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MLB Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals 2014 Spring Training Profile: Eric Hosmer

Eric Hosmer Kansas City Royals Spring Training

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted No. 3 overall (out of high school) by the Kansas City Royals in the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft, Eric Hosmer has always been a talented player with unlimited upside. In fact, before the 2011 season, the year Hosmer made his big league debut, he was ranked as the 8th best prospect in the game by Baseball America. Hosmer had a solid rookie season with the Royals where he hit .293/.334/.465 and finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting.

Hosmer struggled with plate discipline and seemed to lose some power in 2012 (.232/.304/.359), and he stumbled out of the gate in 2013, hitting .261 with only one home run two months into the season. Hosmer looked completely lost at the plate and was really beginning to look like a bust.

As the season wore on, Hosmer began to put things together. In the final four months of the 2013 season, Hosmer had a batting average of .318  and hit 16 home runs. He started to be more selective with his pitches and his power even came back. He finished the year with a .301 batting average, an OPS of .801, hit 34 doubles and won the AL Gold Glove for 1B. Hosmer started to live up to his high ceiling late in 2013.

Now, Hosmer enters the 2014 season with less pressure to perform. He has proven that he can be a great player at the major league level; he just needs to consistently perform. While he will never be a huge home run hitter, it would be nice to see Hosmer hit a few more out this season. 17 home runs for a first baseman is just not that impressive. Sure he hits a lot of doubles, but if he can just raise his HR total to around 25, Hosmer instantly becomes an All-Star caliber player.

He is a high average hitter with great plate discipline and Gold Glove caliber defense. Hosmer is only 24-years-old, so his prime years are still ahead of him. I expect Hosmer to be even better this season as his obvious tools shine in the middle of the Royals’ lineup.

Daniel is a writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @D_Schmelzer, “Like” his Page on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.