I always go to a minor league game and ask the question, “does this guy have a major league bat or stuff?” In last night’s game with Clearwater Threshers first baseman Rhys Hoskins in his five at bats and newly arrived reliever Alexis Rivero in one inning of work the answer is “yes”. Both started the season with the Lakewood BlueClaws.
We have been on a Hoskins watch since we watched him hit some long fly ball outs in last year’s Williamsport home opener. Then instructs last Fall when he put a shot on to the top of the Tiki Bar roof in a game. We have continued to follow him this year in the minor league spring training camp, a series with Lakewood back during the first week of May in Savannah Georgia and now last night at Bright House Field. He has not disappointed us. He can hit a baseball and hit it hard and far.
Last night he was in his 19th game with the Threshers after spending the first half of the season with Lakewood. He was leading the Sally League in OPS before his call up to Clearwater and he has not missed a beat showing there is not much difference between the Florida State and the South Atlantic Leagues other than one is listed as A- and the other is at the A+ level.
Last night against the St. Louis FSL farm team he had and RBI in each of his first three at bats on a single, sacrifice fly and a long home run which hit on the berm in left center. Watch HERE, HERE and HERE. His last two times up he backed the left fielder up to the wall in left just missing another long ball and in his final at bat he made the left fielder leave his feet on the warning track to pull down a line drive. Watch HERE and HERE.
Hoskins is 22-years old which makes him only about seven months younger than the Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco. Both are right handed hitting power hitters. While one is an every day third baseman in the major leagues the other is still stuck in A ball in the Florida State League likely for the rest of the season.
In Hoskins’ minor league career which spans 157 games so far he has a slash line of .280/.360/.473. with 22 home runs and 102 RBI’s. Franco in his minor league career of 554 games had a slash line of .280/.329/.456 with 70 homers and 362 RBI’s. Sounds like two good .280 hitters to me!
We have just gotten to know Alexis Rivero from minor league spring training and Lakewood. The 20-year old has impressed us. Last night, he made his Florida State League debut after his call up from Lakewood against the Palm Beach Cardinals at Bright House. It was in a mop up role in holding a 9-1 Threshers lead in the ninth but he was impressive. He had a good slider and a fast ball that sat in the high 90’s in striking out two and giving up only a one base runner on a walk. See HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.
Could it be someday soon we will see Rhys Hoskins at first base taking throws from Maikel Franco and Alexis Rivero coming out the pen throwing heat to set up Ken Giles for the save in another Phillies win?