First base for the Philadelphia Phillies is a high position to hold when Richie ‘Dick’ Allen, John Kruk and Ryan Howard previously held the spot. Rhys Hoskins has picked up the torch admirably, but is he the answer for years to come or for the foreseeable future?
Between: Darick Hall. The Arizona 1B/DH native has made a name for himself in the minor league system. Hall, selected in the 14th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, honed his skills to become a powerful threat, hence the nickname “Long Ball Hall”.
Since taking over as manager of the Phillies, Rob Thomson has seemingly tapped into the organization’s youth to fight injuries. Without a doubt, prospects who get The Show’s call are producing positively for the Phightins. In recent memory, this trend of youngsters translating well at the MLB level is a new sensation for Phillies Phans.
Darick Hall made his Major League debut on June 29 against Atlanta. In his first MLB appearance as the Phillies’ designated hitter, Hall went 0/4 in the cleanup slot. Not the first outing. However, the next day Hall went 2/4 with two long balls in a 14-4 rout of Atlanta.
In 10 games with the Phils, Long Ball Hall has .289 BA, .308 OBP, .684 SLG, .992 OPS, 4 HR, 1 BB, 7 RBI and 13 SO in 38 AB.
Minor league statistics
2017 Single-A: .270 BA, .334 OBP, .533 SLG, .867 OPS, 29 HR, 101 RBI.
2018 Single-A/Double-A: .244 BA, .323 OBP, .462 SLG, .784 OPS, 26 HR, 87 RBI.
2019 Double-A: .235 BA, .344 OBP, .454 SLG, .798 OPS, 20 HR, 67 RBI.
*2020 Minor League Baseball season canceled due to COVID-19.
2021 Triple-A: .230 BA, .338 OBP, .403 SLG, .741 OPS, 14 HR, 60 RBI.
2022 Triple-A: .269 BA, .346 OBP, .548 SLG, .894 OPS, 20 HR, 67 RBI.
Keep in mind that Darick Hall surpassed his 2021 plate stats in 2022 at the end of June! Hall is on fire, and that explains why he was called. The Phillies desperately needed more pop in the middle of the lineup since Bryce Harper’s injury.
Darick Hall is a puncher. He hits dingers, drives runners, and only plays one field position, First Base. However, the Phillies already have a first baseman in Rhys Hoskins. Thus, Hall remains the designated hitter until the NL MVP returns.
Hall is giving the Phils the pop they need and options going forward. The 1B/DH will provide the Phillies, in an entire season, with 25+ HR, 80+ RBIs and .250 BA (that’s generous) with plenty of Strikeouts. The typical prospect for Darick Hall is a high-powered first baseman who won’t hit for average and will hit a ton. He hopes he hangs on most of the time, but there will be plenty of swings and misses.
Plate discipline will be essential for Hall to extend his MLB career. He’s only appeared in 10 games, so disappointment and negative outlook are unnecessary at this point. Hall’s inclusion in the Major League roster hinges on injuries and how the Phillies deal with Rhys Hoskins.
The new Phillies DH made his debut at 26. He’s been ‘stuck’ behind Rhys Hoskins for a year now, but the reality is he probably needed more Triple-A time.
However, does this sound familiar to you? Hall’s appeal is eerily similar to Ryan Howard’s 2004 promotion.
Howard debuted in 2004 in the September Calls for 19 games. During his minor league season, Howard hit .291 BA, .380 OBP, .637 SLG, 1,017 OPS, with 46 HR and 131 RBI. Baseball legend Jim Thome became a big hurdle for Howard to overcome. This warranted promotion, and in the 2005 season Howard became the Phils’ full-time first baseman. Thome underperformed and eventually suffered a season-ending injury. The Phillies could no longer ignore Thome’s injury and their prospect Ryan Howard.
In the end, the Phillies traded Thome to the White Sox for Aaron Rowand. This trade fell through because Rowand had a significant impact on the Phillies playoffs in 2006-07.
Obviously, Darick Hall isn’t hitting video game numbers like Ryan Howard in Triple-A, but he was on track to have a season similar to The Big Piece.
If Hall’s trend mimics Howard, then Rhys Lightning could leave the Phils within the next year.
Click for: Howard Highlights
Rhys Hoskins orders a $7.7 million contract this year in arbitration. Hoskins’ contract stipulates that he has another year of arbitration in 2023; then he will become an unrestricted free agent.
Due to the Phillies’ large payroll, it makes sense to source talent for Hoskins next year as he will be on a contract year. It will all hinge on Darick Hall proving he’s the youngest and best 1B/DH for the Phillies’ future.
Statistically, Darick Hall has a higher fielding percentage than Rhys Hoskins. So for a team that consistently loses games due to terrible defensive play, then Darick Hall might be the cheapest first base option.
The rest of the 2022 season will provide the evidence needed to know which players to keep or let walk at a few positions. Hopefully the Phillies keep winning and the youngsters in the organization keep thriving.
Discussion from last week: Thank you to everyone who participated in last week’s Rafael Marchan edition of Youth and the Phiery! It was a lively discussion regarding the Phillies’ capture possibilities.
Discussion Questions): Should the Phillies make Hall the first baseman of the future starting in 2023 (Rhys’ final year of contract) or 2024? Or should they turn to Free Agency?