It’s no secret that Rhys Hoskins struggled last season. Believe it or not, Hoskins was hitting .263 with 20 home runs and 59 RBIs in the first half of the season before going downhill.
The Phillies first baseman hit just .180 in the second half of the season with only 9 home runs and 26 RBIs. Among all hitters in the second half, Hoskins ranked 112th in home runs and among players who played 60 games or more, he had the worst batting average.
Players will have slumps that’s just baseball but you can’t be one of the worst hitters in baseball for half a season especially when you’re counted on to be a middle of the order bat.
One bad half will not put an end to Hoskins career. He’s still a very talented hitter and it does not seem like the coaches from last year really helped anyone. Hoskins biggest problems at the plate tended to be him swinging too low and late.
Coming into Spring Training, Hoskins has shown a new stance where his hands are a lot lower with less movement going on in his swing.
The first thing I thought of when I saw this was JD Martinez.
Not many people remember but JD Martinez started his career with the Astros from 2011-2013. Martinez struggled, only hitting .251 with 24 home runs in 3 years there. The Astros ended up releasing him after 2013, which brought him to Detroit where he completely changed his swing.
Just like Hoskins, Martinez brought his hands down and lessened the movement in his swing.
Since changing his stance going into the 2014 season, JD Martinez has hit .307 while averaging 34.5 home runs per season. A huge improvement from a .251 average and 8 home runs per season with the Astros.
Below is Rhys Hoskins new stance vs. his old. You can see his hands are a lot lower and his stance is a lot simpler.
This isn’t to say that Hoskins will come out this season and hit .300 with 40 home runs like JD Martinez. A new swing takes some time to get used to but by making his stance more simple, Hoskins should find more consistency through a 162 game season. And the Phillies will most certainly need solid production out of him if they want to make some noise.
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