Rhys Hoskins

Rhys Hoskins puts on a show at Home Run Derby but runs into some bad luck

Rhys Hoskins puts on a show at Home Run Derby but runs into some bad luck

Kyle. Freakin'. Schwarber.

Rhys Hoskins put on a show in the Home Run Derby Monday night in Washington, D.C., but he, unfortunately, faced off against Schwarber in the second round and Schwarber went off.

Hoskins hit 20 in the semifinal round, which to that point was the most all night. Schwarber started rather slowly, but began cranking jack after jack and hit his 21st just as the four-minute clock expired.

It was a dramatic walk-off from Schwarber, but he actually had 30 more seconds to play with because he hit two homers farther than 440 feet and was awarded some extra time.

In the other semifinal, Bryce Harper beat Max Muncy 13-12. Smh. Harper went on to knock off Schwarber in the final round to claim the Home Run Derby title.

In all, Hoskins hit 37 homers in two rounds, with the deepest two going 466 and 463 feet. He homered on nearly half of his swings.

An extremely impressive first showing in the derby for Hoskins, who may want to return because of the unfinished business.

First round

Leading off the derby, Hoskins cranked 17 jacks to upset 1-seed Jesus Aguilar, who hit 11.

With 17, Hoskins tied Muncy for the most in the first round, though Muncy and Harper stopped before time expired because they had already beaten their opponent.

Hoskins just had a much quicker pace than Aguilar, who took his time between swings, as did his pitcher.

Entering the night, Hoskins was 11/2 to win the derby, per Bovada. Aguilar had the second-shortest odds at 7/2, behind only Harper.

A cool moment occurred midway through the first round when Hoskins called his one permitted timeout and fist bumped with Harper, who was expressing awe at the ease of Hoskins' homers.


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2018 MLB Home Run Derby: Preview, time, format, rules, and how to watch

2018 MLB Home Run Derby: Preview, time, format, rules, and how to watch

Rhys Hoskins made some Phillies history in June when he became the franchise's fastest player to reach 30 career home runs, doing so in 119 games to outpace Chuck Klein (132) and Ryan Howard (134).

Hoskins will try to make more club history when he slugs away in Monday night's 2018 Home Run Derby. The leftfielder can become the first Phillie to win the event since Howard did so in 2006, the year directly after Bobby Abreu hoisted the trophy.

What do you need to know for this year's edition? Let's break it all down:

Essentials

When: 8 p.m. ET
Where: Nationals Park (Washington, D.C.)
Network: ESPN
Live stream: Watch ESPN
Social media: @NBCSPhilly 

The bracket

The rules

Each hitter is up against the clock with four minutes per round.

The clock can expand and stop a few ways. Players can earn bonus time by hitting at least two dingers of 440 or more feet, while each hitter is allowed a 45-second timeout, with the championship round permitting two timeouts — a 45-second stoppage and 30-second stoppage.

If the higher seed, which hits second, surpasses the total of the lower seed, the round ends without the clocking having to run out.

For more on the format, click here to read MLB.com's detailed outline, which includes tiebreakers and past examples.

The favorite

Bryce Harper has a Derby background — unlike the rest — and is hitting in his home park. 

The 2010 first overall pick also owns the second-most home runs among the field this season at 23, behind only the Brewers' Jesus Aguilar, who has 24.

Harper, with 118 dingers since 2015, also has the motivation factor — he'll want to put on a show.

The sleeper

Kyle Schwarber is only 25 years old and a big boy at 6-foot, 235 pounds.

He has 18 homers in 2018 and blasted 30 last season in just 129 games.

The Cubs' outfielder also has the benefit of being on the opposite side of the bracket from Harper.

The underdog

Philly loves the underdog and of course it's Hoskins.

Perfect, right?

Hoskins will go in with no pressure as the eighth and final seed. He loves his pitcher, Chris Truby, the Phillies' minor-league infield coordinator.

"He throws money BP," Hoskins said (see story).

And the 25-year-old shouldn't be taken lightly. He has 32 homers over his first 136 big-league games and hit 67 in 250 games between Double A and Triple A from 2016 to 2017.

Under-the-radar 1st-half trends from Phillies hitters

Under-the-radar 1st-half trends from Phillies hitters

Taking a look at some under-the-radar developments for key Phillies position players with the first half in the books.

C Jorge Alfaro, Andrew Knapp

Alfaro has swung at a higher percentage of pitches this season than any player in the majors — 61.5 percent. The only other player who's swung at more than 59 percent of the pitches he's seen is Javier Baez.

Defensively, it's been an up-and-down season for the Phillies' catchers. They've combined to allow 12 passed balls, most in the National League. And the Phils have allowed 58 stolen bases, second most in the NL.

1B Carlos Santana

Santana's plate selection has been as advertised, with him entering the All-Star break with more walks than every player in the majors except Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.

But Santana's also been helped out a bit by umpires. No player in the National League has had more pitches in the strike zone called balls than Santana (55). Some of it, obviously, has to do with his reputation. His exaggerated movements on inside pitches help, too.

2B Cesar Hernandez

Hernandez has a .380 on-base percentage out of the leadoff spot this season, tops in the National League and second in baseball behind only Mookie Betts (.452).

Hernandez hasn't been driving the ball a whole lot lately — his three-run triple Sunday was his only extra-base hit in July — but you know the singles and walks will always be there for him. Hernandez has spent just one day all season with an OBP lower than .367.

3B Maikel Franco

Do you realize that we're 95 games into the season and Franco has a higher OPS than Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Abreu, George Springer, Mike Moustakas, Santana, Trea Turner, Brian Dozier, Anthony Rizzo and Adam Jones?

SS Scott Kingery

There's a baseball cliche that when a player is in a slump, he's down 0-1 or 0-2 every time he comes to the plate.

If it seems like Kingery has spent much of the first half in a hole, it's because he has. He's gotten a first-pitch strike 66.5 percent of the time, the fifth-highest rate in the NL. 

A major reason for that is Kingery's rate of swings at pitches outside the strike zone — 39.7 percent, also fifth highest in the NL.

LF Rhys Hoskins

You hear a lot about how much a plate appearance changes when you start 1-0 as opposed to 0-1. For Hoskins this season, it's made a world of difference.

When Hoskins starts 1-0, he has a .457 on-base percentage. When he starts 0-1, he has a .292 OBP. That OBP gap after 1-0 vs. 0-1 counts is 48 points higher than the league average gap.

So next time you see Hoskins begin an AB 1-0, flip a coin. Nearly half the time, he's getting on base.

CF Odubel Herrera

If you've watched Herrera over the years, you've likely noticed that he takes forever in between pitches, even in an age when MLB wants to speed up the game by eliminating dead time.

Well, Herrera does indeed have the slowest pace of any MLB hitter, taking 29.3 seconds on average in between pitches.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is Hernandez, who rarely steps out of the box. Hernandez takes 21.0 seconds in between pitches, third fastest in the majors.

RF Nick Williams, Aaron Altherr

The interesting trend with these two is how much better Williams, a left-handed hitter, has been against left-handed pitching.

Williams has hit .265 with a .321 OBP against lefties and .243 with a .324 OBP vs. righties. For his career, he's hit .271 against each side.

Altherr, contrarily, has hit just .169 against lefties. In a larger sample, it stands to reason that Williams' numbers against same-handed pitching would come down. But to this point, the platoon aspect of the right-field tandem hasn't worked out as expected.

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