Sixty-four at bats into his career, Rhys Hoskins is Babe Ruth.
Actually, that’s ridiculous. Hoskins is absolutely better than Babe Ruth at this point.
No one before Hoskins had ever hit 10 homers in their first 20 major league games; Hoskins did it in 17. He also started a triple play yesterday. It was kind of a fluke, but whatever: Hoskins also hit his 11th homer of the season a few innings later. As he was the fastest player to 10 homers, he’s also the fastest to 11. And he’s hitting this many homers despite not getting to bat against Phillies pitching.
Yesterday was the fifth straight game he homered, tying a Phillies record. Despite losing 17-2 to the Cubs on Saturday night, Hoskins helped the Phillies take the series from the defending World Series champions.
Now for the fun, stupid stats: He’s on a 162-game pace for 99 homers, 216 RBI and 477 total bases. In just 18 games he already has 1.2 WAR, or 8 percent of Ryan Howard’s career total (14.9) over 1,572 games. Basically, the only recent player with a career start as good as Hoskins is Yasiel Puig, who hit .479 through his first 13 games.
Hoskins actually opened his career 1-for-13. In the 14 games since, he’s had 18 hits—11 of them homers. He’s actually been a little unlucky so far in his career, too! His current BABIP is still just .200. He’s certainly enjoying the run. Yesterday, he even skipped out of the batters box.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a young guy look that profound at home plate,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters postgame. “Look at his walk to strikeouts. That’s the part that tells me he can sustain, not necessarily this pace, but he can sustain, because he doesn’t strike out. He will accept his walks. He doesn’t expand the strike zone. He uses the whole field. He’s a big guy with short movements to the ball. Pretty impressive.”
At this point, Phillies fans can stop wondering whether this guy is going to come crashing back to earth. He’s going to break Barry Bonds’s home run record by 2027. He’s going to be the greatest baseball player of all time. Why not?