The Phillies were able to move Rhys Hoskins back to his natural position, and the move could pay off big time in 2019.
Hoskins hit a career-high 34 home runs a year removed from finishing fourth in the Rookie of the Year race, but his defense was historically bad. The 25-year-old had a -24 Defensive Runs Saved, the third worst in baseball according to FanGraphs.
Moving Hoskins back to first base was imperative for the club and an offseason trade that shipped Santana (temporarily) to Seattle opened the door for several corresponding moves.
With Hoskins now back at first base, the Phillies stand to improve across the board. Hoskins no longer needs to focus on learning a new position midseason and instead can do what he does best: hit dingers.
If the Phillies are going to win in 2019 and beyond they’ll need Hoskins’ bat to help carry them along. In a near perfect game split Hoskins’ batting average is 57 points better in games won by the Phillies and his slugging percentage is about 150 points better in victories.
Adding protection to Hoskins in the lineup will only do wonders for his bat. Being sandwiched between Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto in the middle of the lineup looks like a modern-day Murderer’s Row for the Phillies that should last for a long time with several playoff runs.