Coming into the season, quite a few people had the Kansas City Royals as a team set to make some noise in the American League Central. A big reason for that was the expected breakout year for Eric Hosmer.
The big prospect had a very solid year in 2011, his first year in the Major Leagues. He hit .293, with 19 home runs and a .334 on-base percentage after being recalled from the minors in May. This year hasn’t been nearly the same story for the 22-year-old.
Hosmer has struggled mightily. He’s hitting just .193 for the year, with a .237 OBP. Those struggles have prompted at least some discussion that the Royals could consider sending Hosmer to Omaha to get some of his confidence back.
It’s tough to say that a move down would be extremely beneficial for Hosmer. It might help him boost his confidence, but it’s not as if his swing is completely lost and he needs to work on fundamentals. And it’s not as if he’s the only one not performing on this Royals team
Ned Yost has moved Hosmer all over the lineup to try and get him going. He’s hit all over the middle of the order, and has most recently been moved to the no. 2 slot to get more hittable pitches and perhaps boost his confidence. We’re still waiting to see the results of that experiement.
You also have to consider the fact that it’s not as if Hosmer is going up and whiffing every time he’s at the plate. He’s only struck out 18 times in over 150 plate appearances. However, his BABIP is down at .165. So do we just consider Hosmer to be unlucky, rather than actually struggling?
As of right now, it’s tough to see Hosmer going anywhere. The Royals are going to give him every opportunity to succeed, and unless he’s hitting under .150 in the middle of June, I don’t see him packing his bags for Omaha.
Don’t forget, the Royals had a similar dilemma with Mike Moustakas last season, before he turned it on in the second half, and has gotten off to a strong start this season.
That’s really the right decision. If this was a situation where his fundamentals were lacking and his swing were out of shape, I could see a demotion. But when your future franchise first baseman is in an early season slump, you give him every opportunity to emerge from it, especially with the Royals going nowhere fast in the standings.