Blog Entry

"Instant hero" Hosmer looks like a KC keeper

Posted on: June 5, 2011 7:46 pm

KANSAS CITY -- He is quickly becoming this year's breakout rookie, this summer's Buster Posey or Stephen Strasburg.

Rattle a couple of home runs around Yankee Stadium within a week of your major-league debut, and that'll help.

But Eric Hosmer, Kansas City's 21-year-old first baseman, it far more than just a tabloid sensation.

"He's a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman," Royals manager Ned Yost says. "And he's got as pretty a swing as I've seen since J.D. Drew."

"As mature a 21-year-old as I've seen in a long time," Kansas City outfielder Jeff Francoeur says. "I wish I had half his approach when I was 21. But I was Mr. Cave Man, just letting it go."

Hosmer is anything but. He is refined enough to change his approach from at-bat to at-bat, and he is savvy enough to hit to all fields.

His 28 hits and 12 runs scored during the month of May led all American League rookies. Impressive in its own right, but when you consider that that he wasn't even promoted from Triple-A Omaha until May 6 ... talk about hitting the ground running.

For that, Hosmer, Kansas City's first-round pick in the 2008 draft (third overall), also was named as the Royals' player of the month for hitting .283 with five homers and 17 RBI.

"Spring training helped me a lot," says Hosmer, who won the Class A Carolina League batting title last year (.354) and tied for the league lead in on-base percentage (.429). "They invited me to big league camp knowing I wasn't going to make the team. They just told me to learn as much as possible and have fun with it.

"I tried to take that to Omaha. I told myself to work harder and learn as much as possible."

By the end of his month-long run there, there was barely any more to learn: Hosmer was leading all of minor-league baseball in both batting average (.439) and on-base percentage (.525) at the time of his recall.

A big man (6-4, 229 pounds) with lots of power, what the major-league spring training invite did was not only help boost his confidence, but make him even more comfortable with Yost and his staff. That way, when Hosmer joined the Royals in Kansas City on May 6, they didn't need to waste time with introductions. He already knew everyone and the way they worked.

The New York home runs came on May 11 -- first of his career against A.J. Burnett -- and May 12. Yeah, right, if you can make it there. ...

"He became an instant hero here with that," says television analyst Frank White, who was slick enough at second base that he was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame. "That put an exclamation mark on his start."

By the time Minnesota left town after sweeping the Royals on Sunday, Hosmer was hitting .300 and carrying a seven-game hitting streak. He's hitting .400 during that streak, including five multi-hit games.

Talking before Sunday's game, several Twins coaches were marveling about how their pitchers had thrown Hosmer everything during the first three games of the series and rarely fooled him. Hosmer, they said, makes adjustments pitch-to-pitch, within the same at-bat, something that's difficult for most veterans, let alone a kid who on Sunday played in only his 28th big-league game.

So far, Hosmer has hit safely in 21 of those 28 games, including in 15 of 17 in Kauffman Stadium.

"He's got a long career ahead of him," Royals designated hitter Billy Butler, himself a first-round pick (2004), says. "Whenever he goes through his growing pains, he's just going to get better and better.

"He's got the makings of an All-Star."


Since: Jun 6, 2011
Posted on: June 6, 2011 2:04 pm
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Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jun 27, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2011 1:39 pm

"Instant hero" Hosmer looks like a KC keeper

A Waiver wire pickup I took a chance on at the end of April, he now looks like a long term potential keeper for me. Hopefully he keeps it up & the Royals get back to playing for a division

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