KC Royals: Eric Hosmer On ESPN 2015 Watch List


KC Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer made ESPN writer Buster Olney’s list as the no. 7 player to watch in 2015.

Olney wasn’t only listing players players with breakout potential. Instead, he was rating the most interesting players in major-league baseball coming into the 2015 season. It helps that the Kansas City Royals became an interesting team in 2014 with their first post-season appearance in 29 years.

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Olney said on his podcast that Eric Hosmer realized his potential during the 2014 playoffs. Olney believes that if  Hosmer fully breaks out in 2015, he will become one of the best first basemen in baseball.

Hosmer simply has to continue what he started in the 2014 playoffs to reach Olney’s lofty projection. As most Kansas City Royals fans well know, Eric Hosmer mashed during October: slashing .351/.439/.544 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, and 2 home runs for a .983 OPS (on base plus slugging).

Eric Hosmer began the season as Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost‘s cleanup hitter for Opening Day. Hosmer went 1 for 5 with an RBI single in the KC Royals 10-1 victory over the White Sox.

ESPN’s Buster Olney isn’t the only one paying attention to Eric Hosmer. Video franchise MLB 15: The Show features Hosmer on its “character creation” page as writer Ed Moore mentioned in a story on Fansided website Kings of Kauffman.

Eric Hosmer has sort of been running in place his first four seasons in major league baseball with a modest career slash line of .275/.328/.418 for an OPS of .747. That works out to an OPS+ (adjusted OPS) of 104, which is 4% above league average. Being barely above average at the plate isn’t very impressive for a first baseman, which usually is filled by thumpers on teams across the league.

While Hosmer has won the American League Gold Glove the last two seasons, defensive excellence is less important for a first baseman than any other position on the field. A league average bat plus top-shelf defense makes a shortstop an All-Star. The same formula makes Hosmer a middle-of-the-road first basemen.

That’s not what the KC Royals expected when they made Hosmer the no. 3 overall pick of the 2008 draft.

Yet, there is still time for Hosmer to realize the “light tower power” potential that scouts saw for him. Eric Hosmer is still only 25-years-old. He enjoyed a terrific age 21 season in 2011 (.293/.334/.465 with 19 home runs). Most players who are that good, that young, eventually blossom into stars.

Let’s hope Eric Hosmer can make the leap in 2015.

Next: Eric Hosmer Fantasy Profile

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