The hype to the 2019 Phillies season escalated after the February 28th signing of Bryce Harper, but it has been the man batting in the spot behind him in the lineup that has been continuing the hype.
On Tuesday night, Rhys Hoskins had the 1st 4-hit game of his career in an 11-1 trouncing of the St. Louis Cardinals. The performance included 2 singles, a double, and a 9th inning home run. Hoskins came into tonight hitting .281. That average has now raised to .302. His team lead in home runs has increased to 11.
So the question remains, does Hoskins belong in MVP conversation with Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger?
Yes…but he’s on the outside looking in at the moment. Bellinger and Yelich are still 1 and 2 in most offensive categories of the National League.
On Base Percentage? Bellinger .476, Yelich .448. Home Runs? Yelich 15, Bellinger 14. Slugging Percentage? Bellinger .815, Yelich .784.
Hoskins may not be 1 or 2, but he is top 10 in several categories. In HR, he’s tied for 3rd with 11. In RBI, he’s 3rd with 33. In the more talked about category of OPS, 4th with a 1.076.
His current slash line is .302/.425/1.076. It is still May, but what you do early in the season still matters.
It would not be surprising, come July, to see Rhys Hoskins starting the All-Star game as the National League first baseman. Rhys’ closest competition would be Freddie Freeman who is batting .292 with a .912 OPS at the time of writing (4th inning against the Dodgers).
It might just come down to whether or not Bellinger is voted in as a first baseman or right fielder.
As for MVP, Hoskins could very well be in the conversation come September. It really depends on when Cody Bellinger decides to stop hitting over .400. The MVP situation might be similar to Aaron Nola in the Cy Young voting of 2018. Hoskins might be putting up great numbers, but he might only be shooting for 3rd.