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Monday, May 21, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: RHYS HOSKINS OUTFILEDER PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Sometimes a hitter or a pitcher can qualify as a 'Crisis Point' candidate based not entirely on their disappointing numbers but also a bit on a combination of where they were drafted as well.  This is a paradox that is encompassing Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Rhys Hoskins two months into the 2018 fantasy baseball season as everyone's favorite March sleeper has let down his owners just a bit if they were all given truth serum.  After lighting things up to the tune of 18 home runs in just 212 at-bats as a rookie in 2017, expectations for the hulking Hoskins entering into 2018 centered on 40 home runs being the FLOOR and if all broke right, a shot at 50 given the immense natural power.  While yours truly is always leery of paying top dollar for sudden star rookies going into their second year, I admit to being on board with the third round ADP given the high walk rate and of course the insane power.  Fast forward to present day and Hoskins just smacked his sixth home run of the year on Sunday and we are now moving closer to the start of June.  The assumption was that Hoskins would have 6 or more homers in April and another 6-plus in May but that obviously has not happened as he goes into Monday's action with the following numbers:

.250
6 HR
27 RBI
25 R
3 SB
28.6 K/9
17.3 BB/9
.341 BABIP

A few things quickly jump out here outside of the drop in power on a per game basis to 2017.  Clearly, opposing pitchers are being more careful with Hoskins and also are exploiting some weaknesses they picked up watching film on him all winter.  That would explain the sizable rise in Hoskins' K/9 which went from 21.7 a year ago to its present day mark of 28.6.  The latter is a very high number and alone helps explain the slight dip in batting average (.259 to .250).  The walks have been phenomenal again at 17.3 BB/9 but there are some apparent holes in Hoskins' swing that are now being taken advantage of on a consistent basis.  Add in the that opposing pitchers are not giving Hoskins' the pitches that he drove over the outfield wall with regularity last season and we have a guy who so far has let down in terms of the overall numbers.

Now in terms of moving forward, there is a good chance Hoskins will fall into one of those classic power grooves where he goes yard 7 times in 10 games like we see out of other similarly-skilled players.  The average should come up a bit too given all the walks as well but nothing crazy above the .270 mark.  In the end, it is looking like Hoskins may not yield the monster home run totals anticipated but there is still plenty of time for him to have a big season regardless.


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