You all know, or can probably guess, I’m Minnesota born and a huge Twins fans. If you are a regular visitor to Puckett’s Pond, you also know that I currently live in Kansas City and have since 2000 when my wife and I moved here to build a life together and start a family. While I don’t cover the Kansas City Royals anymore, at least not directly, I remain a huge fan and remain invested in the organization’s journey. Because of that, today is a special day for me but it brought up some bad memories.
Well I sure do and it sickened me then as much as it does now. It bothered me so much, that on July 13th, 2009 I wrote about it back when I was the Lead Writer of Kings of Kauffman. This isn’t a case of hindsight. At the time I wrote that article, Hosmer was struggling through his first full professional season with vision problems and a fractured knuckle.
Since Eric Hosmer is set to make his major league debut tonight, I went back and re-read that article. For me it helps put his debut in a different perspective. I encourage all of you to go back and check it out whether you are a Royals fan, Twins fan or just a casual fan of baseball. I think Hosmer’s journey teaches all of us a lesson. With a few tweaks I could turn it into a fable that Aesop himself would be proud of. The moral of that fable would be that we should never get too down on a player, especially a 19-year old in the minors, because of one season. We should also take from this to NOT try and compare draft picks before they’ve had a few years of development under their belts.
I spent a lot of time bashing Dayton Moore for his decisions back then (primarily related to Trey Hillman and Sidney Ponson), but I always stood behind him when it came to Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. Today, whether Eric goes on to be an All-Star or an average major leaguer, is a day of vindication for Moore, the Royals organization and to a much lesser extent yours truly.
No one knows how either of their careers will work out but I stand by what I wrote almost two years ago when it comes to Hosmer and Smoak:
The potential is there for Eric Hosmer to be a force and impact bat for the Royals at the major league level. It is a potential for greatness that a guy like Justin Smoak does not possess. The Royals don’t need guys that are okay or decent at the ML level, they need game changers at the plate. Something that outside of Billy Butler they currently lack.
With that I take my leave (from this article) and wish you all a very happy Eric Hosmer Day!