Phillies: Making sense of Rhys Hoskins’ streaky start

Rhys Hoskins #17 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Rhys Hoskins #17 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Rhys Hoskins #17 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images) /

Hoskins has played in 22 games so far in 2021, so let’s dive into his numbers this year compared to where he was at the same time in 2020.

Rhys Hoskins, 2020 vs. 2021, through 22 games played

The good…

2020: .211 BA/.324 SLG/.741 OPS/1 HR/5 2B/7 RBI
2021: .261 BA/.614 SLG/.907 OPS/8 HR/7 2B/14 RBI

Rhys didn’t hit his first home run of 2020 until his 17th game and needed 29 games to reach six last year. This year, his first homer came in his sixth game and it took him only 20 games to get to six. His batting average is up 50 points through the same number of games, and he’s made huge jumps in both slugging percentage (290 points) — almost double what it was last year through 22 games — and OPS (166 points), all great signs early on.

These numbers are excellent, and he’s hitting the ball with more authority (more on that later), something the Phillies and their fans are really happy to see. At the same time, some other important areas of Hoskins’ game have regressed.

The bad…

2020: .417 OBP/22 K/21 BB
2021: .293 OBP/31 K/4 BB

At this point last year, Hoskins had almost the same number of walks as he did strikeouts. This year, he’s basically stopped walking altogether while striking out more, leading to a brutal 31/4 K/BB ratio. Hoskins has seven multi-strikeout games, including five games with three strikeouts, and zero multi-walk games. In 2020, it took him TWO games to draw four walks (he had seven through just three games), while it took him 20 games this season.

The number of strikeouts isn’t nearly as concerning as the severe lack of walks, which, for a traditionally patient hitter like Hoskins, has led to an unfathomable 124-point drop in OBP through the 22-game mark. To put that into perspective, Hoskins’ .417 OBP at this point last year would rank 14th-best among qualifiers this year, while his .293 mark ranks tied-for-116th.

Now that you’ve seen what Rhys’ production looks like on the surface, let’s dive into how he got there and what direction he’s trending by looking at some advanced data from Statcast.