What I've done for you today is put together a little two-clip compilation of towering Rhys Hoskins home runs. One was hit in 2017. One was hit in 2019. See if you can find the difference between the two mammoth blasts which, admittedly, have a lot in common. There's a whole lot of power. They were both pulled, which make for the most fun home runs to watch in my opinion.
But there's also a key difference (via MLB Film Room).
I'm assuming you caught the obvious difference first, which is that Hoskins rounded the bases in the second home run like he was taking a leisurely jog down the Schuylkill. But you'll also note that Hoskins' signature celebration during his home run trot, in which he points two fingers in the general direction of the outfield as he approaches second base, was absent from the first clip.
Why, then, was this not part of his routine in 2017? Where and when did it come from? Based on Hoskins' story, it only started in 2018.
"So a couple years ago, Hector Neris came up to me in the locker room," Hoskins said on the CBS Sports "Fantasy Baseball Today" podcast. "I think I had hit a couple homers in the game, or maybe just one, and there was some music playing and he just came up to me and went, 'Rock on! Rock on!'
"So, I think I hit another homer the next day and he was going crazy in the bullpen, throwing that up to me, so I threw it back to him, and it just kind of stuck."
I had some sneaking suspicions that he was pointing to his teammates in the bullpen and not to the fans or to the city of Philadelphia — considering he does it on the road, too — or anything like that. But I was a little surprised to find out that it was a gesture of appreciation toward apparent metalhead Hector Neris.
Hopefully, the Phillies see a lot more "rocking on" from Rhys throughout the 2021 season.