Phillies moving Rhys Hoskins to left field negating his offensive value

jtown
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 24: Rhys Hoskins #17 of the Philadelphia Phillies makes a sliding catch in the fourth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on August 24, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. The players are wearing special jerseys as part of MLB Players Weekend. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 24: Rhys Hoskins #17 of the Philadelphia Phillies makes a sliding catch in the fourth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on August 24, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. The players are wearing special jerseys as part of MLB Players Weekend. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Rhys Hoskins has been the Phillies’ top offensive contributor, but having him play in left field is negating his offensive value.

When Rhys Hoskins debuted as a left fielder last year, it was only supposed to be a temporary move to keep Tommy Joseph in the Phillies lineup (for some reason) and replace an injured Aaron Altherr. He saw much more time there in September, indicating that he was ready to play there full-time in 2018.

Then the club signed Carlos Santana, forcing Hoskins back into left field. On paper, this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The hope was both would be top offensive contributors with Hoskins learning enough of the position to keep him from being a black hole there.

Well, that plan has backfired. Philadelphia is among the worst defensive teams in all of baseball with 105 errors (29th), -113 defensive runs saved (30th), a -8.7 UZR/150 (30th). Hoskins has been a major reason why they have struggled on defense. His -23 defensive runs saved are second-worst among all NL outfielders and his -10.6 UZR is third-worst. Hoskins is also tied with Lorenzo Cain for the fourth-most errors among outfielders (six).

While the hope was Hoskins could at least be passable in the outfield, that has not been the case. He has -3.1 defensive wins above replacement, the worst mark among all players in MLB.

More from That Balls Outta Here

Hoskins’ poor defensive marks overshadow his overall offensive performance this season. While he has been very streaky, his cumulative numbers are good. He has a .246/.356/.486 line with 28 home runs, 85 runs batted in, a 13.5% walk rate and 23.2% strikeout rate. His 127 wRC+ is third on the team behind Wilson Ramos and Roman Quinn and ranks 18th among qualified NL hitters.

Altogether, Hoskins has 2.7 offensive wins above replacement, the most on the team. However, due to his -3.1 dWAR, he has been worth just 0.2 wins above replacement overall this year. Even though he has outclassed everyone on the team offensively, his overall WAR is equal to Jake Arrieta‘s while he is hitting.

Hoskins is supposed to be one of the key players of this team. He is certainly marketed like one and hits enough to be considered. Unfortunately, his overall WAR total will continue to be dragged down if he remains in left field. There really isn’t anywhere else he can go if Santana remains on the team, which is another issue entirely.

Next. Phillies offensive approach not working. dark

For the time being, Hoskins will simply have to learn to play left field as best he can. He doesn’t have to become Kevin Pillar, but not being the worst defensive player in the league would be a start.

facebooktwitterreddit