Philadelphia Phillies: Has Rhys Hoskins returned to form?

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Ever since returning from his jaw injury, Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Rhys Hoskins has seemed to rediscover himself at the plate.

Philadelphia Phillies fans will never forget the torrid start of Rhys Hoskins career.

After being called up to the majors last August, Hoskins hit 18 home runs in his first 50 games, reaching base at an almost 40 percent clip, while quickly making a name for himself in his short time with the Phillies.

Going into this season there seemed to be lofty expectations of the young slugger, which is fair to expect after the showing he had in Philadelphia last year. After hitting over 40 home runs between Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia last season, many expected that trend to continue, which is definitely a lot to ask of a guy who has yet to complete a full major league season.

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Over the first month of the 2018 MLB season, it looked like Hoskins had picked up just where he left off in 2017. Throughout the month of April, Hoskins was slashing .303 with four home runs, which put him on pace for roughly 24 long balls for the season. It was a good start to the season for someone who had such a tough act to follow up on.

Once May came though, it all began to go downhill for the Phillies’ young left fielder.

In May, Hoskins hit just .161 with only two home runs and while only driving in nine runs. His ability to get on base, which is one of his best attributes, was down as well as Hoskins’ on-base percentage in May was a lowly .253, compared to it being over .400 the rest of the season.

You never want to say that an injury could be the best thing that happened to a player, but in Rhys’ situation, when he fractured his jaw on May 28th in LA, it may have been the best thing for Hoskins at the time.

After struggling for the whole month of May, it gave Hoskins the opportunity to take some time off and regather himself so he could get out of his slump once he returned 10 days after being placed on the DL.

Since returning, Hoskins has been a completely different player at the plate. In his 15 games since returning from the jaw injury, Rhys is hitting .333 with four home runs and 11 RBIs; and the thing that is most impressive is that he is back to getting on base at a higher clip with a .400 on-base percentage over that time frame.

I think it is fair to say that we know the type of player that Hoskins is supposed to be. Someone who is working counts, swinging at his pitches, and showing the ability to drive guys in. When things are going well for Hoskins, such as August last year and April/June this year, those are the things he is doing. But when he struggled in May, he just looked lost, and those ten days off seemed to put him back in line.

Baseball is a sport filled with hot streaks and cold streaks, every player goes through them. It is not fair to expect Hoskins to hit a home run every night, or to hit at a .400 clip. But at the same time, we should expect him to do better than what he showed in May. What we have seen the past 15 days, has been a player not trying to do too much and is letting the game come to him. Something like that is never too much to ask of a player.

Hoskins’ career has been a small sample size, but I think we have seen enough to know that stretches like May will be the outlier for Hoskins, and we should expect to see a lot more of months like April this year where he was as consistent as consistent can be.

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Rhys Hoskins has shown to be a very good major league player, but all major league players are not immune to slumps. But for the time being, it seems to appear that Hoskins has returned to form, and hopefully, that can continue throughout the summer months. And hey, maybe that snazzy new helmet is a big reason why.