Two weeks in a row Rhys Hoskins is the main story. It’s hard to overstate just how good he’s been, but here, let’s try:
He has a home run in five consecutive games and eight of his last nine. He has 19 RBIs during that stretch.
His WAR in 18 games is 1.2. Ryan Howard’s was 1.7 for the entire 2008 season. This is not an average stat– it’s how many games a player has won for his team above a replacement level player. Hoskins has already contributed over one win in just 17 games. Howard was only .5 higher over the course of a full season. [UPDATE: This is actually Howard’s WAR since 2008, which means Hoskins has contributed almost as many wins in three weeks as Howward did in 8 years. He costs less, too.]
I like his landing page on Brooks Baseball:
In 2017, compared to how other hitters perform with similar pitches:
Against Fastballs (158 seen), he has had a steady approach at the plate (0.13 c) with an exceptionally low likelihood to swing and miss (4% whiff/swing).
Against Breaking Pitches (78 seen), he has had a patient approach at the plate (0.24 c) with a league average likelihood to swing and miss (27% whiff/swing).
Against Offspeed Pitches (41 seen), he has had an exceptionally patient approach at the plate (0.20 c) with a league average likelihood to swing and miss (33% whiff/swing).
That’s the thing– his swing is such a natural home run swing, and he’s not up there hacking at everything. He’s patient. He walks. Overthinker Joe Maddon agrees:
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a young guy look that profound at home plate,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Look at his walks to strikeouts. That’s the part that tells me he can sustain — not necessarily this pace — but he can sustain it because he doesn’t strike out. He will accept his walks. He doesn’t expand the strike zone. He uses the whole field. He’s a big guy with short movements to the ball. Pretty impressive.”
He has more home runs (11) than the Nationals (8) and Giants (6) since August 14. Pretty incredible.
Let’s hit it! Continue Reading