- Jim Bowden, Baseball, Insider
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The Kansas City Royals’ decision to call up Eric Hosmer today is a strong indication that they believe they can contend this year. Why? Because of the timing of his promotion, Hosmer will now be on pace to be Super Two arbitration-eligible player in the winter of 2013-2014, making this a potentially expensive decision to make now. If they had waited until mid-June to call him up, they could have avoided arbitration with Hosmer for another year.
Eric is a special talent, and I believe he is here to stay as the long-term solution for the Royals at first base. He has great hand-eye coordination, which allows for above-average pitch recognition. He also has 30-40 home run power that comes from explosive hip torque and strong wrists and forearms -- his swing is loud and violent on the sweet spot.
If you throw him middle/away, he loves to go the other way, and he’ll go that way with tremendous power on fastballs and secondary pitches. Teams will try to throw hard inside to him, but he has lightning quick bat speed, and if he knows you’re going there, the light towers are in range, because Hosmer has serious whack in his bat. In the field, Hosmer also has above-average range at first base, and might even win a Gold Glove before his 30th birthday.
Put all of that together, and Hosmer will develop into a hitter not only is capable of winning a batting title but -- perhaps even more impressively -- an OPS crown someday. To me, it’s always an exciting day in baseball when future stars are born. Welcome to the Show, Mr. Hosmer!