When the Philadelphia Phillies announced that Bryce Harper would be the club's first baseman going forward, it was evident that it would mean another door would close in Philadelphia. One of the longest-tenured Phillies players would no longer have a spot on the field. While it isn't necessarily shocking, it is sad for fans who have been following the team well before their most recent success.
Rhys Hoskins' time with the Phillies is now officially over. It was reported late Tuesday that he had agreed to terms on a two-year, $34 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.
His time in Philadelphia left an impact on the field and in the community. He and his wife Jayme hosted the "Go Yard" event, the proceeds of which benefitted the Muscular Dystrophy Association. On the field, Hoskins was a leading contributor to the Phillies' lineup for the better part of six seasons. In the clubhouse, his leadership will be missed.
Here's a look at his career as a Philadelphia Phillie.
Hoskins' impressive early Phillies career
The former Phillies first baseman was a fifth-round pick in 2014 out of Sacramento State. He set minor league home run records at Double-A Reading in 2016 and Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2017. Hoskins was never a highly-ranked prospect, but after putting up prolific power numbers that rivaled those of Phillies legend Ryan Howard, people began to take notice of the slugging first baseman.
Hoskins finally made his big-league debut in August of 2017. Upon his call-up, the rookie burst onto the scene, hitting 10 home runs in his first 17 games and setting a new MLB record in the process. In 2018, he hit 34 home runs and drove in 96 runs in a Phillies lineup that offered little protection.
The young first baseman played in 153 games in 2018 and 160 games in 2019. He was a reliable player on a team that had not yet reached its pinnacle.
Hoskins finally saw team success after the 2020 season
After the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Hoskins picked up where he left off. In 2021 the right-handed slugger posted an .864 OPS and hit 27 home runs. The following year, he helped the Phillies reach the World Series for the first time since 2009, with 30 home runs and in 156 games during the regular season.
Hoskins went on to get some big hits during the Phillies' magical run in 2022. In 17 games, he mashed six home runs, most notably, the "bat spike" home run in Game 3 of the NLDS against Spencer Strider and the Atlanta Braves.
The former Phillies' first baseman was robbed of his contract year in 2023, tearing his ACL toward the end of spring training. He underwent surgery and rehabbed hard in an attempt to make a comeback for the NLCS or World Series if the club made it that far.
There were rumblings of a Hoskins activation for the Championship series, which never materialized. And the Game 6 and 7 collapse against the Arizona Diamondbacks took any potential World Series return off the table.
Hoskins was a leader on a team full of stars
Over his career, Hoskins has heard his share of grief. He wasn't the most apt defensive first baseman the Phillies have ever seen. He also went through torrent hot streaks and agonizing slumps. His play on the field usually balanced out, but many in Philadelphia have, at some point or another, criticized their first baseman for some grievance.
One thing Hoskins could not draw criticism for was his leadership in the clubhouse. During the 2022 postseason, the team's leader spoke about what a deep playoff run means to the city of Philadelphia.
“We understand what’s going on in the city, what’s gone on historically with this organization in the last 10, 12 years. I have a little different perspective than some of the other guys on the team because I’ve been here for almost half of that,” Hoskins said. “Naturally, I think you try a little harder because you care about the city that you play for.”
Hoskins certainly went through some of the tougher years in recent Phillies memory. Many Phillies' players who arrived when the team began to see some success noticed that and Hoskins took on the clubhouse leader role. Brandon Marsh said of their leader last season: “He exemplifies the Phillies about as good as you could. He’s a huge voice, leader of our team, and a phenomenal talent... "
What Rhys Hoskins brought to Philadelphia was not just big home runs or frustrating strikeouts. He brought a Philly attitude, a hard-nosed style of play, and leadership. After going through trials and tribulations early on, he became a leader of this new brand of Phillies baseball that fans now see.
He arrived in Philadelphia as a young kid, he leaves as a Phillies icon.