There seems to be little doubt at this point that Eric Hosmer is returning to the player we expected. For June Hosmer is hitting .303/.351/.494 which is better than his 2011 debut that got us all excited in the first place. This is over a much smaller time period though, so now we need to see him sustain this level for awhile. Due to that this may be premature and he may slump again, but there is real reason to get excited that his power has returned.
Check out this piece by Craig Brown at Royals Review to see the spray charts by month for Hosmer this year. It shows that he has not over-corrected and that he is now using all parts of the field and hasn’t just gone to pull happy. This is consistent with the approach as I have heard from Pedro Grifol on pregame that they are working on timing and hitting where it is pitched rather than looking to pull the ball. Also, this fits with Eric’s profile of a good hit tool with power to all fields. Since the hitting coach switch Hosmer has hit three home runs with one going to left center and the other two pulled to right center.
The home run hit tracker at ESPN shows his four home runs for the year like this:
We can see that the first two (the ones to left) and second two were both hit to similar places. None of them snuck over with the shortest being 414 feet by ESPN true distance (if allowed to go all the way back to field level). The longest went 455 feet of true distance last Friday against the White Sox. That is the second longest home run in the majors in the last week only trailing a Jay Bruce bomb .
The three home runs this month are nice, but that isn’t all there is to the power for Hosmer of late. He also has six doubles and a triple in June for a grand total of 10 extra base hits in June so far. The triple was a
cheapie that should have been caught by Alex Rios, but still he has been getting himself into scoring position or home quite a bit this month. If you can get 10 extra base hits a month that is 60 in a year, which is starting to approach Billy Butler and Alex Gordon territory. Except that Hosmer is still 23 and should develop more power over the next several years.
A lot of the balls off of Hosmer’s bat this month have looked really good, and even the overall numbers are starting to look pretty good as the power ticks up. If this keeps up he is not yet Miguel Cabrera or anything, but only 26 players this year have a slug of .500 or better and Hosmer has almost been at that level for an entire month. Couple that with Mike Moustakas looking a little better, and it is possible that the Royals will have a much more formidable line-up for the rest of the season.