Pardon me while I rave for a moment.
There’s a very real chance that Eric Hosmer is already my favorite major league baseball player, and he’s not even a major leaguer yet.
The scouting reports and breakout 2010 season were enough to get me amped up for his arrival, but his early spring training performance is garnering a lot of attention from Royals fans and, well, everyone else.
Then he hit what was apparently a long homer (according to David Holtzman) against the Rangers in the second spring training game.
Yesterday against the Cubs, he came up against another lefty, John Gaub, a Triple A pitcher. With the bases loaded, Hosmer went to 0-2, worked the count full, and on the ninth pitch, drilled a breaking ball for a grand slam.
So far this spring, he’s 5-8 with two homers and five RBI. In naming him our #1 prospect in the Royals system, I mentioned comments from Ned Yost that suggested he may be a summer callup, likely to start in Triple A. I was a bit surprised the franchise would move him that quickly with just three months of Double A at bats under his belt.
At this point, though, I can’t see why they wouldn’t go that route. I’ve discussed a bit about calling up prospects and considering their service time. In the case of Hosmer, the approach the Rays used with Evan Longoria should be the same approach the Royals use with Hosmer. He’s ready – lock him up now.
A shotgun blast. A meteoric rise.
And to think, I was upset the Royals passed up Justin Smoak in the 2008 draft. At this point, there’s no doubt they made the right pick.