When the 2019 season began, hopes were high for Rhys Hoskins.
No longer would he have to play left field, a failed experiment in 2018 that everyone assumed forced Hoskins to take some of his focus off his offensive development in order to learn a position for which he was ill-equipped. Instead, at his natural first base, the assumption was that he would be able to concentrate on being a hitter first, an exciting thought given his plate discipline and obvious power potential.
For much of 2019, the plan appeared to work. In 71 games through June 19, Hoskins hit .273/.400/.522 for an OPS of .922, with 15 home runs and 49 RBIs. He was a borderline All Star and heading toward the 30+ homer season that we all assumed he’d have hitting behind Bryce Harper in a stacked Phillies lineup.
Then, the bottom fell out.
In his final 89 games, Hoskins batted .189/.336/.401 for a .737 OPS and hit 14 homers, 19 doubles and just 36 RBIs the rest of the way. He finished the season with a ridiculously low .226 batting average, although his outstanding walk rate gave him a .364 OBP. But his wRC+ of 112 was 9th among National League first basemen with at least 100 games played at the position,…