One of my favorite words is “penultimate” and favorite acronym is the baseball stat, “OPS”.
Penultimate simply means the second to the last thing in a series. For a baseball player it is the moment in the minors when you know that player is major league ready.
OPS simply means “on base plus slugging which is the ability of a player both to get on base and to hit for power, two very important offensive skills.
For Rhys Hoskins of the Phillies his coming out as a future major league star was actually two moments in back to back big games six months apart at the end of the 2015 season and the beginning of the 2016 season.
It was his home run in the final Florida State League playoff game of the 2015 season for the Clearwater Threshers. Watch HERE. It was to be the only run the Threshers would score in the two-game playoffs.
And just before the start of the 2016 season when Rhys homered in the Phillies Future game at Citizens Bank Park off of major league pitcher David Hernandez. Watch HERE.
These two moments told me that Hoskins was major league ready but it said little to the Phillies Front Office. He would have to go through the minor league regimen of AA and AAA ball in the 2016 and most of the 2017 seasons.
Finally on August 10th of last month Hoskins appeared in his first major league game. He would go 0 for 12 in his first three major league. games. After that as we would say, “the rest is history”.
Saturday night, he hit is 14th home run in 104 at bats. According to CSN Philly, Hoskins now has 14 homers in 30 big-league games. That’s the most homers ever by a player who made his big-league debut after August 1.
“On base plus slugging” is one of the best indicators of baseball players offensive contribution.
To me what is even more impressive than his home runs is his 1.183 OPS after 30 days in the major leagues. According to Baseball Reference the top five career leaders in the history of baseball for OPS are: 1.Babe Ruth, 1.164, 2.Ted Williams, 1.116, 3.Lou Gehrig 1.080, 4.Barry Bonds and 1.051, Jimmie Foxx.
Last night in addition to hitting his 14th home run, he walked three times. His homer and base on balls were essential to the 5-4 Phillies win especially when one of his walks came with the bases loaded.
For the first month of his major league career Rhys Hoskins has been in a “league of his own”.