Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE
Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer
Yahoo's Preseason Rank: 62
Final Rank on Player Rater: 334
Eric Hosmer is a third top prospect that received an overdose of hype this past spring. Unfortunately for those who bought in, he combined the wrong ends of the season splits produced by his two counterparts.
Hosmer completely tanked after a rookie season filled with so much promise. That's what it felt like, at least.
A closer look at the numbers reveals that Hosmer's sophomore slump was not as far off from his first year as his fantasy owners may think. That the youngster's struggles landed him on many fake benches and even some fake waiver wires gives the false impression of a lost season.
Let's compare his two stat lines from each of his first two seasons. He had 523 at-bats as a rookie and 535 as a sophomore, so comparing counting numbers in addition to ratios is a fair practice.
| ||R ||HR ||RBI ||SB ||AVG
|2011 ||66 ||19 ||78 ||11 ||.293
|2012 ||65 ||14 ||60 ||16 ||.232
The only category in which Hosmer significantly fell off was batting average, which can be explained by a drop in batting average on balls in play from .315 to .255. He also recorded 22 more walks and 13 fewer strikeouts, showing maturity and improved plate discipline. A difference of five home runs and 18 RBI isn't trivial, but it's also not the complete catastrophe that many like to remember.
Hosmer's bad luck on balls in play won't continue forever. That wasn't the sole reason for his drop off, but it played a major role. Count him due for a serious bounce back year as you enjoy a healthy draft day discount.
Like Lawrie and Santana, the talent that had so many analysts all hot and bothered last spring is still there. Hosmer can easily match or surpass his rookie season numbers, which would turn a huge profit on his plummeting price tag.