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)
July 23-Aug 19 (25 games)
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.”
My @Padres organization Players of the Week:
MLB batter-Eric Hosmer: .360 avg, 2 HR, 192 wRC+
MLB pitcher-Robert Stock: 0 ER, 12.5 K/9
Farm batter- Luis Urias (AAA): .593 avg, .625 OBP, 312 wRC+ 😮
Farm pitcher- Nick Margevicus (A+): 11 IP, 13.9 K/9, 2.45 ERA, 1.46 FIP #EVT
— Nick Lee (@NickLee51) August 20, 2018
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.