Rhys Dean Hoskins (born March 17, 1993) is an American professional baseball first baseman and left fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2017. Before playing professionally, he played college baseball for the Sacramento State Hornets.
Hoskins attended Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California. In 2011, he enrolled at California State University, Sacramento, where he played college baseball—for three seasons—for the Sacramento State Hornets, whose coach, Reggie Christiansen, was the only coach to offer him a scholarship. Hoskins chose to forego some of his scholarship money, so that Christiansen could add a pitcher who was needed by the team.
The Philadelphia Phillies selected Hoskins in the fifth round, with the 142nd overall selection, of the 2014 Major League Baseball draft, based on the scouting report by scout Joey Davis and the recommendation by then–scouting director Marti Wolever to then–general manager Ruben Amaro. He signed with the Phillies, receiving a $349,700 signing bonus.
Hoskins spent his first professional season with the Williamsport Crosscutters of the Class A-Short Season New York-Penn League, where he posted a .237 batting average with nine home runs and 40 runs batted in (RBIs). He started 2015 with the Lakewood BlueClaws of the Class A South Atlantic League and was later promoted to the Clearwater Threshers of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League; he posted a combined .319 batting average, 17 home runs and 90 RBIs between the two teams. Hoskins spent 2016 with the Reading Fightin Phils of the Class AA Eastern League, where he batted .281 with 38 home runs and 116 RBIs, was named the Eastern League Rookie of the Year, and received the Paul Owens Award as one of the two best position players in the Phillies' minor-league system. He opened the 2017 season playing with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs of the Class AAA International League. By August 2017 he was batting .284 with 29 home runs and 91 RBIs for Lehigh Valley. He also drew 64 walks. Hoskins was selected by the International League as its MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Postseason All-Star Team first-baseman. He was also selected by the Baseball America staff as the first baseman on the First team of the Baseball America Minor League All-Star Team.
On August 10, 2017, the Philadelphia Phillies called up Hoskins to the Major Leagues. He made his MLB debut the same day as a left fielder. Beginning in his second game, he batted cleanup. He got his first MLB hit—a single—on August 13. He hit his first two MLB home runs on August 14. On August 25, Hoskins became the fastest Major League player to hit nine home runs since his debut—hitting nine in sixteen games and fifty-four at-bats. On August 26, he became the fastest player to hit ten career home runs, doing so in only 17 games. On August 27, he became the fastest player to hit eleven home runs, doing so in only 18 games and sixty-four at-bats. At the same time, Hoskins tied a Phillies record by hitting a home run in five consecutive games. He was also the first Phillies player to initiate a triple play from the outfield in 53 years. On August 28, in his 19th career game, Hoskins recorded his 25th RBI in the second-fewest number of games since the statistic came into existence (in 1920). (In 1925, the Chicago Cubs' Mandy Brooks did so in 17 games.) Also on August 28, he hit a double and became the third rookie in franchise history to have extra-base hits in six consecutive games (joining Pinky Whitney of the 1928 team and Dick Allen of the 1964 team).
On September 2, Hoskins became the fastest player to hit twelve home runs, doing so in only 24 games. Hoskins was named the NL Rookie of the Month for August. Of his first 26 major league games, he played 20 of them in left field, even though he had played in the outfield only as a freshman during college and in only three minor league games. On September 12, Hoskins hit his 15th and 16th home runs, in 32 games. On September 13, he hit his 17th home run, in 33 games. He is the fastest player in history—in terms of games played—to hit his 9th through 17th career home runs. On September 14, Hoskins hit his 18th home run, in 34 games, 118 at-bats, and 145 plate appearances. On September 19, he had four RBI, for a total of 43 in his first 39 games, which is second only to Albert Pujols, who had 44 RBI in his first 39 games; Joe DiMaggio had 42. To be considered a rookie in 2018, Hoskins would have had to have no more than 130 at-bats (or no more than 50 innings for a pitcher) in 2017. He had his 131st at-bat on September 18, which officially made 2017 his rookie year.
Hoskins' father, Paul, taught him how to play baseball; his mother, Cathy, died of cancer when he was in high school. He has a sister, Meloria.