The future has arrived in Kansas City as Eric Hosmer’s contract has been purchased from the Omaha Storm Chasers.
The Royals will bring one of the highest touted prospects to the Major Leagues and, according to manager Ned Yost, they will waste no time getting the young man some action.
According to the manager, Hosmer will be the starting first baseman in the game on Friday against the Oakland Athletics and left hander Gio Gonzalez and wear number 35. Gonzalez has pitched well this year compiling three wins and two losses over six starts. The young hurler has averaged over six innings per start, given up three home runs and struck out 35 hitters against 16 walks.
Hosmer has been on fire so far this season at Omaha. With 98 at bats, he has three home runs and 15 runs batted in. Add in three stolen bases, 19 walks, 15 strikeouts, and five doubles and he was doing well enough to gain some attention. However, his .439 batting average, .525 on base percentage, .582 slugging percentage, and 1.107 OPS was enough to cause a rumble amongst most experts wondering when his time would come.
While Hosmer was forcing his way onto the scene, Kila Ka’aihue was providing the room the team needed. Kila will be sent down to Omaha to make room for Hosmer after Kila struggled through the first month of the season. The Hawaiian born Ka’aihue failed to live up to expectations and watched his average drop below the .200 mark to .195 and his power numbers have all but diminished. With two home runs, four doubles and six runs batted in, the team felt the need to give him some more time at the AAA level. Add to the power struggles his alarming strikeout rate and lack of walks (26 strikeouts to 12 walks) and it has become obvious that he could use the time in the minors to work on his patience at the plate.
To make room for Hosmer on the roster, catcher Jason Kendall was moved from the 15 day disabled list to the 60 day disabled list.
Most experts projected Hosmer to arrive in Kansas City by July, but it seems the future has arrived a bit sooner than everyone expected.
The following is a press release from the Omaha Stormchasers concerning the pending move
Hosmer to Join Kansas City Royals Friday
First baseman was batting .439 in Pacific Coast League play for the Storm Chasers
OMAHA, Neb. — Top prospect Eric Hosmer will join the Kansas City Royals in time for Friday’s game against the Oakland Athletics, the Major League club announced Thursday. Kila Ka’aihue will be optioned to Triple-A Omaha, while catcher Jason Kendall will be transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Hosmer on the 40-man roster.
Hosmer, a 21-year-old first baseman, batted .439 (43-for-98) in 26 games for the Storm Chasers and was leading the Pacific Coast League in batting average, hits and on-base percentage at the time of his departure. The slugging first baseman was riding an eight-game hitting streak in which he was batting .613 (19-for-31) with two homers, six RBI and eight walks. His .613 batting average and .692 on-base percentage led all of professional baseball during that span.
The No. 3 pick of the 2008 first-year player draft, Hosmer is the first high school player from his class to reach the big-leagues. The left-handed swinger is expected to make his Major League debut against Gio Gonzalez of the Oakland Athletics, one of the toughest southpaws in the American League. During his time in Omaha, Hosmer batted .500 (16-for-32) with all three of his home runs against lefties.
Ka’aihue was batting .195 (16-for-82) with two home runs in 23 games this season for the Royals. He has a .285 batting average with 52 home runs in parts of three seasons in Omaha.