#7 Eric Hosmer
Drafted: 1st Round, Pick #3 overall in 2008 Rule IV Draft
I am being a little aggressive on my estimated time of arrival for Hosmer. But this is because I still like Hosmer as a prospect and I expect that when he turns the corner it will be in a big way, causing him to advance through the system rather quickly. I also believe that the organization is also going to be aggressive with Hosmer in an attempt to catch him up with other top prospect Mike Moustakas. However, he comes in at number 7 because of his disappointing 2010 season.
There aren't any really positives to point out from 2009, except that while he was in Burlington he was able to maintain a respectable on base percentage despite hitting just .254 for the season. So instead of talking about his 2009 offensive numbers let's talk about what went wrong. First, it has been revealed that Hosmer suffered a broken knuckle that he played through for most of the season. This could provide an explanation to his low slugging percentage and decline in bat speed. Also, at some point in between the time he was drafted and the time he began life as a professional baseball player, Hosmer developed an astigmatism, that ultimately ended his season. According to the Royals the problem has been fixed after Hosmer underwent Lasik eye surgery in the offseason. Also, his knuckle should be fully healed so he should enter 2010 at 100%.
I still have a lot of faith in Hosmer and I expect his numbers to improve from 2009 a great deal despite the fact that he will most likely begin the season hitting in the Carolina League. The league is tough on hitters and since 2009 was basically a wash for him, I wouldn't be surprised to see him slump at the beginning of the year. At some point though he is going to get going and his numbers at the end of the year to be very respectable all things considered.