The Phillies have promoted young slugger Rhys Hoskins to the active roster for the first time today, as MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki first reported (via Twitter). It had been anticipated that he’d receive a promotion at some point in the near future, but the precise arrival date was not yet clear.
Hoskins, 24, has raked in obscurity for most of his minor-league career since going to the Phils in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. But prospect evaluators have come around on his future outlook as Hoskins has continued to dominate opposing pitchers into the upper minors. He’s currently considered one of the game’s hundred-best prospects by both Baseball America and MLB.com.
While Hoskins could surely have drawn an earlier call-up, the Phillies were not willing to bump him up in place of fellow young first baseman Tommy Joseph. Instead, the Phils have decided to give Hoskins a run in left field. Whether he can handle the position in the long run remains to be seen, but he’ll get a shot to do so in the majors and will test his bat against top-level pitching — allowing Philadelphia to assess both him and Joseph for the future.
At some point, production is hard to deny. In Hoskins’s case, he has impressed more than ever this year at Triple-A. Over 475 plate appearances, he’s slashing a robust .284/.385/.581 with 29 long balls. That’s impressive in and of itself, but what’s especially encouraging is the fact that he’s walking nearly as much as he’s striking out (13.5% versus 15.8%).
It’ll be interesting to see how Hoskins looks in left and how the Phils handle the logjam over the winter. For now, the rebuilding club will be content watching its top young talent compete in the majors. Several other players have filtered up this year, and long-awaited shortstop J.P. Crawford may not be long in making his own move — depending upon how the organization decides to handle incumbent middle infielders Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez.