Can Darick Hall Replace Rhys Hoskins in the Phillies Lineup?

On March 23, the Philadelphia Phillies lost a key piece of its lineup when Rhys Hoskins tore his ACL attempting to field a ground ball. With Hoskins done for the year, the Phillies brass has hinted that obvious replacement candidate Darick Hall may be in store to see a lot of time at first for Philadelphia this season. The 27-year-old has been an intriguing bat for years, but can replace arguably one of the best first basemen in the league?

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A Look at Hall

It’s pretty easy to figure out why Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski cited first baseman Darick Hall as being a favorite to the get the lion’s share of time at the position with Rhys Hoskins out. Hall, who accrued 136 at-bats with the Phillies last season, has MLB experience and prodigious power in his arsenal.

The 27-year-old cranked 37 home runs in 2022, 28 of which came in the hitter-friendly confines of Lehigh Valley (AAA). Hall had four 20+ home run campaigns in his Minor League career, dating back to his first full season in 2017. The Dallas Baptist product is a mountain of a figure at 6’4” and 232 pounds, and all of that natural strength gives Hall a solid chance of replacing Hoskins’ power in 2023. And, his career BB% of 8.6% in the Minors indicates that he can walk counts.

The key, however, will be whether Hall can adjust to left-handed pitching in the Majors. Hall his .286 and posted a .980 OPS over 269 at-bats against RHP, but just a .184 AVG and a .591 OPS against lefties. One would expect lower splits against lefties for a left-handed hitter like Hall, but similar splits at the Major League level would have to be concerning for Hall’s chances of becoming a regular.

A Look at Hoskins and the Phillies

Simply put, Hall has a solid chance of doing well in Citizens Bank Ball Park and Philadelphia. Now, will he have the same impact as Hoskins? That’s going to be tough. Hoskins is a terrific power hitter, and one who possesses plus plate discipline. The 30-year-old posted on-base percentages north of .330 in every year of his career, and four 25+ home run campaigns.

It’s not to say that Hall can’t put up good numbers, but it’s important to note how high Hoskins set the bar in Philly and the impact he had on the Phillies lineup. With Bryce Harper out for at least the first few weeks of the season, Hoskins was going to be called upon to pick up some of the slack. That won’t be the case any longer.

Now, Darick Hall is the likeliest figure to join a Phillies lineup that will include starts like J.T. Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber, and Trea Turner, as well as Nick Castellanos and Alec Bohm. Edmundo Sosa, who has seen time in the outfield this spring, could also see time at third against lefties should the Phillies want to get a different look against lefties. Right-handed hitter Edmundo Sosa doesn’t have better splits against lefties, but does have 31 games of experience at third. Bohm, meanwhile, has played 24 games at first in his MLB career.