Number Ten: Eric Hosmer – Rookie Year: 2011
Eric Hosmer was the first in a wave of young talent that helped bring back winning baseball to the KC Royals. He was the third overall pick by the Royals in the 2008 draft and it’s paid dividends.
He’s not been the atypical version of what post people expect in a first baseman so far in his career. He doesn’t have 40 home run power, so far, and hes more of a gap to gap hitter. He’s also sneaky fast on the bases, see 2015 World Series game five, and plays an excellent defense at first base.
While he’s done a lot of good things for the Royals over the past couple of years, his rookie campaign is what lands him on this list.
Hosmer slashed .293/.334/.465 across 563 plate appearances in his rookie season. He also hit 27 doubles and 19 home runs, which is currently a career high. While he hasn’t hit the 20 home run mark yet, he’s still just 26 years old and has plenty of potential to reach that thresh hold.
Hosmer posted an overall bWAR of 1.5 in that 2011 season. While he’s known for his prowess with the glove, it hurt his overall wins above replacement numbers that season as he posted a -1.7 dWAR mark. His oWAR was good for 2.5 that year.
Hosmer would finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2011. He lost out to the Tampa Bay Rays’ starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson, who went 13-10 on the season with a 2.95 ERA. So far, it would seem that Eric Hosmer is the better player.