This is probably not going to be a long article but I was curious which players fit the Hoskins profile best in recent history. Carson already established the Hoskins profile as a guy who hits the ball in the air and makes contact.
For that, I searched first basemen that played from 2002 to 2017. I used 2002 because that is the year we started to have batted-ball data. It also means that it mostly covers a high-K era, although it got more extreme recently. As a cut-off, I used 1500 PAs played. 96 players fulfill those criteria.
First, I filtered for an ISO of .200 or greater. I also filtered for a BB% of greater than 9% (because Hoskins also walks), a K% of 20% or smaller, and finally a ground-ball rate of 40% or under.
That leaves a list of just eight names:
The list is a pretty good group. It averages 23 career WAR, a 127 wRC+ and a .273/.367/.503 line. The only downside there might be is that the fly-ball profile could supress BABIP some. The group has a .287 BABIP which is below the league average of .300 during that time span, especially if you consider how hard those guys hit the ball. That means that those guys do underperform their K/BB/ISO profile a little bit. For example, Konerko has a very good power/contact/discipline profile that by my math points to more of a 140+ wRC+, but his actual wRC+ is 120. That is the disadvantage of that extreme profile — you are losing some BABIP to fly outs, especially if you hit more balls in the high fly ball range, which tend to be either HRs or outs, and even more so if there is a slightly elevated pop-up rate coming in conjunction with the fly balls.
But overall that doesn’t matter that much if the K/BB/ISO profile is that good; those guys are all really good hitters even with a slightly lower BABIP. Just expect Hoskins’ hit tool to play under his contact rate a little bit due to that Bautista-like profile (who also had that lower-BABIP, pulled-fly-ball profile with great contact and walk rate).
That means Hoskins might be a .265 hitter despite above-average contact, which also makes his SLG play a little bit down on his power, but he should still get on base on a very good clip and produce excellent power. Just be a little careful when looking at his power, contact, and discipline if you want to bank him for a .300 average/.600 SLG for your fantasy team. He might pay some cost with his elevating that doesn’t come in the form of Ks, but BABIP. But nonetheless he should be very good, even if it is “just” a Konerko/Teixeira type of player and not the next Miggy like some Philly fans probably think right now.