Eric Hosmer is Finding Himself Again

Credit: AP

The San Diego Padres signed Eric Hosmer this past offseason to a mega-deal totaling $105 million in guaranteed money for five years. Hosmer has struggled at times, but has found himself as of late, and looks to be on the right track.

Summer is supposed to be one of the most fun times of year, with beach trips, family vacations, swimming parties, etc.

For Eric Hosmer, this summer has been anything but fun.

From June 21 to July 22, Hosmer hit .151 with three extra-base hits in 25 games with a miserable 0 wRC+. Over the season, Hosmer had a 33.3% O-Swing%, meaning that is how often he swung at pitches outside of the strike zone. During this month-long stretch mentioned above, it went up to 43.9%.

Needless to say, Hosmer was not earning his $144 million contract. However, despite many people condemning the contract already and saying Hosmer is a bust, baseball does this thing where it evens out over time, and Hosmer seems to have once again found himself.

By “finding himself” I mean he has looked to be more of the lifetime .272, 110 wRC+ player he has been during his eight-year career. Since July 23, he is batting .316 with a 124 wRC+ in those 25 games.

June 21-Jul 22 (25 games)

                          Avg                              OPS wRC+
0.151 0.380 0

 

July 23-Aug 19 (25 games)

Avg OPS wRC+
0.316 0.815 124

 

Clearly, he has improved dramatically. So what is the reason behind this 180-degree turn of events?

For starters, he has cut down extensively on swinging at pitches outside the zone, going from 43.9% during that first stretch to now 32.8%. He now is hitting line drives at a 21.3% clip where before it was down to 13.2%. He has also bumped up using the opposite field by 2%.

Another telling sign is his BABIP going from .200 to .372 during these two stretches.

Those fans who kept their cool during his abysmal cold stretch knew that it would eventually be made right. The baseball gods would surely take pity on this man and allow for a few more lucky breaks and trends toward “the back of his baseball card.”

 

Hosmer seemed to have put an exclamation mark on his comeback with a home run that got some headlines for other reasons…

Overall, that month to six weeks Hosmer was ice-cold has put a huge dent in his season numbers. Despite his recent surge, he is still below a 100 wrC+ at 97 and his average of .259 is below his lifetime clip. If the season ended today, it would be difficult to call Hosmer’s 2018 campaign anything but disappointing. However, there are 35 games left, and if history tells us anything, it’s that Hosmer will likely continue to even out instead of bottom out.

Calling the Hosmer contract a bust after one year is like leaving a movie 30 minutes into it because you think it stinks.

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Nick Lee
Native of Escondido, CA. Lived in San Diego area for 20 years. Padres fan since childhood (mid-90s). I have been writing since 2014. I currently live near Seattle, WA and am married to a Seattle sports girl. I wore #19 on my high school baseball team for Tony Gwynn. I am a stats and sports history nerd. I attended BYU on the Idaho campus. I also love Star Wars.

14 thoughts on “Eric Hosmer is Finding Himself Again

  1. A alex gordon and iankennedy for hosmer trade could be done padres getvoutvof long term deal alex gordon its only a couple of years and can play third and outfield

    1. You guys are living in fantasy land. No way that trade happens, plus he has a no-trade clause for the first three years.

  2. Never has the definition of the word team was one player. Hosmer is the best 1st baseman in baseball. He cannot do it all himself. He needs help from other players on the Padres. Send him to a team that plays good baseball.

    1. So Hosmer is only good on a team where every one else is good ? Maybe one of those teams want him. Oh wait, the Padres were the only team interested

    2. I can think of several players within the organization I’d rather play first base than Hosmer. At least five, if not ten.

    3. If Hosmer is “the best 1st baseman in baseball” then what do you suppose he would get back in a theoretical trade with another team? The reality is … the Padres would be celebrating if the could get a team to claim in through the waiver wire this month. If they traded him then they would have to pay at least half of his salary … and give up at least a good prospect or two.

  3. I’m not worried about Hosmer. He had a tough 6 weeks — but slumps are a part of baseball. Keep in mind he’s with a new team/league, and he has little to no protection in the lineup. Nobody questions his leadership skills, and he’s been very classy and professional during a tough time for him and the team. I fully expect him to have a great year in 2019, which will hopefully silence his critics.

    1. Nobody questions his leadership skills? There was an EVT article a few weeks ago that did just that. A tough 6 weeks? He has had, by most/all accounts, even in this article, a bad year/below average year, not just a bad 6 weeks. It is an undeniable fact, however, that he is a below average first baseman (e.g. when compared to other players at the position) … if not a far below average first baseman who not only makes FAR more than he is worth, he will block this (easiest) position for the next SEVEN YEARS+ Either way, apart from his actual play, the bigger problem is the amount of money, the length of the contract, his particular position (the easiest to fill), how he displaces multiple other players, there was no need for him, there was NO ONE ELSE seriously trying to sign him, he could have been had for FAR, FAAAARRRRR less money and length of contract, etc.

    1. Did you even read the article? I said “If the season ended today, it would be difficult to call Hosmer’s 2018 campaign anything but disappointing.”

      1. Nick, of course I read the article. My point was/is not to fall in love with small sample sizes. To say that Hosmer has found himself is to ignore this. He has had a good month, doesn’t mean that those improvements/changes/whatever are permanent as your title suggests. Anymore than Villanueva’s good May made him the next Mike Schmidt.

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