Coming into the night, Phillies left fielder Rhys Hoskins was ranked the worst of the eight competitors in the Derby. People immediately dismissed him and even during his introduction the announcer mentioned his success from last season instead of mentioning his strong plate presence this year. Every one knows how hard it is to go first in the HR Derby and often the person who draws the short end of the stick is eliminated in the first round but it was Rhys who deviated from the norm and dominated on the national stage.
The Phillies were truly disrespected as only one (Aaron Nola) player was selected. Rhys who won’t be competing in the game tomorrow night but certainly left it all out on the diamond crushing balls to left field. His first round matchup against Jesus Aguilar was truly a David vs. Goliath circumstance as Aguilar is currently the home run leader for the National League. Hoskins blocked it all out and hit 17 beautiful home runs which left Aguilar and the rest of DC in awe. Needless to say Aguilar trembled as he stepped up to the plate and was physically incapable of matching Hoskins’ total.
Rhys then faced the Chicago Cub Kyle Schwarber who can’t really do much other than hit home runs when it comes to his baseball abilities. Hoskins knew Schwarber was basically built for the Derby and it would take an unreal performance to beat him. Hoskins did not disappoint putting up 20 home runs, but he was unfortunately caught by Schwarber who would go on to lose to the home town, crowd favorite, Bryce Harper in the finals.
Hoskins showed amazing power last season but this year has not lived up to the potential we’ve seen from Rhys in the past. Hopefully tonight Rhys found his home run swing and we’ll see a lot more of the long ball from Rhys lightning.