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Phils' Hoskins fastest to hit first 9 homers

Slugging rookie reaches dinger mark after a record 54 at-bats
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- Is this incredible or what?

Rhys Hoskins crushed his ninth home run of the season in the first inning of Friday night's 7-1 victory over the Cubs at Citizens Bank Park. He is the fastest player in baseball history to hit nine home runs, needing only 54 at-bats to do it, according to Elias Sports Bureau. He is the first player since at least 1913 to hit nine homers in his first 16 career games.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Is this incredible or what?

Rhys Hoskins crushed his ninth home run of the season in the first inning of Friday night's 7-1 victory over the Cubs at Citizens Bank Park. He is the fastest player in baseball history to hit nine home runs, needing only 54 at-bats to do it, according to Elias Sports Bureau. He is the first player since at least 1913 to hit nine homers in his first 16 career games.

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Hoskins' 21 RBIs in his first 16 career games rank third in baseball since at least 1913. The Cubs' Mandy Brooks had 24 RBIs in '25 and the Reds' Jim Greengrass had 22 in '52.

"I don't know if it's hit me yet," Hoskins said. "It's pretty cool to be mentioned in a sentence about first ever or tied for whatever in MLB history. This game has been going on for hundreds of years, and it's a huge thing. It's an American sport, it really is, so to be mentioned in that definitely an honor. But I don't know if it's hit me yet."

Video: Hoskins discusses his offensive surge to begin career

Hoskins hit a 2-1 curveball up in the zone from Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana. It left his bat at 106.2 mph and traveled a projected 403 feet, according to Statcast™.

"You get into the zones, you know?" Hoskins said. "You can't really explain it. There's a lot of just bliss, I guess, no thinking involved. It's just one of those things. I'm not missing."

Hoskins certainly is not missing. In fact, it has been a mistake to throw him a pitch in the upper two-thirds of the zone since his Aug. 10 promotion from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He entered the night having homered on seven of 57 pitches (12.3 percent) he swung at in that region, according to Statcast™. It is a small sample size, but that percentage is first in baseball (minimum 40 swings at those pitches) ahead of Jose Martinez (8.0 percent), Giancarlo Stanton (7.1 percent), Gary Sanchez (6.9 percent), Rafael Devers (6.8 percent) and Aaron Judge (6.8 percent).

Video: Hoskins sets record with nine jacks in first 16 games

Hoskins' .579 ISO vs. in-zone pitches since Aug. 10 also ranks among the best in baseball. Only Sanchez (.833), Stanton (.667) and Curtis Granderson (.611) have fared better in that time.

"He just gives you quality at-bats," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "That's what we're looking for. We talked over the winter about getting professional hitters. He looks like a professional hitter."

Professional hitters try to keep things simple. Hoskins said he is keeping things the same these days, which is not unusual for baseball players.

Routines are important.

"I do little things that I think might come off as superstitious, but it gets me in a state of mind where I'm comfortable, whether it's before the game or in the on-deck circle or when I step in the box," Hoskins said. "It's a sense of familiarity, and in this game, it's one less thing that you have to worry about."

Hoskins' routines include putting on his left sock first and going through the same routine every time he steps into the batter's box and in between pitches. But he doesn't get too crazy, like eating the same meal before every game.

"No, no," he said. "We're pretty blessed with the food we get to eat. I have to take advantage of that."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Rhys Hoskins