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Royals calling up top prospect Eric Hosmer

May 5, 2011, 5:42 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals v Texas Rangers Getty Images

It’s certainly a few weeks earlier than they preferred to do it, but the Royals revealed Thursday that they’re calling up Eric Hosmer to take over as their first baseman.

Kila Ka’aihue, who was hitting .195/.295/.317 with just six RBI in 82 at-bats, is getting sent down to open up a spot.

Hosmer was tearing up PCL pitching, hitting 439/.525/.582 with three homers for Omaha. He had a 16/19 K/BB ratio in 98 at-bats, and he was even 3-for-3 stealing bases.

The 21-year-old Hosmer was selected third overall in the 2008 draft out of a Florida high school.  He started slow and batted just .241/.334/.361 with six homers in 434 at-bats for two A-ball teams in 2009, but he blossomed last year, hitting .338/.406/.571 with 20 homers between high-A Wilmington and Double-A Northwest Arkansas.  That led the Royals to promote him to Triple-A to begin this year, and his remarkable first month followed.

As discussed here last week, the Royals didn’t want to go to Hosmer so early because doing so means he’ll surely be eligible for arbitration after 2013 if he stays in the majors.  Promoting him now figures to cost the Royals several million dollars over the next seven years, since he’ll be eligible for arbitration four times, rather than the usual three.

The Royals, though, are trying to rebuild a fanbase, and it didn’t look like Hosmer had anything left to learn in the minors.  Calling him up now figures to put some extra fannies in the seats, and the Royals could sign him to a long-term deal at some later date to mitigate the salary damage.  Credit the franchise for making the move rather than waiting the extra month.

As for Ka’aihue, well, he had what was probably his one big chance and failed to take advantage.  At 27, he’s not necessarily going to be buried for good.  The Royals, though, won’t have any further need for him if Hosmer can establish himself.  Japan might be his eventual destination.

  1. Tyree Studio - May 5, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    Oh yeah!

    • Tyree Studio - May 5, 2011 at 5:48 PM

      Kendall moved to the 60 day DL too. Good day to be a Royals fan baby!

  2. sportsdrenched - May 5, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Woo Hoo!

  3. joeflaccosunibrow - May 5, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    ***Crickets Chirping***

  4. max - May 5, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    “Japan might be his eventual destination.”

    That’s racist.

  5. 27xwschamps - May 6, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    Good luck 2 u !!!

  6. kcroyal - May 6, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    This is absurd. Kila gets shit on again. We basically lose Teh Hoz for 2018 for what? We are not going to compete this season. If Dayton really believes we will he’s a bigger dip shit that I thought. This move make absolutely no sense to me.

    • sportsdrenched - May 6, 2011 at 11:08 AM

      Kila is a black hole in a line-up that otherwise is producing runs.

      Have you watched any of his AB’s? It’s not like he’s hitting into bad luck. He looks lost.

      There’s still time to work another deal with Homser, and if he leaves for bigger money to someone in the I95 corridor? Fine, that means he raked in KC for seven years, and that the Farm System is actually producing crops.

      • Tyree Studio - May 6, 2011 at 11:28 AM

        It’s my understanding that KC does not lose anything (year’s before free-agency player control) by bringing up Hosmer now. They had to wait till sometime around after mid- April to gain that extra year of player control. But, by bringing him up before June they will have to pay more in his arbitration years. He’ll get 4 years of arbitration instead of 3. If he rakes, that means glass will pay more in arbitration. And isn’t that what KC fans have wanted Glass to do: open his wallet?

        Plus, if history is any indicator DM will try to buy out some of Hosmer’s arbitration years like he did with Grienke, Soria and just recently Butler.

        KC fans need to quit worrying about FA and money issues and start looking to actually compete on the field. This move helps KC compete next year and maybe even a little this year. :)

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