Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Hosmer dance

The Royals are reportedly open to signing Eric Hosmer to a long term contract. This is good (I guess) as Hosmer has become a fan favorite. I think it's safe to say if the money is reasonable then Moore should make that deal. If not, however, DM should be prepared to let him walk.

People who love them some RBIs were thrilled to the moon when Hosmer topped 100 last year. It was his breakout year, after all, with a career high in home runs too.

"The sky is the limit," the people cried.

Not so much really. Those numbers looked good, but others, mainly on-base percentage (.328) and slugging percentage (.433), were less impressive. When you start digging deeper into his numbers you really need to hold on tight to those home runs and RBIs, otherwise, you find a guy who is nowhere near worth a hundred million dollars.

I fired up the always trusty Play Index to find similar seasons this century. I found 39 players who had a 25+ home run, 100+ RBI season at age 26 since 2000. I sorted the players by OPS+, and while I expected Hosmer to be near the bottom, I didn't expect him to be at the very bottom. Yet there he was looking up at the other 38 players (including four Royals).

Results
Rk Player OPS+ HR RBI Year Age
1Albert Pujols17849137200626
2Matt Kemp17239126201126
3Joey Votto17137113201026
4Ryan Howard16758149200626
5Todd Helton16342147200026
6Alex Rodriguez15857142200226
7Jason Bay15032101200526
8Lance Berkman15042128200226
9Anthony Rizzo14632109201626
10Aubrey Huff14534107200326
11Miguel Cabrera14434103200926
12Adrian Gonzalez14036119200826
13Kendrys Morales13934108200926
14Aramis Ramirez13936103200426
15Vladimir Guerrero13934108200126
16Billy Butler13829107201226
17Matt Holliday13734114200626
18Darin Erstad13725100200026
19Garrett Atkins13629120200626
20Jermaine Dye13533118200026
21Justin Upton13329102201426
22Chase Utley13228105200526
23Carlos Beltran13226100200326
24Troy Tulowitzki13130105201126
25Ryan Braun13125103201026
Rk Player OPS+ HR RBI Year Age
26Mike Sweeney13129144200026
27Alfonso Soriano12939102200226
28Richie Sexson12845125200126
29Scott Rolen12725107200126
30Magglio Ordonez12732126200026
31Mark Teixeira12633110200626
32Paul Konerko12427104200226
33Justin Morneau12231111200726
34Jay Bruce12030109201326
35Andruw Jones11736116200326
36Pedro Alvarez11536100201326
37Miguel Tejada11130115200026
38Tony Batista10241114200026
39Eric Hosmer10125104201626
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/23/2017.

I've never believed Hosmer would sign a long term deal. I still don't really, even with the two sides making eye contact at each other. I would like to see him stick around but not if the price is going to be a burden down the road. A 1 win first baseman with a 101 OPS+ seems like something you would try to upgrade from, not throw all the money at. But here we are.