Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Phils' Hoskins headlines top performers in winter leagues

MLB.com

Rhys Hoskins might not rank among the Phillies' Top 30 Prospects, but a case can be made that he's the club top power hitter on the farm heading into 2016.

Drafted by the Phillies in the fifth round in 2014 out of Cal State-Sacramento, Hoskins showcased his impressive power during his professional debut, hitting nine home runs over 70 games in the Short-Season New York-Penn League. But Hoskins' big power numbers came at the cost of a low average, as he batted only .237 on the season.

Rhys Hoskins might not rank among the Phillies' Top 30 Prospects, but a case can be made that he's the club top power hitter on the farm heading into 2016.

Drafted by the Phillies in the fifth round in 2014 out of Cal State-Sacramento, Hoskins showcased his impressive power during his professional debut, hitting nine home runs over 70 games in the Short-Season New York-Penn League. But Hoskins' big power numbers came at the cost of a low average, as he batted only .237 on the season.

Hitting for both power and average wasn't an issue for Hoskins during his 2015 full-season debut, though. The 22-year-old first baseman began the season in the Class A South Atlantic League, where he hit .322/.397/.525 with nine home runs and 51 RBIs in 68 games to earn a midseason promotion to Class A Advanced Clearwater. Hoskins continued to rake in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, hitting .317/.394/.510 with eight more homers during the second half. He finished the season with an impressive .319/.395/.518 batting line between the two stops in addition to pacing the organization with 17 home runs, 36 doubles and 258 total bases.

Hoskins hasn't skipped a beat this offseason in the Australian Baseball League, where he has a .948 OPS, eight home runs, 15 doubles and 38 RBIs in 43 games for the Sydney Blue Sox. He's been particularly hot of late, too, collecting hits in seven straight games for Sydney with a .448 average, three home runs and nine RBIs during the streak. Hoskins also enjoyed his best ABL performance this past Saturday, going 3-for-5 with two home runs, one double and five RBIs.

Here's a look at some of the other top prospects currently making waves in the offseason winter leagues.

Australia

Justin Williams, OF, Rays -- The No. 22 prospect's pure hitting ability was on display in 2015 as he hit .277 with a career-best seven home runs and 30 doubles in 122 games between Class A Bowling Green and Class A Advanced Charlotte. The 20-year-old outfielder has stayed hot this winter in Australia, where he currently leads the ABL with a .345 average through 43 games for the Brisbane Bandits. Beyond the average, the left-handed hitting outfielder has tallied eight home runs -- surpassing his 2015 regular-season total -- and 12 doubles in that span.

Riley Unroe, 2B, Rays -- After not ranking among the Rays' Top 30 Prospects for 2015, Unroe, in his age-19 season, put himself back on the radar with a solid full-season debut at Class A Bowling Green of the Midwest League, hitting .255/.333/.321 with 13 steals in 116 games. His numbers might have been even better if not for a poor second half in which he hit .217 with a .569 OPS across 57 games. But the switch-hitter has gotten back on track this winter while playing in the ABL, hitting .326/.409/.390 through 48 games for the Brisbane Bandits. Meanwhile, the 20-year-old has been on fire over his past 16 contests, producing a robust .397/.470/.508 batting line with 25 hits and 16 runs scored in that span.

Dominican Republic

Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Astros -- Ranked as Houston's No. 15 prospect, Hernandez spent all of 2015 at Double-A Corpus Christi, where he continued to showcase an intriguing blend of power and speed, hitting 17 home runs and stealing 33 bases in 121 games in spite of a .217 average and a 24.5 percent strikeout rate. Unselected in last month's Rule 5 Draft, the 23-year-old outfielder hit .275 during the regular season for Toros del Este and has swung the bat well so far during the league's round-robin playoffs.

Puerto Rico

Dylan Cozens, OF, Phillies -- A second-round Draft pick in 2012, Cozens' prospect stock took a hit with an underwhelming 2014 full-season debut in the South Atlantic League. However, he got back on track last season in the Florida State League (.746 OPS in 96 games), ultimately finishing with a successful 11-game stint with Double-A Reading. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound outfielder is strengthening his case to re-enter the Phillies' Top 30 with a strong showing in the Puerto Rican Winter League, where he hit .275/.333/.407 over 26 regular-season contests for Indios de Mayaguez.

Venezuela

Luis Sardinas, INF, Mariners -- Acquired from Texas last offseason as part of the Yovani Gallardo deal, Sardinas spent one year in Milwaukee's system before going to Seattle in November in exchange for outfielder Ramon Flores. After playing only 13 games during the regular season in Venezuela, the 22-year-old switch-hitter single handedly paced Tiburones de La Guaira to a 4-2 series win over Caribes de Anzoategui in the first round of the playoffs, hitting .571 (16-for-28) with five doubles, one home run and 11 runs scored out of the leadoff spot.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.