To commemorate the promotion of Eric Hosmer to the big leagues, I wanted to provide a “greatest hits” collection of our coverage on Kings of Kauffman of the superstar prospect.
He garners a lot of press – that happens when you’re a slick-fielding, hit-to-all-fields left-handed first baseman. Baseball America named him their #8 overall prospect in February.
He’s earned similar praise from Keith Law, Kevin Goldstein and many others.
Basically, he’s a big deal. But you knew that already, especially if you’re a regular visitor of Kings of Kauffman. A performance like his in 2010 and so far in 2011 is exciting to write about just as it’s fun to read about.
So take a look at some blasts from the past, featuring the newest Kansas City Royal, Eric Hosmer (who’ll wear #35 for those who may be curious).
Jeff Herr will have another Princes of Kauffman column tomorrow which should feature Hosmer’s last week as a minor leaguer. In the meantime, he’s featured prominently in last weeks run of games for Omaha:
Some are saying that Hosmer’s promotion indicates that the Royals feel they can make a run in the AL Central this year. I’m not willing to go that far, yet, but hey, it’s something. This is one part of building to the real push. The excitement and sudden announcement make it feel like the key promotion of Dayton Moore’s career. It’s an event:
Hosmer has 329 plate appearances above High A, so there’s a likely chance he’ll have some struggles adapting right away. That’s part of the consideration when promoting a minor leaguer. Gage Matthews explored that idea more in-depth recently, citing Hosmer as a potential call-up, but warning with the example of Brandon Belt’s early struggles in the big leagues in 2011:
Of course, Hosmer was our #1 prospect in our 2011 Prospect Rankings:
And why not? He won the Royals Frank White Award at FanFest in January as the best defensive player in the system. This earned him an invite to Spring Training, where he made a very good first impression, especially with Justin Parks of Baseball Prospectus (among others):
After raking in the Texas League playoffs, Hosmer was named to the Texas League’s top prospects list, finishing behind Mike Moustakas who earned top honors. Hosmer was instrumental to the Naturals winning the Texas League championship, so it wasn’t a surprise to see him ranked so highly.
After a late start in 2008 (following getting dragged into draft signing deadline drama more centered around Pedro Alvarez), he came into 2009 with high hopes, but struggled in Burlington. He was still promoted to Wilmington and finished the year there. He opened 2010 looking to rebound – we had him ranked as our #7 prospect back in April 2010 before it was apparent that recovery from a hand injury and Lasik surgery would make him a minor league monster.
He did bounce back though, and it’s odd to think that 50 weeks ago, he was proving himself in High A. Now he’s in the big leagues:
Clearly he was ready then. He was so ready, he was selected to play in the All-Star Futures game in July. Oh, he went 4-5 that night against the best minor league pitching around. Finally, about a week later, he was promoted to Double A and continued his trip up the ladder:
Starting tomorrow, he’s taken the last step to the big leagues. By all accounts, he’s got the maturity to handle the move at his young age. He’ll probably see adversity, but watching how he handles that and adjusts to the challenges will be just as important as watching how he swings.
Now, it’s time to sit back and keep track of the firsts. He’ll face a lefty tomorrow in his debut, so he’s being put right into the fire.