MLB Arizona Diamondbacks

An All Star In 2012? – The Pros And Cons of Eric Hosmer

The Kansas City Royals are an organization that is very much on the rise. Their farm system is stacked filled with a handful of top 50 prospects, even after graduating the likes of Mike Moustakas, Danny Duffy, John Lamb, and last but not least Eric Hosmer.  Coming into 2011 expectations for Hosmer were extremely high and by most accounts he lived up to them all. He only needed 26 games in Triple A (.439/.525/.582 – 1.107 OPS) before making his highly touted debut in KC and finishing third in the 2011 AL Rookie Of The Year Award behind Jeremy Hellickson and Mark Trumbo. The question now for Royals fans is can Hosmer make the jump from rookie sensation to All-Star in 2012?

 

The Pros/Cons of Eric Hosmer

 

PRO 

  • A quick look at his stats prove that he can hit, a .293/.334/.465 line with 19 home runs and 153 hits in only 128 games.

 

CON

  • However, once you look further there is still work to be done. Not shockingly Hosmer struggled against lefties in his rookie season – .237/.282./.303 slugging and only one of his 19 home runs coming off a lefty.

 

PRO

  • He did manage to hit .280 on balls put in play or BAbip against lefties

 

CON

 

  • But his total on base plus slugging or TOPS was only 50 ( 100 is average) shows how truly bad he was against south paws. He also struggled away from the friendly confines of Kauffman stadium – .270/.308/.486.

 

PRO

  • But do not get too down on him based on those numbers, an even closer look shows that he got stronger offensively as the season went on totaling an OPS of .881,.742, and .917 from July to September – meaning he was able to adjust.

 

CON

  • He hits a lot of groundballs to be considered a premium power threat – basicially a one to one ratio of ground balls to fly balls

 

PRO

  • He stole 11 bases. Pretty good for a first basemen

 

CON

  • He was also caught stealing five times – leaving him successful only 69% of time. Not so good.

 

PRO

  • Hosmer showed he can be a very good defensive first basemen – .993 fielding percentage, a range factor of 9.24

 

CON

  • He had a -7 UZR, meaning he gave up seven more runs than the average first basemen. Ranking behind players like Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder. Pretty surprising for someone who was thought to be extremely athletic and agile around the bag.

 

 

OVERALL -

Hosmer had a solid rookie season but nothing to brag about. These numbers show he still has plenty to work on in his game, like improving against left handed pitchers, learning to pick his spots on the bases and improving his defense. In the end I think expectations are little high on Hosmer due to his breakout 2010 season with Double A Northwest Arkansas where he hit 20 home runs as a 20 year old in a park that tends to inflate left handed power. He’s more of a hitter for average than he is a power hitter but in the number three spot he will get his fair share of stats. So will Hosmer be an All-Star in 2012? Most likely not, unless the hometown fans vote him in (2012 All-Star Game is in KC this year), especially when considering he’d have to beat out the likes of Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, and Mark Teixeira. Better luck next year.