Not long after the Royals victory over Baltimore, the news broke.
Eric Hosmer, regarded by many as the top prospect in the top minor league system in the game, was purchased from Omaha, placed on the 40 man roster and will be starting tomorrow night against Oakland.
To make room on the 40 man roster, Jason Kendall was placed on the 60 day DL as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery. Kila Ka’aihue was optioned to Omaha where he’ll work on salvaging something from 2011.
|A+ (2 seasons)||114||482||57||135||31||8||8||61||53||61||.320||.396||.488||.884|
|A (1 season)||79||327||31||71||17||2||5||49||44||68||.254||.352||.382||.734|
|AA (1 season)||50||211||39||61||14||3||13||35||15||27||.313||.365||.615||.980|
|Rk (1 season)||3||15||2||4||2||0||0||2||3||2||.364||.533||.545||1.079|
|AAA (1 season)||26||118||21||43||5||0||3||15||19||16||.439||.525||.582||1.107|
I can’t blame the Royals for making the move. Hosmer was a hitting machine in his first 118 plate appearances in Omaha, even surpassing the lofty expectations for the 2008 first round pick.
For as good as Hosmer’s been in Omaha, Ka’aihue’s been just as bad in Kansas City. I think that if he were hitting at a reasonable rate, even with Hosmer’s dominance, the Royals would be more patient. As it is, Hosmer forced their hand.
What this means for his place in the organization – if there is one – is unclear. After years of toil in the minors, this was Kila’s shot. He’s very possibly blown it.
I don’t think the Royals will learn anything about Ka’aihue with him in Omaha. I also don’t think they’d call Hosmer up if they didn’t believe he’d stick in the majors. His offensive abilities are obvious, but he’s a strong defensive first baseman too. Discussion on Twitter suggested his arrival could mean Mike Aviles gets more time at second, as Hosmer’s improved range would make Aviles less of a liability in that area. (Not that Chris Getz has any range either – but Aviles hits.)
Thus, at 21 years old, Hosmer is in Kansas City. He’ll become the fifth Royal to make their major league debut in 2011 (after a couple of years where it took September roster expansion to get legends like Dusty Hughes and Victor Marte to debut).