This past week two of the premier prospects in baseball got called up. Rhys Hoskins and Dominic Smith. If you had either one you were ecstatic. If either was available in your league you most likely ran to your computer to add one of them. This sparked the great debate in fantasy this week and is a topic I covered on this weeks Fantasy Police Podcast. Who is going to be better, Hoskins or Smith?
Let’s take a look at Hoskins first. A 5th round pick in the 2014 draft, Hoskins is the #4 player at First Base in the MLB top 100 prospects and #71 overall. He’s a 6’4 225 lb righty who has a ton of power. He has thrived in the minor leagues not only hitting for average and power, but also showing a ton of patience at the dish.
As you can see, not only did Hoskins hit for power in the minor leagues, he did it with a great eye. Both the walk and strikeout rate are trending in the right direction. Most young hitters struggle against lefties, but Hoskins has not, batting .277 and .273 respectively against them the past two seasons. With an ISO close to .300 and fly ball rate near 50% Hoskins is expected to be a future 30 home run hitter.
That brings me to Dominic Smith. A 1st round pick in the 2013 draft, Smith is the #2 player at First Base in the MLB top 100 prospects and #41 overall. Hitting from the left side he stands at 6’0 239 lbs. Smith, who is known for being a great contact hitter, had a very good approach in the minor leagues.
The only knock on Smith is that he played in Vegas for his AAA stay. As everybody knows the numbers in Vegas aren’t usually sustainable in the majors. I have no reservations about Smith’s batting average staying in the .300 range. He is not as polished as Hoskins against lefties, batting .261 last year and .247 this season, but he hits them well enough to avoid a potential platoon. The power might not translate as well as Hoskins power will, but Smith makes up for that with doubles power (63 the past two seasons) and a high line drive rate build for driving in runs.
If I had to choose I would say Hoskins is a better player to have in fantasy currently and in the future. A player I like to compare Smith to is James Loney. A guy who gets on base, wont strike out too often, and will hit for a high average. I think Smith will be a very good player in the big leagues, but what I don’t see is him hitting for much power. That is the main reason I take Hoskins over Smith.
With Hoskins the sky is the limit. I also think that Hoskins is in a better situation than Smith. The Mets are trending downwards. That’s not to say the Phillies are trending upward, but at least they are not trending down like the Mets are. Plus the Phillies are rebuilding with a goal and purpose – a direction the Mets lack and have proven in past year they cannot follow. Go with Hoskins, the reward will be greater. Both players have very bright futures.
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