Brian Handzel |November 1st, 2018
Revisiting the Minor League All-Stars a Year Later
For the first installment, I am going to be taking a look at the 2017 Triple-A All-Stars to see how they performed during the 2018 season. I will be highlighting Rhys Hoskins, who was playing for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in the International League and Christian Walker who was playing for the Reno Aces in the Pacific Coast League.
During the 2017 campaign, Hoskins played in 115 games for Lehigh Valley and 50 games for the Philadelphia Phillies. While playing in Triple-A, Hoskins had a slash line of .284/.385/.581/.966. To go along with his slash line Hoskins also amassed 114 hits, 29 of which were home runs, while driving in 91 and scoring 78. In his short stint in Philadelphia, Hoskins had a slash line of .259/.396/.618/1.014. He also had 18 home runs and drove in 48 runs.
In 2018, Hoskins spent the entire season in the Majors, playing in all but nine of the grueling 162 game schedule. Hoskins posted a slash line of .246/.354/.496/.850 in his first full season in the Major Leagues. Hoskins also slugged 34 home runs and drove in 96 runs.
While Hoskins played most of his time in the Minor Leagues at first base, and only got his first glimpse of outfield life in 2017, where he played only three minor league games in left field, seems like he is going to be more of an outfielder, who can also cover first base while in the Majors. During his 2018 campaign, Hoskins played 17 games at first base and 135 games in left field. Hoskins only committed 16 errors during 2018, 11 of which at first base, solidifying the fact that Hoskins will be more of an outfield threat for the Phillies in years to come.
During his MVP winning season of 2017, Walker played 133 games for the Reno and played just 11 games of the Arizona Diamondbacks. While playing in Triple-A, Walker posted a slash line of .309/.382/.597/.980. To add to his slash line, Walker also slugged 32 home runs while driving in 114 and scoring 104. In his stint in Arizona, Walker slashed .250/.400/.833/1.233 with two home runs and drove in two.
In 2018, Walker, again, split his time between Triple-A and the Major Leagues. In 84 games in Triple-A, in which he played at this level for the better part of the past 4 years, Walker slashed .299/.354/.568/.922 while hitting 18 home runs and driving in 71 runs. In 37 games in the Major Leagues, Walker didn’t fare too well again the better competition. Walker posted a slash line of .163/.226/.388/.922 with three home runs and six runs batted in.
Walker seems like he may be on the path to be a career Minor League player, coming up to the Majors when there are injuries. The Arizona Diamondbacks, at the time of this writing, have Paul Goldschmidt blocking Walker at first base, and Patrick Kivlehan, David Peralta and Steven Souza Jr. blocking Walker in left field.
After looking over the seasons, I think that Rhys Hoskins is going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come with the Phillies. Hoskins is only 25 years old and has shown that he has a large variety of tools to keep in the in the Majors for many years to come. Christian Walker, at 27 years old, maybe more of a career Minor League player, with glimpses of Major League time when the starters either need rest or if injuries occur.
Stay tuned for next week’s article when I will be taking a look at the Double-A MVP’s from the Eastern, Southern and Texas Leagues.
Questions and comments?