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What Are Reasonable Expectations for Eric Hosmer in 2011?

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Oddly, amidst all the discussion surrounding Eric Hosmer's surprising promotion last Thursday, there was very little speculation about how Hosmer might actually perform for the 2011 Royals.

When I asked for feedback on Twitter, the answers I got were varied and sundry, though no one really gave me a truly bad line. My sense is that, really, no one knows. Hosmer got promoted, essentially, because of his batting average to start the season in AAA. However, that isn't the core of his tool-set, or, at the every least, as with Billy Butler of old, there's some hope/belief that it won't be. Hosmer, of course, is a "light tower power" guy in awful scoutspeak.

I'm already on record as having no idea how Hosmer will do. On July 4th of last year, dude was still a Blue Rock, as Mrs. RR and myself watched him have a huge game against the Potomac Nationals. It's still a little crazy (good crazy or bad crazy) that he's now a Royal. To help offer some perspective, I looked up the rookie season of similarly hyped, youngish, position player prospects (excluding September callups), just to give us an idea of what might happen. Keep in mind, in baseball years, this is Hosmer's Age 21 season:

  • Jason Heyward: Age 20 - .277/.393/.456
  • Buster Posey: Age 23 - .305/.357/.505
  • Billy Butler: Age 21 - .292/.347/.447
  • Evan Longoria: Age 22 - .272/.343/.531
  • Ryan Braun: Age 23 - .324/.370/.634
  • Cameron Maybin: Age 22 .250/.318/.409
  • Justin Smoak: Age 23- .218/.307/.371
  • Prince Fielder: Age 22- .271/.347/.483
  • Alex Gordon: Age 23 - .247/.314/.411
  • Adrian Gonzalez: Age 23 - .227/.272/.407
  • Troy Tulowitzki: Age 22 - .291/.359/.479
  • We could go on and on, but I think that's a decent list of names. This is mostly a happy group, naturally, since it's easier to remember the hyped guys who became stars too in most cases. Only a real prospect hound, which I'm not, could think of all the names of the flameouts or medicore returns from hyped prospects like Hosmer. (Weren't the LaRouches hyped coming up?) There's lots of interesting stat lines in there, from Longoria's weirdly mature 3B man's line, to Braun's insane rookie season and points in between.

    Billy Butler, of all people, could be a comp to watch, especially if Hosmer's ground ball tendencies are real.

    So what do you guys think?