Don’t look now, but the Kansas City Royals are starting to play the kind of winning baseball that many people expected they would this season.
The reason, not surprisingly, is that their lineup has finally started to come to life. With some horses in the rotation and a stellar bullpen, especially on the back end, they just needed to see a bump in production from their offense to start looking like a playoff team.
The Royals are 9-3 in June so far, with some offensive outbursts to show for it. Perhaps the best news of all in the last week or so has been the improvement of young first baseman Eric Hosmer. Over the last seven days he is batting .400/.474/.667. To show how much he was struggling prior, that has only brought his overall slash line up to .264/.306/.374.
On Sunday against the Chicago White Sox, Hosmer delivered a home run that shows why he was one of the most highly regarded prospects in baseball when he arrived in the big leagues. Facing Andre Rienzo, Hosmer got a loopy curveball over the plate. He kept his shoulder in, used the big part of the field, and absolutely hammered a home run over the center field fence.
Are the Royals actually for real? If this winning streak yields more substantive results in the long term, Hosmer will have to be a big reason why.
Watch video of his home run on Sunday below, courtesy of MLB.com: