Rhys Hoskins was the first player in the history of the Home Run Derby to reach 20 homers in the semifinal round.
Unfortunately for the Philadelphia Phillies outfielder and first baseman, that record was very short-lived.
The Sacramento State and Jesuit High product was ousted in the second round of the 2018 T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday when Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber hit 21 balls out, including one as time expired, to advance to the final round at Nationals Park.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">It didn't take long for Rhys Hoskins to get some company...<br><br>Kyle Schwarber joins him as the only players to hit 20 homers in the semifinals of the Derby, eliminating Hoskins with 21. His deepest HR went 462 feet. <a href="https://t.co/hi8HytOKzZ">https://t.co/hi8HytOKzZ</a></p>— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/status/1019035562693611521?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 17, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
“It was fun,” Hoskins told the Courier Post of Cherry Hill, N.J. “When I first went out there, I heard some boos, so that’s what you can expect in an N.L. East stadium, but the crowd was fun. And you need that. It’s tiring, but when you’re hitting and you hear the roar, it gives you an extra shot of adrenaline.”
Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, competing on his home field, beat Schwarber 19-18 in the final round to win the title.
Hoskins made some early noise. As the No. 8 seed, he hit 17 home runs in the opening round to upset top-seeded Jesus Aguilar of the Milwaukee Brewers. Aguilar finished with 12.
It’s the second year in a row the No. 1 seed was defeated in the first round. Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was seeded eighth when he hit 17 homers in the opening round, one more than New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez.
In all, Hoskins hit 37 balls out, including one that traveled 466 feet in the second round.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I’d like to send my condolences to all of the balls that were harmed in the making of that Derby <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OHMYGOODNESS?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OHMYGOODNESS</a></p>— Rhys Hoskins (@rhyshoskins) <a href="https://twitter.com/rhyshoskins/status/1019046090589593601?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 17, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
When he was named to the derby last week, he said he was just happy to be there.
“I think it’s a cool honor, just the fact that I would even be considered,” Hoskins said on MLB.com. “Obviously not the complete way I want to be involved in the week, but it should be fun. I get to be around a pretty cool group of guys.
“I grew up watching the Home Run Derby as a kid, so I think that full circle kind of moment is pretty cool.”
When asked Monday if he’d compete again, he didn’t hesitate to say yes.
“One-hundred percent,” Hoskins told the Courier Post. “It’s too cool to turn down if I was ever asked again.”
Hoskins entered the event with just 14 home runs in the regular season, the lowest total among the eight contestants. Aguilar, his first round opponent, led all participants with 24.