With a glaring hole at first base, will the Cubs be taking a serious look at Rhys Hoskins to fill that void?
Many speculated about the possible fit and interest between the two sides, and it looks like they were right:
— Cubs Zone (@CubsZone) November 12, 2023
Rhys Hoskins, who’ll be 31 come Opening Day, was heading into his contract year of 2023 with a lot of momentum after a solid 2022 regular and postseason, but he would tear his ACL in Spring Training and miss the entire season. Coming off that injury, he will now be looking for more of a “prove it” one-year deal. It could look very similar to the deal the Cubs inked Cody Bellinger just one offseason ago.
So what could Hoskins bring to the table? With the bat, he is a classic three true outcome type of guy. He has always had a middling average, his career mark is .242, but has a great career OBP of .353. He also sports a slugging percentage just under .500 at .492. He has a career WRC+ of 116, which is 16% above league average. He would bring some much-needed power to a lineup that was perfectly middling as they were 15th of 30 MLB teams in team home runs.
With the glove, Rhys Hoskins is no more than an average defender at first. That would still be a huge step up from the work we saw from Mancini and Wisdom at times this past season. He has also been generally durable as he has played at least 153 games in three of his four full major league seasons.
The fit for these two is easy to see. The Cubs had a huge first base problem before Bellinger took over the second half and with him no longer under contract they need to fill that spot. Rhys Hoskins also provides some needed pop they could use behind the likes of Hoerner, Happ, and Suzkui who excel at getting on base. This will definitely be a guy to keep an eye on this winter.
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