Phils impressed with Hoskins' power, approach

Club's No. 13 prospect homers, hits key double in Grapefruit game vs. Yankees

Phils impressed with Hoskins' power, approach

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin had seen Rhys Hoskins' numbers last season in Double-A Reading. He had heard he had a good idea at the plate, too.

"That's what it looks like," Mackanin said after Saturday's 6-5 walk-off victory over the Yankees in a Grapefruit League game at Spectrum Field.

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Hoskins mashed a solo home run to center field in the sixth inning against Yanks left-hander Daniel Camarena. He then hit a one-out double to left field in the ninth. That double led to Brock Stassi's walk-off single to center field.

Stassi's walk-off single

Hoskins, 23, is the No. 13 prospect in the organization, according to MLBPipeline.com. He hit .281 with 38 home runs, 116 RBIs and a .943 OPS in 135 games with Reading. The Phillies named him and Dylan Cozens their Minor League Players of the Year.

"It's always good to get off on the right foot," Hoskins said. "It's still early in spring. I'm still feeling stuff out, but it was good to let one loose a little bit."

Hoskins' homer came on a 2-2 fastball, which the Phillies' coaching staff certainly noticed. The club wants its hitters to be stubborn and wait to get the pitch they want to hit.

Hoskins on homer, win

"I feel like the longer I'm up there, the more likely I am to see a mistake, or two mistakes or three mistakes," Hoskins said. "When I feel like I'm going good, I don't mind hitting with two strikes. You feel confident in the box; you don't really feel like the pitcher can get you out.

"Just a fastball up and away. I think he tried to gas it up a little bit. That's one of the things that [hitting coach Matt] Stairs has talked about a lot -- don't give them the other half with two strikes."

Hoskins is expected to open the season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, with Tommy Joseph the Phillies' everyday first baseman. But Hoskins can put pressure on Joseph with another strong showing this year.

"He had a heck of a year last year," Mackanin said. "He's got to go to Triple-A and put together another big year, and then we'll worry about him."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.