The Phillies have not been good this season. They have the worst record in baseball this year, three games back of the White Sox. This would be the second time in three years that the Phillies ended up with the worst record in baseball, giving fans bad flashbacks to the late-90s Phillies.
Is there hope? Maybe. Odubel Herrera, much maligned in the first half of the season, is now on an absolute tear. He’s hitting .383 with a .692 slugging percentage in the second half, and he’s fourth in second-half WAR despite being on the 10-day disabled list.
The Phillies’ current ray of hope, though, came up just two weeks ago. Rhys Hoskins, who hit 91 minor league homers, didn’t do much in his first five days in the majors. But since mashing a pair of taters on Tuesday of last week, he’s been on fire.
Hoskins has hit seven home runs in 14 major league games and driven in 16 runs, and he’s done all this when almost none of his non-homers are falling for hits. His BABIP is a measly .188. Last night, he drove in five runs—three of them on a 445-foot homer to left.
Hoskins fell behind 0-2 in the at-bat, worked it to a full count, then capitalized on the eighth pitch. In the sixth inning, he doubled to drive home two more runs. The Phillies beat the Marlins, 8-0.
Hoskins, of course, has played just two weeks. Phillies fans were ecstatic over Domonic Brown in May 2013, when the outfielder hit 12 homers with a .303 average. Brown hasn’t played in the majors since 2015 and he was last seen pitching for the Albuquerque Isotopes earlier this season. It’s only a two-week blip, but you’ll take the optimism where you can get it.