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The Latest Check In on Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 17: Mike Moustakas #8 of the Kansas City Royals scores the winning run against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on June 17, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 17: Mike Moustakas #8 of the Kansas City Royals scores the winning run against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on June 17, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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To varying degress, both Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas forced their way on to the 2011 Royals. To be sure, they had everything going for them this summer, including a bad Royals team at the Major League level, but their performances over the last two minor league seasons made it hard to keep them at AAA. Hosmer was even promoted quickly enough to likely qualify as a Super 2 down the road, which in today's environment tends to mean a) you're awesome or b) you're considered a fringe guy who doesn't matter. Obviously, The Hos was class A. He was mythic. Moose was rumored to get promoted last year, so everyone knew he would be here eventually.

Don't get me wrong, these are exciting times to be a Royals fan. However, the 2011 phasing in of the Most Awesome Young Studs Ever hasn't gone as planned. In a way, this is why promoting these guys in 2011 is a good idea. Most players don't arrive as fully formed balls of glory, and it's better that the team's top prospects are taking their lumps in a meaningless season like this one. That being said, I'm starting to think that we won't necessarily see Hosmer and Moustakas with the Royals for the entire season. (Which is really a massive discussion of its own.) If it's August and the performances are still pedestrian, I don't think a quick trip down to Omaha to work on some things (and see the service time clock pause) is out of the question. The Royals did so with Gordon and Butler, although they weren't Dayton Guys, so it is a weak precedent.

Here is our check in:

Eric Hosmer-  .268/.316/.404 (215 PAs)

When the Royals left New York, Hosmer looked like the next precocious wunderkind to take baseball by storm. Hosmer homered twice in just his second series, and somehow New York was also kinda his hometown or his parents or family were also there. Something. But it was New York and the awesome rookie is one of the five easiest stories in sports to tell, so there we were. After six games, Hosmer was hitting .333/.444/.714. Since then, which is to say, the bulk of his time thus far, he's hit .260/.299/.370 (40 starts, 184 PAs) which is essentially Melky Cabrera or Jeff Franceour in a mild slump. The overall line is what you see above.

Obviously, the .316 (and dropping) OBP is a little troubling, but I'm trying to remind myself that Hosmer is still just a 21 year old rookie. So yes, his P/PA is slightly below average, fueled in part by a slightly above average swing rate, aided no doubt by swing and miss rate that's also a tick above. Still: he's 21. As I believe Matt Klassen remarked somewhere, the odd thing is Hosmer was supposed to be the much more polished hitter than Moose, and he's not really showing it. His performance profile is of a guy with power and not much else. Again, right now.

Mike Moustakas -  .263/.354/.316 (66 PAs)

Like Hosmer, Moose started strong, although as might be inferred from his roughly 25% amount of playing time, everything is on a much smaller scale. One of the biggest concerns for Moustakas all along, even at his most heralded as a prospect, was that he didn't walk much (he wasn't a terrible OBP guy, it just seemed/seems likely that he's never going to be above average there). Well, Moose, despite not hitting for a high average and showing no power, has still managed a .344 OBP. That's not hyperbole about the power, Moose's ISO of .056 is lower than that of Alcides Escobar. He's hit one homer, and that's it. I'm no expert, but I think he's just off at the plate. His infield fly numbers are high (15.2% compared to a 7.3% league average) which evinces a number of balls he's just not getting good wood on.

Nevertheless, he's 22 and this is 66 PAs.

You're noticing that I've left off any discussion of defense, mostly because I just don't think there's enough to go on, especially not as an outsider watching on TV. My hunch and inference from the official channels is that they've both been ok to meh. Certainly there hasn't been a "Moose impressing coaches with his glove" story yet. In a way, that is a bad sign, because their defense isn't likely to get much better.