The Phillies late-season rookie phenomenon, Rhys Hoskins (on your left), is one half of last year’s Bash Brothers. His baseball brother, Dylan Cozens, actually out-homered Rhys by 40 to 38 in their prodigious display for the double A Reading Fightin’ Phils. This year was a different story, with Hoskins not only out-homering Cozens, but leaving him in the dust on every offensive stat on a developmental trajectory that took him to Philadelphia for his first major league game, against the Mets on August 10th.
Rhys’s debut was inauspicious to say the least. He batted 7th in the lineup, and went hitless with a walk and a strikeout in three at-bats. On August 11 he moved to the cleanup spot, on a hunch by his manager that was still not borne out by his performance, and he went hitless in four at-bats, with a walk and two strikeouts. His third game, on August 12, continued his unimpressive streak, another zero for four in which he went struck out once and failed to reach base. Still in the cleanup spot on August 13, Rhys picked up his first major league hit, a weak RBI single.
It was not until the club went out of town, flying to San Diego for his 5th game on August 14th, that Rhys hit his first home run on his 16th at bat. It came in the 4th inning off Travis Wood, with no one on base – and will be the answer to a trivia question one day. Ripping another solo HR in the 7th inning, this time off the Padres’ Craig Stammen, Rhys was officially off to the races.
That is what makes Rhys’s rookie record home run pace that much more impressive. He is the fastest in major league history to his first 10 HRs, and he didn’t hit any in his first four games. And with each HR he has maintained his pace – fastest to 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and as of last night, fastest in major league history to “chai”, unleashing a torrent of Rhys T-Shirts and garnering national attention for a team that is still mired in last place and still on pace for the worst record in the major leagues. But at least Rhys gives hope for the future!