It finally happened. Eric Hosmer is a San Diego Padre. The 8-year, $144 million deal is the biggest in club history and it gives the Padres an instant face to the franchise.
The thing is, Hosmer is already accustomed to success at Petco Park. Whether it was torturing his now current team in the regular season, during the 2016 All-Star Game or the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Hosmer has owned Petco Park. Maybe not then, but now, this should bring a big grin across all Padres fans.
In the regular season when the Royals visited Petco Park, Hosmer hit .441 (15 for 34) with three home runs and two doubles along with a 1.238 OPS in eight games. When you count his at-bats in that All-Star Game along with the World Baseball Classic, his numbers balloon to .458 (22 for 48) with five home runs.
Let’s not forget he was the Mid-Summer Classic’s MVP at Petco Park when he went 2 for 3 with a home run and two RBI and took home a new Chevy Colorado truck for his efforts.
His leadership was evident during the World Baseball Classic, especially during those second round games against three talented countries at his new home ballpark. He was named to the All-World Baseball Classic team at first base after Team USA won the tournament.
Aside from making Petco Park his house before it truly was, he has prospered in many of the other ballparks in the National League West division. At Coors Field in Colorado, he is 5 for 14 (.357) with a home run, a double and 1.000 OPS. In San Francisco, he his 3 for 9 in limited action at AT&T Park. Finally, at Dodger Stadium, he is 6 for 13 (.462) with a home run, three doubles and a 1.154 OPS against the hated Dodgers. He has not played at Chase Field in Arizona yet, that will change on April 20th.
Clayton Kershaw seems to have no affect on Hosmer. The new Padres first baseman is five for eight career against Kershaw, including a home run. This is remarkable given that Hosmer is a lefty, as is Kershaw.
Hosmer will play 37 games at National League West ballparks aside from the 81 at Petco Park. If he can mirror the numbers he has put up so far, or at least come close, the Padres, and all of us, will be ecstatic.
This is all of a sudden a very exciting time in Padres Land, even at the major league level. 2018 just got a lot more interesting thanks to Eric Hosmer. Hopefully he can continue making the rest of his new division tremble in fear.