It was widely believed before the season started that Mike Moustakas would be the first of the Kansas City stud prospects to make the big leagues, likely debuting in June.
And the third baseman for the Royals’ AAA Omaha team may still debut in June. But he won’t be the first of the Royals’ top-notch prospects to be brought up to the show.
That’s because Kansas City called up first baseman Eric Hosmer Thursday, likely ending the Kila Ka’aihue era.
Some may say that it’s too soon since he’s only 21 years old and has just 118 plate appearances in AAA. Plus, calling him up this early means he’ll likely be a Super-Two candidate, meaning he’ll be eligible for arbitration sooner (if this rule still exists when the new collective bargaining agreement is reached).
But personally, I love this move.
Hosmer may only have 118 plate appearances at AAA, but from the looks of it, he doesn’t need any more. He was hitting .439 with a 1.107 OPS in 26 games. Even better, he had more walks (19) than strikeouts (16).
That follows up a 2010 season that saw him hit .338 with a .977 OPS and 59-66 BB-K ratio split between High-A and Double-A. He also has the pedigree of being the third overall pick of the 2008 Draft. So it’s not like his quick start is a fluke.
He was not going to get any better in the minor leagues and I think he can hit right now in the major leagues. Even if he struggles early, he needs to figure it out at this level and adjust. He is mentally strong enough to handle a slump, as noted by how well he played last season and so far this year after hitting just .241 in his first minor league season (although his struggles may have been due to poor eye sight, which has since been corrected).
He’s ready and he gives the Royals the best chance to win now. And that may be relevant, since KC is a surprising 17-14.
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Written by Ryan Riordan