Phillies 2019 first half awards: MVP, LVP, Cy Young, Cy Yuk
Who have been the Phillies best and worst players through the first half of the 2019 season? Will it be the same when the year is over?
The first half of the 2019 season has been a weird one for the Phillies. They started incredibly strong before taking a nosedive in June that leaves them in mediocre territory at 47-43 coming out of the All-Star Break. They hold the second wild-card spot and are still within striking distance of the division, but the tone surrounding the team would make you think they are one of the worst teams in the league.
As expected for teams hovering around .500, some Phillies are lighting up the stat sheet, while others are leaving a mess on it. For better or worse, which players are deserving of the team’s first-half awards?
Most Valuable Player: Rhys Hoskins
It was close, but ultimately Rhys Hoskins’ offensive impact for the Phillies is what leads me to name him the first half MVP.
In 89 games this year, Hoskins has a .263/.401/.530 line with 20 home runs, 59 runs batted in, and a 140 OPS+. He leads the National League with 68 walks and ranks sixth in on-base percentage at .401. Hoskins’ 2.6 offensive wins above replacement are the most on the team by a wide margin, while his 2.0 total wins above replacement are second only to J.T. Realmuto.
In most years, Hoskins would have an excellent case for the All-Star Game. Unfortunately, the deck was stacked against him with Freddie Freeman, Josh Bell, and Pete Alonso mounting more impressive campaigns. I thought Hoskins was the team’s best All-Star candidate; so much for that. Realmuto got the nod as the team’s lone representative instead as it was much easier for him to make it as a catcher than for Hoskins to make it as a first baseman.
If Hoskins continues this pace, he will finish the season with 36 home runs and 106 home runs. Hoskins hit 20 home runs in 67 second-half games compared to 14 home runs in 86 first-half games last year, so there’s a good chance he heats up again in the second half this year.
Ultimately, Hoskins has been the glue holding the Phillies offense together as other players fell to injury or succumbed to slumps, which is what makes him the most valuable player this year.