-A All-Star team.
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BA’s Kyle Glaser had the following to say about Hoskins:
"Hoskins was tied for third in the minors with 29 home runs when he got called up by the Phillies on Aug. 10, and he proceeded to bash 12 more homers in his first 25 major league games. He led all minor league first basemen with a .297 isolated slugging percentage, and he did it while producing nearly as many walks (64) as strikeouts (75).Hoskins ranked among the overall minor league leaders with a .581 slugging percentage (eighth) and 91 RBIs (15th) even though he spent the final weeks of the minor league season in the majors."
Not too far behind Hoskins was Kingery, his teammate for a time in Triple-A. Kingery started off the year strong in Double-A, hitting 18 home runs, stealing 19 bases, and maintaining a .987 OPS through 69 games.
After being promoted to Triple-A, his performance dipped somewhat, but he still finished the season well with eight more home runs, 10 more stolen bases, and a .294/.334/.449 line in 63 games.
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For his performance this season, Kingery was named a second-team minor-league All-Star behind Yoan Moncada along with making the Double-A All-Star team.
On the mound, Eshelman had his own All-Star worthy season, being selected for the Triple-A team as well. He started the year in Double-A and made five starts there before moving up the ladder to Lehigh Valley.
It was there where Eshelman truly shined as he finished the season with a 2.23 ERA, 3.20 fielding-independent pitching, 0.94 WHIP, and 6.15 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
His trademark command was on full display as he walked just 13 batters in 121 innings in Triple-A.
Eshelman and Kingery received the Paul Owens award as the top minor-league pitcher and hitter in the Phillies system this season. If Hoskins stayed in the minors all year, it would be hard not to give him the award.