How Acquired: Drafted in the 1st round (#3 overall) by the Royals in the 2008 amateur draft
2008 – Idaho Falls (Pioneer League – Royals Rookie Ball) – 3 games
- 2 doubles, 2 rbi
- 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
2009 – Burlington (Midwest League – Royals A) – 79 games
- 17 doubles, 5 homeruns, 49 rbi
- 44 walks, 68 strikeouts
2009 – Wilmington (Carolina League – Royals High-A) – 27 games
- 2 doubles, 1 homerun, 10 rbi
- 9 walks, 22 strikeouts
- 19 doubles, 6 homeruns, 59 rbi
- 53 walks, 90 strikeouts
Baseball America – #5 (KC – 2010), #2 (KC – 2009)
Baseball Prospectus – #8 (KC – 2010) – 3 star
Project Prospect – #10 (1B – 10/2009)
John Sickels – #7 (KC – 2010) – B-
Hosmer was very highly touted coming out of the 2008 draft, and his playing time in the 2008 season was affected by his unanticipated involvement in the contract dispute of Pedro Alvarez. Once that was cleared up, he did hit pretty well in the 3 games he did play in 2008. So it would seem that expectations were pretty high for Hosmer for the 2009 season. The numbers tell us it was a disappointing season, especially his stint at High-A. So what info was out there that might help to explain this to some extent?
Royals Review (along with quite a few other sources) reported in late August that Hosmer would have Lasik eye surgery. Logic tells me that if he was having a problem seeing the ball, that could help to explain some of the issues he appeared to have at the plate last season. However, looking at his splits (courtesy of Minor League Splits), there’s more of a problem there. His splits for 2009:
- vs. LH: .171/.220/.220; 35 K, 8 BB – 123 AB
- vs. RH: .273/.376/.435; 55 K, 45 BB – 271 AB
Hosmer is definitely going to have to figure out how to hit left handed pitchers at a better rate than that. The lack of true power at this young age does not really concern me, as he should develop power as he continues to grow.
His fielding appears to be at least passable at 1B, although I would be slightly concerned long term about what the Royals intend to do with him and Billy Butler, but odds are that one of them will end up as a DH or possibly in the outfield. If Hosmer hits well enough, the Royals will eventually find a place for him to play.
Hosmer is much too early in his career to give up on him, and I have to imagine that he’s probably going to start the season either at Single-A or at High-A, and be there until he proves that he can hit well enough to earn a promotion. I look forward to seeing what his production is at either of those levels, and am hopeful that he will take a step forward this season, and possibly end the year at AA.
Prediction for 2010
.275/.380/.480, 15 homeruns, 70 rbi (A/High-A/AA)
So long as the Royals don’t try to rush him to the Majors (and I’m not sure what their reasoning for that would be if they did), I think Hosmer will probably get a September callup in 2011, and probably have a reasonably good chance to make the team in 2012 out of Spring training.
Tomorrow’s Prospect for Review: Jordan Lyles (P) of the Houston Astros