Philadelphia Phillies 1B/LF Rhys Hoskins became the quickest player in MLB history to hit 11 home runs Sunday. He's averaging a home run every every 5.82 at-bats. He's got an .828 slugging percentage through the first 64 at-bats of his career. When stuff like this happens to a Philadelphia athlete, fans can't help but think it's too good to be true.
An anonymous league scout spoke to John Perrotto of FanRag Sports on Hoskins, and while he doesn't think Hoskins is going to stay on the torrid home run pace he's currently on, he doesn't think the 24-year-old is a flash in the pan:
“He doesn’t give away at-bats, doesn’t chase a lot of bad pitches and that’s rare for a young hitter,” the scout said. “The league will eventually adjust to him and he’s not going to keep hitting home runs at this pace but he looks like the real thing. I don’t think he’s just a two-week fluke.”
As the scout said, any time a young hitter has as much initial success as Hoskins has had, the league will make adjustments to attempt to limit the damage he can do. Perhaps the best sign for Hoskins is that he already has an off-the-charts approach at the plate, which has allowed him to work favorable counts at the plate. He's also walked 11 times, which is just two less than the amount of times that he's struck out, meaning if teams begin to pitch around him, you don't get the sense that he'll have any issues talking a walk.
Philles fans, of course, remember Domonic Brown's month of May 2013, when he slashed .303/.303/.688 with 12 home runs and 25 RBIs, propelling the former top prospect to the All-Star Game. The month turned out to be a fluke in Brown's otherwise disappointing career, as he's not even with an organization at any level just over four years later.
Hoskins isn't going to stay on the current power pace he's on, as he'd be on pace to hit over 85 home runs in a 500 at-bat season. With that said, projecting the disappointment that was the rest of Brown's career on him isn't fair. Hoskins has a much better approach than Brown had, is having this success immediately at the major league level and was a much better hitter at the upper levels of the minor leagues than Brown was.
That this scout feels confident that Hoskins will be able to make adjustments and continue to hit an elite level should comfort Phillies fans. If logic isn't enough, the Phillies (and the city of Philadelphia) are due for some good luck after what's largely been a miserable decade, right?