Eric Hosmer is consistently good, but not great. He has some power and contact, but doesn’t excite you when drafting. He is a serviceable first baseman for 2016.
The Kansas City Royals have done a good job retaining most, if not all, of the roster from the World Series team. With that kind of consistency, the Royals will be the team to beat in 2016. While he didn’t re-sign, Eric Hosmer is a key piece in the Royals lineup. And even though he isn’t a sexy pick when drafting, he is good enough to get you to the playoffs.
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Hosmer has been with the Royals since 2011. He played in 128 games and finished third in American League Rookie of the Year voting. He hit 19 home runs, 78 RBI and .293 with 11 stolen bases. The next season was a bit of a drop off as he hit 14 home runs, 60 RBI and .232 in 152 games. The 2013 season might be his best, 17 homers, 79 RBI and a .302 average.
Eric Hosmer missed about a month during the 2014 season because of a fracture in his right hand. He hit nine HR/58 RBI/.270 in the shortened season. He then re-signed in March of last year and went on to have another great season.
He played in 158 games, hitting 18 home runs and 93 RBI with a .297/.363/.459 line while stealing seven bases. He also scored 98 runs and walked 61 times, both career highs. He finished sixth among first baseman and 39th overall on the Player Rater, between Sonny Gray and Ben Revere. But, there were some negatives around this season.
Eric Hosmer posted his second-highest strikeout rate with 16.2 percent, 108 strikeouts in 667 plate appearances. His ground ball rate went up one percent and his fly ball rate dropped 7.5 percent. If he could lower his strikeouts, his OBP would be better and help his fantasy value.
Eric Hosmer was an 18th round pick in fantasy drafts last season as the 17th first baseman. With how he finished the season, he definitely outplayed his ADP. However, he was not drafted as a top-10 1B and no one had any reason to, especially the way he played in 2014. I do think his ADP rises entering drafts this season, and he is my 10th first baseman as of now. With a good group of hitters around him, Hosmer will be able to score and drive in runs.
Projections: 170 hits, 19 home runs, 85 RBI, six steals, .291 average
Draft: Round 12