Results tagged ‘ Eric Hosmer ’
The 2009 First-Year Player Draft starts next Tuesday. Tomorrow, you can get an inside perspective on what it’s like to be a top prospect on draft day. Eric Hosmer, Kansas City’s first-round pick in 2008, will chat with fans on royals.com starting at 2:00 p.m. Central time.
Eric was rated as the best high school power hitter by Baseball America before last year’s draft. He is playing for the Burlington Bees in the Class-A Midwest League. After a slow start, Eric is tearing the cover off the ball. He homered on Sunday and is batting .343 with 14 RBI in his last 10 games.
Get your questions ready now! The chat is free, but you need to register at royals.com to participate.
Baseball America highlighted the Royals today as they continue their team-by-team summaries of top prospects. Seven pitchers and three position players make up KC’s Top 10. Five of the players were honored at the 2008 Futures Night (above). The future, both near and long-term, appears extremely bright.
New to the Top 10 are 2008 draft picks Eric Hosmer, Mike Montgomery, and Tim Melville, as well as right-handed pitcher Danny Gutierrez and slugging first baseman Kila Ka’aihue.
We’ve compiled a few notes on each prospect. ATH had the chance to speak about the rankings with Scott Sharp, Kansas City’s Director of Minor League Operations. We’ve included his observations for some analysis you won’t get anywhere else.
The power-hitting lefty (pictured at left) recovered from a slow start to lead the Midwest League with 22 home runs in 2008 as a 19-year old. Now 20, “Moose” became the first teenager to lead the Midwest League in homers since 1982.
Sharp note: “He has great power and ability with the bat. He’ll likely start at Wilmington.”
2. Eric Hosmer, 1B
KC’s first-round selection in 2008 makes his BA debut at #2. The 19-year old also projects as the Best Hitter for Average. Hosmer spent the fall in the Arizona Instructional League.
Sharp note: “Similar to Mike, he can hit and has power. He played in three games last year so we want to see what he does in spring training before assigning him.”
3. Dan Cortes, RHP
Cortes, acquired from the White Sox in the Mike MacDougal trade, continued to shine in 2008, becoming a regular season and postseason Texas League All-Star. Still just 21, he has been ironing out some issues in the Arizona Fall League, including trying to keep the ball down in the zone more often.
Sharp note: “He met every expectation last year. He will probably start in Double-A, but could begin in Triple-A, depending on how the Omaha roster shakes out.”
4. Mike Montgomery, LHP
Montgomery, a supplemental pick in 2008, displayed great stuff as he held Arizona League opponents to a 1.69 ERA over 42.2 IP. The Royals plan to build the 19-year old’s innings slowly, as they did last year with Danny Duffy (see below).
Sharp note: “He’s a lefty with a good curveball. We’d like to see him in a full-season league. Most likely, he will start later in the year as health is paramount with our young pitchers.”
5. Tim Melville, RHP
The 2008 fourth-round selection checks in at #5. Melville, who has yet to pitch in a game as a pro, spent the fall in the Arizona Instructional League and is 19 years old as well.
Sharp note: “He’ll follow a similar path as Montgomery, though it will likely be in a short-season league. It would be unfair for him to start in a full-season league (since he didn’t appear in 2008).”
6. Danny Duffy, LHP
Duffy, a May addition to the Burlington Bees, went 6-1 with a 0.99 ERA over his last 11 starts to earn Burlington Pitcher of the Year honors. He won’t turn 20 until December 21.
Sharp note: “He proved himself at Burlington and will likely start at Wilmington. He has good mound presence and poise and can display three average Major League pitches.”
7. Danny Gutierrez, RHP
Gutierrez, 21, has risen to the top 10 after being selected in the 33rd round out of high school in 2005. BA ranks him as having the best curveball and best control among Royals farmhands.
Sharp note: “He showcases a power fastball and curveball. Danny is a good competitor who should start at Wilmington.”
8. Carlos Rosa, RHP
Rosa made his Major League debut in 2008 before finishing the year on the D.L. with a right elbow strain. The recent trades of Leo Nunez and Ramon Ramirez have left a gap in the K.C. bullpen. General Manager Dayton Moore mentioned the 24-year old as a candidate to fill one of those spots.
Sharp note: “Carlos will be in Major League camp but could begin the year at Triple-A. He’s been working on a change up.”
Ka’aihue’s meteoric rise through the farm system didn’t go unnoticed by Baseball America. Ka’aihue, 24, spent just a month in Omaha in 2008. He will likely start 2009 there as the Royals have several players battling for time at first base.
Sharp note: “He will likely start at Triple-A, but will be given every opportunity in Spring Training. He has power at his disposal but is also a good first baseman.”
10. Blake Wood, RHP
KC’s third-round pick in 2006 sits at #10 after being ranked #4 prior to 2008. This is mostly a sign of the Royals ever-increasing strength in the system. The 23-year old Wood split 2008 between high-A Wilmington and Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Sharp note: “Blake has a power arm and a power curve. We see him starting at Double-A. He needs to get back to the way he started there.”
On the Farm: October is peak harvest time for a group of loyal Royals fans, the corn and soybean farmers here in the Midwest. The Royals’ farm is also busy this time of year as Assistant General Manager for Scouting/Player Development J.J. Picollo and his staff look to cultivate talent for the Major League team. Today we look at two of the fall proving grounds, the Arizona Instructional League and Hawaii Winter Baseball. (Yes, that was Hawaii followed by winter.)
Arizona Instructional League: Seeds of baseball knowledge are being planted in the impressionable minds of farmhands in the Arizona Instructional League. Participating players include 2008 draft picks Eric Hosmer (left), Johnny Giavotella, and Tim Melville as well as 2008 Burlington (IA) Player of the Year Mike Moustakas. Games started on September 22 and run through October 17. Players also take part in daily practice drills and listen to motivational talks from the likes of manager Trey Hillman and Royals Hall of Famer Frank White. We hope to have more insider updates on the instructional league in the near future.
Hawaii Winter Baseball: Aloha! Farther west, four Kansas City prospects are honing their baseball skills on the island of Oahu. Infielders Kyle Martin and Kurt Mertins, left-handed pitcher Ben Swaggerty and right-handed pitcher Jason Godin are members of the North Shore Honu. Martin played a key reserve role for the Midwest League-champion Burlington Bees in 2008. Mertins batted .282 and stole 28 bases as a member of Wilmington’s speedy Carolina League entry. Godin, a fifth-round selection in 2006, spent 2008 with Wilmington. Swaggerty signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2007. He split 2008 between the Burlington Bees and the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The teams continue play through November 16. Be sure to keep tabs on all of the action!
Central Focus: All eyes in baseball have been on the AL Central over the past few days. Our division finally has a champion, and it didn’t require a recount or hanging chads. Congratulations to the Chicago White Sox, who won their first division title since 2005. Last night’s thrilling game was a pitching duel from start to finish. Jim Thome provided all of the offense with a solo blast in the seventh.
The Royals play the Twins and White Sox 18 times apiece during the regular season, so we get to know their broadcasters, writers, and media relations staff quite well. (Be sure to check out our interviews with Chicago’s Ken Harrelson and Minnesota’s Jack Morris.) We can only imagine the press box conversations last night as the season came down to a final game.
Revving Up for Royals Charities: Royals Charities recently teamed with the Kansas City Zone Dodge Dealers to auction off a 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8. The car sold for $51,250, with proceeds going to Royals Charities. Thank you to Dodge for their support of Royals Charities!
Zack Greinke was solid last night, despite a high pitch count early. He struck out five more and is in fifth place in the American League. Greinke’s 151 strikeouts top his own career high by 37 and he’s sure to down a few more with a little more than month left. He also produced his 18th quality start, which is tied for third in the A.L. and is five more than his previous career high.
The team took their annual photo today. Keep an eye out in September. The team is planning on giving out a copy of the photo in some fashion.
Does Gathright need a nickname too?
The spectacular Joey Gathright made another remarkable catch in center last night. Gathright streaked across center and made a phenomenal leaping catch on a ball that was decidedly not a can of corn. It made the top plays and was the No. 1 Web Gem on Baseball Tonight. He just keeps racking them up in center.
Royals first round pick Eric Hosmer played his second game last night in Idaho Falls. The newest Chukar went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, a double, a run batted in and a run scored. His season stats after two games: .500 average (3-for-6) with two doubles, two RBI, two runs scored, three walks, one strikeout, a .700 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .833. He’s only played two, but he’s carrying a big stick so far. The Chukars have 10 games left.
2007 first rounder Mike Moustakas parked his Midwest League-leading 22nd homer of the season last night. Apparently the blast would have been over 400 feet had it not hit the top of the Burlington Community Field Scoreboard. Thanks to wheelerrob, a loyal ATH reader for that info from Burlington!
Another Royals bat with some sock in it right now is Miguel Olivo’s. Olivo is starting again today. Manager Trey Hillman said he likes the way Olivo is working behind the plate right now and he likes what Olivo’s bat brings to the lineup. He smacked a double that short hopped the left field wall last night. Royals broadcaster Ryan Lefebvre said that on most nights that ball probably would have carried out. Regardless, Olivo hit the ball hard and Billy Butler scored from first on the play. Keep any eye out tonight since Miggy loves to swing against Southpaws.
Hardware coming soon
Like we’ve mentioned the past couple days, the minor league seasons are winding down. With that, the minor league awards for Pitcher and Player of the Year will be announced within the next few weeks.
Future(s) coming soon
Yes, that seems redundant, but the Royals’ future is coming to Kauffman Stadium soon. September 19, in fact. That Friday night game versus the White Sox has been tabbed as Futures’ Night. Several of the top players in the Royals system will be on hand for you to meet and get autographs from.
Today’s Official Game Notes.
The Minor League seasons are winding down. But with the end of the season come a lot of things that shed hope on the future. Yesterday we mentioned some of the post-season awards which have already been won, but today we have two more things to celebrate down on the farm.
September is next week and that means September call-ups aren’t too far away, and with so much success going on in the minors, we’re not even going speculate what might happen, but we can talk about the positives in the system right now. To do that, let’s go Around the Horn…
The first moment of celebration for the organization was the debut of Eric Hosmer (wearing No. 21) last night at Idaho Falls. Hosmer was hit in his first professional at-bat – as if to say welcome to the pros Mr. No. 3 overall pick. But Hosmer showed some of what earned him his draft position, ending the night 1-for-3 with a double, a run scored, a run batted in and a walk. Hosmer’s Chukars mustered 10 hits, but could not hold off the Raptors. ATH expects he’ll be back out there again tonight as Idaho Falls finishes its season series with Ogden. The Chukars have 10 games left after tonight, a five-game series versus the Orem Owls through the weekend and then five game in Casper to face the Ghosts (we still love that Casper nickname).
The other big celebration for the organization includes another First Rounder. 2007 first round pick Mike Moustakas and his Burlington Bees are in the playoffs. They officially entered the postseason on Sunday despite losing. They are still in contention for their division title but are guaranteed a playoff spot and a postseason series starting next week in Burlington. Moustakas leads the Midwest League with 21 homers, is second in total bases, sixth in slugging and is in the top 10 in hits and runs.
While we’re mentioning high draft picks, this year’s sandwich pick is tearing up his first professional assignment. Michael Montgomery is throwing very well in Surprise for the Surprise Royals. He owns a 1.91 ERA in 37.2 innings and has 31 strikeouts to 11 walks. Opponents are hitting just .217 off him.
Finally, yesterday we devoted some space to Kila Ka’aihue, the slugging first baseman who won Double-A Texas League Player of the Year despite playing the last month in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. The pronunciation of the Hawaiian’s name has been a question mark among several media outlets. Well, we’ve got an official ruling on how to say his name. It’s Kila (KEY-luh) Ka’aihue (Ky-uh-HOO-A). Or, you can call him K.K., which is what manager Trey Hillman and the baseball operations people call him. And for those curious on his status because he left Sunday’s game after being hit by a pitch, Ka’aihue hit a double in going 1-for-3 with a run and two walks last night. He has walked 98 times this season and struck out 62 times and owns a .462 on-base percentage with a .635 slugging (combined Double-A and Triple-A stats).
Manager Trey Hillman has his rotation set – hopefully – for the remainder of the season. The current quintet is locked in to finish out. Tonight’s starter is Zack Greinke, with Brian Bannister throwing tomorrow. Kyle Davies will open the Detroit series on Friday followed by Brandon Duckworth on Saturday and last night’s starter Gil Meche draws Sunday’s assignment.
Hillman said he’s comfortable with the rotation as it is. He said last night Meche just didn’t have the same he has of late and it probably wouldn’t have mattered as much if he were facing a lesser hitting team. Hillman said tonight, Greinke needs to have all of his pitches working to have success.
This group has combined to start all but 35 games for the Boys in Blue this season. Duckworth is the low man on the totem pole, making his first start last Sunday, while Gil Meche leads the team with 28 starts.
Hillman said Kip Wells is probably stretched out the most in the bullpen and would merit the emergency start if need be, but that’s without knowing exactly which players will get the September 1 call-up. Triple-A Omaha finishes its season on Monday the 1st, an off-day for the big league Royals.
Currently nine players on the O-Royals are on the 40-man roster. Of those players, five are pitchers and four have spent time in the Majors this season (Jimmy Gobble – 31 MLB games, Tyler Lumsden – no MLB experience, Neal Musser – one MLB game, Josh Newman – four MLB games and Carlos Rosa – two MLB games). Although Rosa is on the 7-day D.L. and Gobble is finishing a rehab assignment.
Double-A Northwest Arkansas, which is still in the playoff hunt, has two players on the Royals 40-man. The lone pitcher is Julio Pimentel, who threw a scoreless inning in the 2008 MLB Futures game during the All-Star festivities. But with the Naturals entering today’s play tied for the division lead and fighting for the post-season, Around the Horn doubts the Royals will subtract any players from their roster on Sept. 1.
Two other quick Naturals notes: Pitching Coach Larry Carter was selected as the Texas League coach of the year…Veteran Minor Leaguer Cory Aldridge drove in seven yesterday with two homers.
David DeJesus knocked in his 58th run last night, tying his career high set last season…10 of John Buck’s last 15 hits have been for extra bases including six doubles, a triple and three homers…Alberto Callaspo collected his first RBI since before going on the Disabled List in late June. His last RBI was June 22 versus San Francisco…From Trey Hillman: He does not expect Alex Gordon back anytime soon. He told Gordon there is no timetable because there is no precedent for how the third baseman heals from an injury of this type since he’s never had one…Also from Hillman: With Gordon out and veteran Mark Grudzielanek out, Callaspo will see a the majority of the time at second…Last word from Hillman: He thinks instant replay will be a good addition and will take pressure off of umpire crews. He respects the umpire’s way of life, living on the road for the sixth-month season and anything that can help alleviate their stress and is good for the game is a good thing in Hillman’s opinion.
Yesterday we mentioned in passing the Hot Dog Derby contest. You, yes you, can sign up to be either Relish, Mustard or Ketchup. If you’d like the opportunity to don the color of your condiment, you can do so right now, all you have to do is enter.
The last weekend of the season, nine lucky fans will become hot dogs and compete for the ultimate glory – winning the Kauffman Stadium Hot Dog Derby Race. September 19-21 is your chance.
Today’s Official Game Notes.
The big club has a lot going on as well. Injuries are plaguing the roster. To take a look at the stories and more, let’s go Around the Horn…
The No. 3 overall pick of the 2008 June Free Agent Draft displayed a little bit of why he merited such a high honor today. Back in June, the Royals tabbed Eric Hosmer, a 6’4″, 215-pound first baseman from American Heritage High in Plantation, Florida. The left-handed hitting and throwing slugger was considered the best high school power bat in the draft.
Exactly one week ago, Hosmer inked his deal with the Royals and today he met the media. Hosmer started his day at the K with a 3:30 press conference. With General Manager Dayton Moore, Senior Director-Scouting Deric Ladnier and Assist. GM-Player Personnel and Scouting J.J. Picollo by his side, Hosmer fielded questions smoothly. He talked about his decision whether to sign or go to college. Ultimately, it came down to his drive to play – a dream he’s worked on for a long time. He was asked about the wood bat. Hosmer admitted it will be an adjustment, but they aren’t foreign to him. He took some batting practice with them in high school. And he was asked about playing for the Midland (Ohio) Redskins, an amateur team in the Connie Mack League which he made a commitment to and felt he needed to fulfill.
Once the press conference was over, Hosmer was taken into the Royals clubhouse. He was next seen emerging from the Royals dugout, wearing a blue batting practice jersey complete with No. 25 and his name on the back. Traditional baseball fans will be happy to note that he wore his socks high. After stretching, Hosmer took some hacks in the batting cage on the field. He was in the first group, trading turns with Jose Guillen, Ross Gload and Joey Gathright. He took a regular B.P. – laying down bunts, working all fields and depositing one ball into the fountains and several more over the wall.
After the workout, he made the rounds. It was an Eric Hosmer overload. First he chatted with Joel Goldberg for FSN-KC’s Royals Live pregame show. Then he talked with Steve Stewart for the Royals Radio Network’s pregame show. And finally, Marty Wall of 610 Sports, the flagship station for RRN, interviewed Hosmer.
Tomorrow will be another long day for the First Rounder. He’s got a ticket to Idaho Falls (actually the team opens a three game series against the Ogden Raptors tonight) to start his professional career as a Chukar. Moore said in an interview shortly after the signing that Hosmer’s assignment to the short season Rookie League instead of the Arizona League, a place most high school selections go, is a credit to his ability.
Injuries have riddled the 25-man roster as of late. Within the last week, Ron Mahay has battled a foot injury, Luke Hochevar suffered a rib contusion, Mitch Maier was struck in the face by a pitch and yesterday Alex Gordon left during the fifth inning versus the Indians.
Gordon and Mahay are headed to the Disabled List. Gordon was originally listed as day-to-day when removed from yesterday’s game. But a muscle tear has been found in Gordon’s upper right leg (we’ll have more on this when we get the details). Manager Trey Hillman said the pain Gordon was experiencing was severe but the second-year third baseman wanted to take his next at-bat. Instead he was removed from the game after the fourth and examined, which is when the tear was found. He is expected to be out for several weeks.
Mahay, on the other hand, had pitched just once over the last 12 games and was be placed on the D.L. retroactive to August 16. His case of plantar fasciitis, a bruise to the tendons which spread weight out among the heel and ball of the foot, is still bothering him. Kyle Davies is being called up from Omaha and will start tomorrow’s game, filling in half of the two-slot hole in the rotation. Sunday’s starter is still not finalized.
The Royals infielders worked on some fundamentals before today’s game…That group included Mark Teahen, who is filling in at third base – his old position – in Alex Gordon’s absence. Teahen is starting at third tonight and has not started a regular season game at the hot corner since 2006…Fresh off the D.L., Joey Gathright is making his return to the Royals lineup for the first time since July 23 versus Detroit…From Trey Hillman’s Press Conference: He doesn’t blame injuries for the team’s play…Tonight is the first night of the Kauffman Stadium reduction. Only 27,000 seats are available per game through the end of the season due to renovations.
Tomorrow is Christian Family Night. A concert will follow the game, featuring Natalie Grant and Chris Sligh. Manager Trey Hillman, General Manager Dayton Moore and pitcher Brian Bannister are expected to speak, will all events to be held outside the stadium on the first base side.
Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato from “Veggie Tales” will also be on hand.
The final issue of Gameday Magazine is hitting the newsstands tonight. With David DeJesus on the cover, the issue features Frank White, Mike Aviles and a preview of the stadium renovations. Also don’t miss a fun look inside the Royals clubhouse at some college football rivalries that exist.
Today’s Official Game Notes.
In fact, this is a much different squad than the team we saw last on June 1. During that game, Alex Gordon belted a double and knocked in two, while Jose Guillen and Mark Grudzielanek added homers for a 6-1 win over Cleveland’s Paul Byrd.
To look at some the wheeling and dealing that the Royals and the Indians have done since they last met, let’s go Around the Horn…
Just under half of the season series was in the bag after the game on June 1. The other half will be played out quickly with 10 games (seven in Cleveland and three in K.C.) set to be in the books by September 14. One of those Cleveland games was scheduled during the Royals first trip to Progressive Field, but rain forced the May 2 game to be rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on September 13.
The Indians look a lot different this time out. The Tribe starter on June 1 is with the Red Sox (Paul Byrd made his Sox debut last Saturday). Their reigning Cy Young winner has thrown five complete games in nine starts with a 1.60 ERA for Milwaukee (CC Sabathia won his 11th straight last night). And one of the leading Royal killers has four homers, 12 RBI and 23 hits in 22 games as a Dodger (Casey Blake has hit .329 with a .388 on-base percentage during his career at Kauffman Stadium).
The Indians have jettisoned a lot, but we’ll still see their 2008 Cy Young hopeful. Cliff Lee, with his 17-2 record and 2.43 ERA, is scheduled to start Thursday’s matinee. Lee has dominated teams all year and started the All-Star game as a reward for his performance.
Injuries have also struck the Indians who are missing slugger Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez. Both are on the mend and on schedule to return soon. Jake Westbrook (Tommy John surgery) and Scott Elarton are on the D.L. as well.
To combat their pitching losses, the Tribe acquired Anthony Reyes, among others, who we will see tonight. Reyes is making his third start for Cleveland and is 1-1 with a 2.19 ERA (3-2, 3.67 ERA in 2008). He was a Cardinal before being traded and is 1-0 versus K.C., when he allowed four hits over 5.2 innings and no runs. Tomorrow the Indians have Zach Johnson who’s making just his second start of the year.
Cleveland has also found a hot bat with Kelly Shoppach. Filling in for injured catcher Victor Martinez, Shoppach hit .275 in June and .318 in July. He collected 14 RBI each month and homered four and six times, respectively. Most impressively, Shoppach became just the sixth player in the modern era to get five extra base hits in a game with three doubles and two homers. He ended the game on July 30 versus Detroit with 14 total bases and added a walk.
The newest Royal was the Opening Day pitcher for the Rockies. Today, the Royals signed Kip Wells, who had some trouble this season with a blood clot in his right hand which cost him two and a half months. He will wear No. 40.
Wells joins fellow former Rockie Ramon Ramirez in the bullpen and takes the place of lefty Josh Newman, another former Coloradan. Wells has been good in the bullpen during his career, which is where the Royals plan to have him pitch for now. In 41 games, he’s 4-2 with a 2.69 ERA in 73.2 innings, striking out 62 and walking 35 while allowing just three homers.
Wells will look to help shore up a pen which is missing dominant set-up man Ron Mahay, who pitched over the weekend but is still bothered by foot problems and has seen a lot of work recently.
Tonight’s starter Luke Hochevar picked up his first career road win at Progressive Field earlier this season…Miguel Olivo returns from his four-game suspension tonight…Kansas City pitchers are 40-46 with a 4.55 ERA…Paulo Orlando, the player the Royals received for Horacio Ramirez from the White Sox, is hitting .364 with High-A Wilmington over his first eight games.
The Royals have announced first round draft pick Eric Hosmer will be at Kauffman Stadium on Friday to meet with the media at 3:30 p.m. Hosmer will also take batting practice after the press conference. On Saturday, he will begin his professional career at Idaho Falls as a Chukar.
In other draft news, Michael Montgomery is 2-1 with a 1.51 ERA in 10 games and seven starts with the Surprise Royals, the rookie league team in Arizona.
Upcoming Promos: Banner Flags (man, they are big!) on Saturday and Soria T-shirts on Tuesday. Plus Saturday is Christian Family Night.
Make sure you don’t miss out on Around the Horn’s interview with Jerry Krause: ex-Bulls GM and Mets pro scout.
Today’s Official Game Notes.
Player Name: Eric Hosmer
Position: First Baseman
School: American Heritage HS (Fla.)
Birthdate: Oct. 24, 1989
Height: 6’4″ Weight: 215 lbs.
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Check out the stats and scouting report on the Royals first-round selection here on mlb.com.
More on Hosmer…
From the press release: The Kansas City Royals have selected Eric Hosmer, a first baseman from American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida, with the third overall pick of the June Free Agent Draft. Hosmer, who bats and throws left-handed, hit .470 with 11 home runs, 27 RBI, 49 runs, and 14 stolen bases as a senior.
Hosmer participated in the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic in 2007 and was named the 2008 Player of the Year by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Baseball America’s 2008 draft preview rated Hosmer as the high school player with the best power as well as being the prep talent that is closest to the majors.