Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Rhys Hoskins returns to Philadelphia: First baseman gets emotional welcome home at Citizens Bank Park

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Milwaukee Brewers slugger Rhys Hoskins made his much-anticipated return to Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park on Monday night. 

The 31-year-old Hoskins spent the entirety of his professional career with the Phillies until he signed a free-agent pact with the Brewers in late January (one-year, $16 million with player options for 2025 and 2026). Hoskins was originally drafted by the Phillies with a fifth-round pick in 2012 out of Sacramento State. He made his big-league debut in 2017, and over the next seven seasons he tallied 148 home runs, 149 doubles, and a 125 OPS+ as a core member of the Phillies. Thirty of those home runs came with the 2022 Phillies team that advanced to the World Series. 

To say the least, Hoskins remains a beloved figure in Philly: 

And he was no doubt expected an emotional first trip to the plate on Monday night: 

As for that first plate appearance back at CPB, here’s the reception: 

It’s no surprise that it was an exceptionally warm reception, and that it meant a great deal to Hoskins. In the seventh inning, Hoskins made his return even more memorable when he cracked a home run off Zack Wheeler, his 10th home run of the season: 

Not secondary to all of this is that Monday’s series opener (MIL-PHI GameTracker) marked the first 2024 meeting between two teams who have been the National League’s best thus far. The Brewers came into this one with a record of 36-23 and the largest division lead in baseball (seven games over the second-place Cardinals). The Phillies, meanwhile, had an NL-best record of 41-19 and a hefty 6 ½-game lead over the Braves

As for Hoskins, he’s coming off a torn left ACL that cost him all of the 2023 season and has been a frontline producer for the Brewers. In 40 games this season coming into Monday night, Hoskins slashed .239/.339/.465 (128 OPS+) in 40 games – vintage Hoskins. 

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