Before the 2013 season began, many people thought that Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas would be the keys to the kingdom, the Royals royalty, the linchpins of success. If numbers 35 and 8 could put up big numbers, the Royals would be successful.
As the season began, we eagerly looked to these young men, hoping their accomplishments soared. Unfortunately, they flew with the same grace that a rock doesn't, flailing about and generally causing mild to severe depression in any Royals fans whose emotional faculties weren't already compromised.
In May, a curious thing happened. George Brett and Pedro Grifol stepped in as hitting coaches for the Royals. George & Pedro (a fitting name for a sitcom) seemed to solve the Rubik's Cube of Hosmer's swing. Moose, who had been horrible, begun to show signs of life, but Royals fans remained unconvinced due to Moose's streaky nature.
As July 2013 has given way to August, we now have another month of data for the Ambiguously Gay Duo. Their interesting monthly splits this year prompted me to look at their monthly splits for their career, both for interest and in hoping to glean some sort of data or deeper understanding. So, without further ado, here we go.
- Hosmer: .283/.321/.515/.836, 5 HR, 6 BB, 17 K
I was at Hosmer's debut at Kauffman Stadium. He walked twice, turned a nice double play, and even stole a base. Hosmer's first month was characterized by quite a bit of power combined with a not-so-pretty strikeout number, but for a 21 year old, that was very good.
- Hosmer: .253/.312/.293/.605, 0 HR, 8 BB, 19 K
- Moose: .263/.354/.316/.670, 1 HR, 8 BB, 9 K
Moose's debut month was not stellar, setting the tone for his overall underachievement. Hosmer fell off a bit too, as the league acclimated to him.
- Hosmer: .306/.358/.523/.881, 5 HR, 9 BB, 16 K
- Moose: .160/.198/.223/.421, 0 HR, 4 BB, 12 K
- Hosmer: .269/.316/.426/.742, 4 HR, 8 BB, 14 K
- Moose: .283/.324/.343/.667, 0 HR, 6 BB, 19 K
In hindsight, I think Moose should have probably been sent back down in either July or August. He was a young player that was struggling mightily--in a lost season, you might as well game service time.
- Hosmer: 349/.360/.557/.917, 5 HR, 3 BB, 16 K
- Moose: .352/.380/.580/.960, 4 HR, 4 BB, 11 K
Finally, a good month for both of them. The Royals would go on to have a 15-10 record in September, only their second winning month of the year (the first being a barely winning April).
- Hosmer: .188/.274/.388/.662, 5 HR, 10 BB, 13 K
- Moose: .315/.375/.534/.909, 3 HR, 5 BB, 15 K
- Hosmer: .218/.262/.317/.579, 1 HR, 6 BB, 13 K
- Moose: .240/.305/.448/.753, 5 HR, 8 BB, 17 K
- Hosmer: .270/.340/.438/.778, 3 HR, 9 BB, 9 K
- Moose: .250/.324/.450/.774, 5 HR, 10 BB, 24 K
Hosmer bounces back from some bad luck and bad hitting with a very solid line, especially considering his plate discipline. Moose goes on hitting 5 HR, again, just solidly trucking along. For only the second month do the dastardly duo have above average months at the same time. The Royals would have a winning June, going 14-13.
- Hosmer: .242/.327/.305/.632, 0 HR, 11 BB, 25 K
- Moose: .247/.265/.412/.677, 3 HR, 2 BB, 20 K
- Hosmer: .287/.357/.414/.771, 3 HR, 10 BB, 20 K
- Moose: .213/.276/.382/.658, 3 HR, 7 BB, 18 K
- Hosmer: .179/.264/.295/.559, 2 HR, 10 BB, 15 K
- Moose: .204/.254/.287/.541, 1 HR, 7 BB, 30 K
The horror. Both combine for 118 strikeouts over the last three months of the season.
- Hosmer: .250/.337/.306/.643, 0 HR, 9 BB, 18 K
- Moose: .195/.276/.299/.575, 1 HR, 9 BB, 11 K
- Hosmer: .269/.307/.352/.659, 1 HR, 6 BB, 14 K
- Moose: .171/.229/.316/.545, 3 HR, 4 BB, 12 K
- Hosmer: .303/.347/.541/.889, 6 HR, 8 BB, 13 K
- Moose: .274/.307/.357/.664, 1 HR, 3 BB, 12 K
- Hosmer: .324/.351/.495/.847, 4 HR, 5 BB, 17 K
- Moose: .267/.337/.493/.831, 4 HR, 7 BB, 13 K
Time number three that two good months occur at the same time. Both produced very similarly, actually; Moose's month was overshadowed by his (still) awful total slash and Hosmer's second straight month of success.
It's time for the awards:
Best Month of Hosmer: September/October 2011, wherein the Wizard of Hoz hit for a .917 OPS.
Best Month of the Moose: September/October 2011, wherein Moose Tacos hit for a fantastic .960 OPS.
Worst Month: You could say '2012,' and be partially right, but Moose's July 2011 was even worse--.421 OPS
Most Surprising Month: Hosmer's June 2013 came after three straight months of horrible hitting dating back to 2012, and after a whole year of disappointing and subpar play. Honorable mention is September/October 2011 for Moose, who had previously shown zero ability to hit at the Major League level, and whose amazing fall is to date the best either of them has produced.
- Only three times since June 2011 (when both were first in the majors at the same time) have Hosmer and Moustakas both had an above average month at the plate. All three times the Royals had a winning record for the month.
- There are a lot of fluctuations going on. To date, neither Moustakas or Hosmer has been consistent. Hosmer's 2011 was the most consistent--he hit 4-5 HR each month like clockwork, except for June.
- The combined triple slash for Moose and Hosmer is, in 2957 PA, .259/.306/.406 with 80 HR, 6.9 BB%, 15.8 K%.
To conclude, I think it is imperative for Hosmer and Moustakas to keep hitting well if the Royals are to have any shot at being competitive at all for the next few years. Together, they've been a huge disappointment (don't tell me that a combined .306 OBP is anything but horrendous). Eric and Mike are at the center of this team, whether they realize it or not.