Phillies: Three players who will breakout in 2020
Rhys Hoskins, 1B
Rhys Hoskins had one of the worst second halves of baseball we’ve all seen in a very, very long time. Following the All-Star break, the Phillies first baseman hit an abysmal .180 at the plate. He drove in just 26 runs and pretty much lost all ability to hit the long ball (9 HRs).
During this stretch, Hoskins got into this nasty habit of taking a ton of pitches. It didn’t matter if there were runners on base or not, it looked like all Hoksins ever wanted to do was take walks. This is pretty blatantly reflected by Hoskins leading the entire National League in walks (116).
Hoskins lack of hitting ability in the crucial months of August and September were a huge reason the Phillies never ended up sneaking into that second Wild Card spot. It got so bad for Rhys at one point that former manager Gabe Kapler even experimented with running him at the leadoff spot(?).
Kapler and his staff definitely emphasized the strategy of “seeing a lot of pitches” in 2019, and it’s very reasonable to say that this had a very negative effect on Hoskins along with a few of the other hitters on the roster.
Hoskins has already proven he can hit for power in the major leagues. His entrance into the show back in 2017 was one of the most impressive displays of power we’ve seen by a rookie in a long time (18 HRs in 50 games). Hoskins is a slugger, plain and simple.
Similar to Haseley, the arrival of a new (and far superior) staff in Joe Girardi and Joe Dillon should greatly help the struggling infielder. One of Girardi’s top priorities this offseason will no doubt be trying to get Hoskins back to his old ways for 2020.
There’s very few scenarios where the Phillies make the playoffs without Hoskins having a monster season. He’s the glue that makes this whole lineup work. Realistically, Hoskins “breaking out” is far more unlikely when compared to the other two previously mentioned names. However, Rhys’ development this year into an All-Star level cleanup hitter is without a doubt the most important.