While he didn’t get my first-place vote (Seattle Mariners right-handed starter Michael Pineda did) there’s no denying Kansas City‘s Eric Hosmer was spectacular in 2011. The Royals’ left-handed hitting first baseman took home FanSided’s American League Rookie of the Year award. Nineteen home runs, seventy-eight runs batted in, a .293 batting average – all pretty good numbers for a rookie. Pretty good numbers for any player, actually.
Hosmer and fellow-but-less-impressive 2011 call-up Mike Moustakas spent some time at single-A Burlington here in the Midwest League. (Hosmer in 2009, Moustakas in 2008.) In an attempt to one-up Travis I’ll bring up the fact that I saw them early on (much earlier than Spring Training) and they were both standout players. Though I never saw either of them hit a grand slam I was impressed with what I saw from minor leaguers. You can always tell which players have a shot at getting the call. Moustakas was the better player in the minors but from what I heard from people who knew what they were talking about Hosmer would make an immediate impact in the major leagues – and he did. Moustakas showed some potential (.263/5/30 in 89 games for Kansas City) but was nowhere near his production in the minors.
Sox fans know that first basemen with #35 tend to put together solid résumés. Hosmer has a bright career ahead of him. The kid became a well-known threat throughout the AL Central and made it clear that he’s ready to be in the Bigs. I’m definitely excited to watch his career play out. There are some players in the division that I absolutely cannot stand – I’m talking to you, Joe Mauer – and others who I respect for their passion and ability. Hosmer became one of those guys. Good luck in the future, Eric!
So as not to offend the Senior Circuit I’ll mention that Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel took home the National League Rookie of the Year. Be sure to check Call to the Pen for more award announcements.