Five things for Phillies fans to look forward to in 2019
Rhys Hoskins at first base
Up until the signing of Carlos Santana, it appeared Rhys Hoskins would only be playing left field during his rookie year. With the signing of Santana, Hoskins remained in left in 2018. The team hoped he could learn the position and at least become somewhat average at the position. That did not happen.
Hoskins was not only bad defensively in left, he was downright awful. He finished the season with a -13.7 UZR/150 and -24 defensive runs saved. No Phillie has been worse in terms of DRS since it was first measured in 2002, while the only Phillies with worse UZR/150’s in a season were Pat Burrell and Raul Ibanez.
Hoskins was obviously also one of the worst defensive players in the league this year. He finished with the worst defensive wins above replacement total, third-worst DRS total, and fourth-worst UZR/150.
By the end of the year, it was clear that Hoskins could not remain in left field. Santana’s presence made that a challenge with two years and over $30 million remaining on his contract. Thankfully, the team was able to trade him away, clearing up first base for Hoskins.
Hoskins playing first base next year should help both his own numbers and the team’s defense as a whole. He racked up 3.4 offensive wins above replacement last year, and by removing his awful outfield defense, his cumulative WAR total should rise considerably. Plus, far more balls will be getting caught in the outfield, making life easier for the pitching staff.