Thursday, May 05, 2011

Eric Hosmer

Did Ron Shandler know something that the rest of us didn't know?

On April 25, Shandler picked up Eric Hosmer in Tout Wars for $1. I wrote about Hosmer the following Friday only because Shandler picked him up. I did write last week that some have speculated that Hosmer could be up soon for the Royals due to Kila Ka'aihue's slow start, but when the news came over the wire tonight I was as surprised as anyone.

It goes without saying that Hosmer needs to be picked up right away in A.L.-only leagues. The bigger question is, how much FAAB should you plunk down for him?

Hosmer's was up to a silly 439/525/582 slash line at AAA Omaha. As I pointed out last week, the PCL offensive context has to be taken into account to some degree. Still, though, that's a monster line. Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA weighted mean says that Hosmer would be at 274/329/443 this year. That doesn't put Hosmer at an elite level, but still would put him among the top 40% of hitters in the American League this year.

I've already seen a few Jason Heyward comparisons being bandied about on Twitter. While I don't think Hosmer will be this good immediately, I'd expect something along the lines of a 15/75/.300 line. I suspect the power isn't going to translate to the Majors right away, but Hosmer has a sweet enough stroke that a .300 batting average wouldn't surprise me in the least.

Getting back to the FAAB question, I'd spend $50, or half of my $100 budget on Hosmer. It's a big bid, but he's probably the best American League prospect who will make the Majors this year with a clean shot at a job. The Royals didn't bring him up to send him down at the first sign of trouble, so unless Hosmer falls on his face he's going to play. I'd rather overspend and be wrong then go short and have someone else get a big year out of him.

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