Rhys Hoskins Looking Forward to Playing First Base Again

HoskinsBattingSpecial Assistant Larry Bowa and Rhys Hoskins in Spring 2018

By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

On Monday, the Phillies announced that they were acquiring Jean Segura from the Seattle Mariners. While Segura is a huge upgrade, the deal also came with many other perks. In addition to acquiring two solid relief pitchers for the bullpen in Nicasio and Pazos, the deal also sent Carlos Santana to the Mariners and freed up first base for Rhys Hoskins.

Hoskins is thrilled to return to the position where he has natural instincts and far more experience. He said as much in an interview with the MLB Network.

Hoskins notes that he was uncomfortable in the outfield and that, while he was playing left field, he was constantly thinking a lot about how he would play balls and defend in certain scenarios because they had not become ‚Äúsecond nature‚ÄĚ.

That makes sense for Hoskins, who spent four seasons moving up the Phillies minor league system playing exclusively at first base. It was not until he was ready to be called up in late 2017 that Hoskins began playing left field.

Hoskins played only three games at the position before he was called up to the major league level. He had been using Ben Lively’s pitching glove for the first few games as he had nothing other than a first baseman’s glove.

Knowing that, it should not come as a surprise that Hoskins told Jeff Skversky of ABC News that he was looking forward to moving back to first base.

In 2018, Hoskins committed six errors and posted a fielding percentage of .976. He also posted a -3.6 defensive WAR. That is the fourth-worst fielding percentage posted by any outfielder and is by far the worst defensive WAR in the major leagues.

A move back to his natural position will certainly improve those issues. If Hoskins felt himself thinking about how to field or an error he made while he was batting at times last season, the move may even prove to be beneficial to him at the plate.

The move also opens up a third outfield spot to start Roman Quinn, Aaron Altherr or perhaps a big name free agent who could play in the outfield. Whoever ends up playing there, fans should be happy to know that the Phillies players are happy and that the defense has already been improved at two positions this offseason.