The day was May 30, 1986. 25,320 people scattered in the seats of Three-River Stadium in Pittsburg, as the Pirates took on the Dodgers. A young Orel Hershiser had the ball for the boys in blue. A 21-year-old thin 6’2″ centerfielder stepped in the box to start the hitting for in the bottom of the 1st for the Pirates. Achieving the goal of all baseball players; making his major league debut. The hopeful prospect popped out to the shortstop Mariano Duncan. Through an 11 inning loss, the rookie went 0-5 with 3 strike outs and a walk. That rookie making his debut was none other than home run king Barry Bonds. In 113 Games and 484 At bats in his rookie season, Bonds hit 16 Homers with 48 RBIs.
In 32 games and 114 ABs, Phillies rookie Rhys Hoskins has matched baseball’s all-time home run king in roundtrippers in about a quarter of the time. With those 16 HR, Hoskins has also driven in an average of just over a runner a game with 34 RBIs. Bonds needed 378 ABs to get to 16 HRs. Babe Ruth needed 368. Hank Aaron 536. Hoskins has been simply out of this world since his call to the show.
In fact, after the Phillies 15th inning win over the Marlins, another Phillies rookie confirmed that fact. “He’s just an Alien, he’s not human”, said Phillies rookie outfielder Nick Williams. Williams, who has also been stellar as a rookie, might also be an alien according to “Homeworld” Hoskins. “Guy (Willams) is pretty good too, so I guess we can be alien friends”, Hoskins said.
Maybe with these 2 aliens, winning might not be alien to the Phillies much longer. For Hoskins, being alien has meant making history. Through 32 games, Hoskins has already set the record for most HRs through 40 games. He has been the fastest to hit career home runs 9-16 in major league history.
In order to be the fastest to 17, Hoskins only has to hit another homer in his next 47 plate appearances. That record was set all the way back in the 2016 season by Yankees rookie Gary Sanchez. Sanchez also owns the record for fastest to hit career home runs #18 and 19 as well.
With 18 games lest in the season, Hoskins only needs 5 more home runs to break the record for being the fastest player to hit 21 HRs, which was set earlier this season by Dodgers phenom Cody Bellinger. Bellinger needed only 51 career games to reach that mark.
But most amazingly, Hoskins might actually lead the Phillies in homers by the end of the season. The current team leaders are Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph, who have 20 and 21 HRs, respectfully. Franco has had 525 at bats and Joseph has had 470 during the course of the season.
With Joseph and Franco getting less time in favor of rookies Hoskins and J.P. Crawford, a realistic number of homers that Hoskins would have to hit to lead the Phillies by the end of the season would probably be 6 or 7 more. With his current pace, anything is possible for the young burgeoning Phillies star.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports