The End of an Era for Rhys Hoskins
The unforgettable era of Rhys Hoskins with the Phillies has come to an end.
Harper Takes Over First Base
Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski announced on Wednesday that Bryce Harper will be the everyday first baseman for the team starting in 2024. This decision likely marks the end of Hoskins’ tenure in Philadelphia. Hoskins suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in late March, leaving the Phillies without a first baseman. Harper stepped up and volunteered to play the position, showcasing his skills and adaptability.
Commitment to First Base
Dombrowski revealed, “We decided we’re going to play him at first base. He’s happy to do what we wanted him to do. He said he would play first or outfield. He feels very good. But the more we talked about it internally, we liked the idea of going with him first. We believe he will become a Gold Glove first baseman. He is committed to doing it.”
Communication and Decision-Making
Dombrowski had an extensive conversation with Harper at Citizens Bank Park, discussing the team’s plans. He then reached out to Hoskins on Sunday to inform him of the decision.
A Sole Focus on First Base
Dombrowski clarified that Harper will exclusively play first base next year, with no intentions of occasionally utilizing him in right field. This strategic move aims to prioritize Harper’s long-term future and capitalize on his potential as he ages.
Harper’s Defensive Prowess
Harper’s performance at first base during the regular season was impressive, with a +2 outs above average (OAA) rating according to Statcast. This tied him for the third-highest OAA among Phillies first basemen since 2016. Additionally, he recorded 1 defensive run saved, as reported by FanGraphs. Harper’s versatility at first base allowed the Phillies to optimize their defensive lineup, with other players taking on different positions.
Hoskins’ Legacy and Statistics
Rhys Hoskins, 30, was selected by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. He had been one of the team’s longest-serving players, second only to Aaron Nola, who is also a free agent. Over his six seasons in Philadelphia, Hoskins showcased his power with 148 home runs and contributed 405 RBIs. He maintained an impressive .846 OPS and a 125 OPS+.