We are less than one full month into the 2021 season, so we are analyzing a small sample size.
The goal here is not to accept each trend as exactly what is going to happen the rest of the way, but to find out which current trends are sustainable over the 162-game marathon.
Do not worry too much about Rhys Hoskins‘ low walk rate. It’s such an outlier right now compared to his year-to-year averages, it will eventually balance itself out. If he continues to hit this well, pitchers are going to start pitching around him, and the walks will naturally pile up. He won’t have a sub-.300 OBP at the end of the season, but his hard-hit/barrel/exit velocity improvements look relatively sustainable.
It comes down to this: if Hoskins continues to hit home runs and doubles and drive in runs like this more consistently — with a higher batting average, slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+ — that’s worth a small drop in walks and on-base percentage, and a few more strikeouts.
That is not even a question, that is an answer.
Hoskins, 28, is playing in his fifth big-league season, but it is important to remember that he did not debut until August of his age-24 season, and 2018 and 2019 were his only full seasons.
He is still coming into his own, but judging by his streaky — yet encouraging — start to his 2021 campaign, Hoskins has the potential to turn a hot couple of weeks into a breakthrough year.