It’s Rhys Hoskins’ world and we’re just living in it. At least over the last week and a half.
The Phillies’ 24-year-old slugger is putting on a show after a slow start to his Major League career. How amazing – a big league mini-slump didn’t damage his psyche.
Instead, Hoskins followed his slide with eight homers in 11 games, giving whoever is left watching this last place team a reason for hope.
Despite the small sample size, this kid is legitimate and his success is a reminder that Nick Williams, Aaron Altherr, Odubel Herrera, Jorge Alfaro and Aaron Nola aren’t too bad either.
Don’t forget – there are promising 23 and 22-year-old talents in Scott Kingery and J.P. Crawford, respectively, who are close to getting their chance as well in The Show.
Hoskins’ surge is also a reminder that the Eagles possess their hopeful franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz and the 76ers are flooded with potentially transcending talent in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz.
Oh yeah, and there’s the almost forgotten Flyers that have been developing promising players since the Stone Age that are expected to make their way to South Philadelphia hopefully before the next solar eclipse.
Philadelphia sports is no longer grim. A city that hasn’t seen a playoff series or game victory since the 2012 Sixers will be presented with competitive sports from at least three of the four teams in the immediate future.
And, if for some reason that’s not the case, changes must be made and patience should be unacceptable.
The Eagles underwent enough additions this offseason to play in Wild Card Weekend. Howie Roseman trading for Ronald Darby makes the necessity to get in the postseason even more of a must. If the Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and LeGarrette Blount moves fail, it won’t be any fault of Roseman’s. Doug Pederson will be responsible for not making it work.
Embiid’s health continues to be a major concern, but “The Process” pushers and those who criticized it must stay confident that “The Process” himself plays a lot this upcoming season. Embiid, Simmons, Fultz, Dario Saric, JJ Redick and Robert Covington will need time to gel. Yet, Sixers fans shouldn’t be saying next summer, “At least we had January!” They should be saying, “At least we made it to the playoffs!” If not, it might be time to part ways with Brett Brown, who is at no fault for his first four years of unbelievably consistent losing. However, someone will need to take the hit and Bryan Colangelo hasn’t been here long enough for Josh Harris to let him go. It might be warranted if losing occurs, but unrealistic based on how Harris runs his franchise.
Albeit it’s only been two weeks, Hoskins is proof the Phillies are developing a talented core that will stick. The first baseman turned left fielder keeps producing at every level. He is no mirage and neither will his fellow prospects. Will the Phils win a lot in 2018? It’s unlikely, but they should be in the running for a Wild Card spot, or at least be tolerable to the point their season isn’t essentially over before Memorial Day. If not, John Middleton needs to rethink his commitment to the combination of Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak.
The Flyers are an enigma because they lucked into the second overall pick, possess supposed talent in the minor leagues and juniors, but have never seemed further away from competing. Their problem earlier this decade was they lived in the 1970s. With Ron Hextall at the helm, it seems like their willing to reincarnate themselves in the 2070s. The general manager always implores winning at the NHL level, but it appears he’s only willing to do that with homegrown talent, staying very quiet in free agency. This team lacks personality and intensity as a result of head coach Dave Hakstol and captain Claude Giroux. If the Orange and Black miss the postseason again, a trio of guys should pack their bags – Hextall, Hakstol and Giroux.
The players of the future are here or close to arriving. The planted seeds are growing. Hoskins and others are here proving that fact. The Sacramento native is already worth the price of admission and larger crowds should be flocking to South Philadelphia sooner rather than later, especially during the winter for the 76ers.
Brighter days are ahead, it’s just up to each team’s hierarchy and coaches to demand success.