Rhys Hoskins homers again as Philadelphia Phillies shutout the Miami Marlins

Rhys Hoskins is becoming can't miss baseball in Philadelphia
Rhys Hoskins has only been in the big leagues for two weeks, but his at-bats have already reached can't miss status. It's something Philadelphia hasn't seen since Ryan Howard circa 2008.

Hoskins toughed out an eight pitch at-bat in last night's third inning, eventually walloping a pitch to the second deck in left field for a three-run homer. The ball sailed 445 feet while Marlins' left fielder Marcell Ozuna remained in a crouched fielding position, not even turning around as the ball left the park.

It was Hoskins’ seventh homer in his first 14 major-league games; he also drove in five of the team’s eight runs en route to an 8-0 Phillies victory over the Marlins.

“He knows the strike zone. He looks like a professional hitter,” manager Pete Mackanin said. “He’s not afraid to get behind in the count. You can tell that he’s not afraid to go the other way. He wants to drive in the run.”

Nearly as impressive as the power is Hoskins' patience at the plate. Through just 14 games his 17 percent walk rate is a team high. He's also hitting .308 when down to an 0-2 count.

“You try to keep everything in check and not get too excited,” Mackanin said. “But what I saw in the spring is what I’m seeing now: quality at-bats.”

Mark Leiter Jr. tossed a no-hitter into the sixth inning before allowing a lead-off single. He left after hurling seven scoreless frames surrendering just the one hit. He walked two and collected five strikeouts. The performance was much needed as the Phillies entered the contest with a taxed bullpen following Tuesday's twin bill.

“I don’t know who my favorite player is, either Leiter or Hoskins right now,” Mackanin said. “I’m trying to make a decision on that. Right now they’re about tied.”

Leiter had good command throughout the night and stayed low in the zone inducing 10 ground ball outs.

“I was just trying to command the strike zone and get ahead early,” Leiter said. “They have a great lineup over there. The key was just getting ahead and trying to keep guys off balance as much as you can.”

The two clubs conclude their four-game set with a Thursday matinee. Right-hander Jake Thompson will rejoin the Phillies rotation to make the start while the Marlins counter with former Phillie Vance Worley.
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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