Eric Hosmer looks the part. If you wonder why guys like Hosmer are extended impossibly long lengths of rope at the big league level, you don’t have do much more than look at him. Watch him play first base and listen to a batting practice session and it becomes very easy to understand the hype behind the Royals starting first baseman.
The back of Hosmer’s baseball card betrays his “top of the class” eye test scores. When that tantalizing talent finally starts to deliver, it’s a big moment for fans of the club. When that blue chip talent starts fulfilling his destiny during the first playoff run in 29 years, it’s a dream come true.
Such is the euphoric state of the Kansas City Royals and Eric Hosmer. While it isn’t the first time in his career that he started both looking and producing like a cornerstone infielder, it comes at the most opportune time imaginable. The Royals are dangerously close to winning the World Series and the former third overall draft pick is instrumental in their progress.
He’s drawn more walks in October than any single month during the regular season. He’s hitting the ball with power, counting two homers, two doubles, and a triple in 12 postseason games. The high-leverage nature of these extra base knocks helps muddle the “he turned a corner!” picture. This follows a September in which he knocked another 12 extra base hits after missing most of August with a hand injury.
The problem with putting too much stock in this tiny stretch of great play all is the not insignificant memory of 2200 league average plate appearances. Swing changes and adjustments to approach are well and good, but there is a very large pile of evidence that suggests we already know what kind of production we can expect from the big left-handed hitter.