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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Eric Hosmer will get paid even though the numbers may argue against it

I’d rather have another team jump on this possible grenade.

Even those fluent in scouting and analytics find Hosmer’s case to be infuriatingly difficult to parse. How does one team’s internal scouting reports grade Hosmer’s glove as an 80 – a top-of-the-charts elite mark – while the publicly available defensive metrics regularly rate him among the game’s worst first basemen?

“In my heart, he’s a $100 million player,” one general manager said. “In my head, I’m not so sure.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2017 at 06:48 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: eric hosmer

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   1. Rally Posted: December 13, 2017 at 08:21 AM (#5591469)
He probably is a 100 million dollar player even if cooler heads prevail. Two years ago Chris Davis got 161 million. It's been over 5 years since the elite (at the time) first basemen like Fielder, Pujols, and Votto got 200+ million contracts.

Considering inflation, if Hosmer signs a 6 year, 100 million dollar contract that's not going to shock anybody. I expect Boras would not be satisfied and will ask for 150-200 million.
   2. Bug Selig Posted: December 13, 2017 at 08:31 AM (#5591477)
I expect Boras would not be satisfied and will ask for 150-200 million.
I wouldn't bet against him. He is the master of singling out the slowest antelope from the herd.
   3. manchestermets Posted: December 13, 2017 at 08:46 AM (#5591487)
the publicly available defensive metrics regularly rate him among the game’s worst first basemen?


Are the components that make up the defensive metrics for first basemen something different from those for other infielders (ie, mostly comprised of fielding batted groundballs")? If so, I can see them being less of a worry for teams as it seems to me - although I've not done any counting, and I could be wrong - that first basemen do relatively little of that, and mostly catching balls thrown to them. Or do the metrics measure those different skills for first basemen?
   4. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 13, 2017 at 09:03 AM (#5591496)
I feel Hosmer is going to be a successful signing for whoever gets him. I stand by that just as I stand by "Clint Frazier will have the best career of any 2017 Yankee rookie outfielder."
   5. PreservedFish Posted: December 13, 2017 at 09:04 AM (#5591497)
Hosmer does look like a fine fielder to me, but an 80 is rare, and I really don't see that. Not that I'm a scout or anything.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: December 13, 2017 at 09:06 AM (#5591502)
I feel Hosmer is going to be a successful signing for whoever gets him.


Me too. Not sure why. Maybe we (and the GM quoted in the excerpt) are falling into the selling jeans fallacy. Or maybe it's not a fallacy. Maybe that athletic jeans rocking body is a legitimate point in his favor.

"Clint Frazier will have the best career of any 2017 Yankee rookie outfielder."


That's a helluva gamble. You're like 8 WAR in the hole already.

   7. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 13, 2017 at 09:09 AM (#5591505)
The frequency with which I'm wrong makes me not get too upset when I do it again.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 13, 2017 at 09:27 AM (#5591522)
Hosmer does look like a fine fielder to me, but an 80 is rare, and I really don't see that. Not that I'm a scout or anything.


Yeah, exactly. When I think "80 fielder", I think Keith Hernandez.

Whatever else one may say about Hosmer, he isn't Keith Hernandez out there.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: December 13, 2017 at 09:40 AM (#5591531)
Keith Hernandez was a +80*. Mientkiewicz was one of the best I've seen, near an 80. It seems to me that many of the GG winners (particularly guys like Adrian Gonzalez, John Olerud) were extremely dependable but lacked the range to bust far past, say, 65. Young Pujols was very rangey. Goldschmidt and Rizzo are rangey. But they're not so rangey that you can imagine them playing, say, 2B (yeah I know Rizzo does this like once a month just for shits and giggles). Mientkiewicz probably could have though.

If I had to guess I think I'd have Hosmer in the 55 range. Decent range, decently dependable, but not really outstanding.


* I've been playing an OOTP sim lately where I scout defense on a 1-5 scale. Sometimes there are players that are so good that they break the scale - they're better than a 5 (or an 80), and you can elect to hide such scores or see them. I've elected to see them. So I can see that, for example, Ender Inciarte is a 6 leftfielder on the 1-5 scale. Fine. I've seen a couple 7s too. But the best score I've ever seen is Tyler Chatwood's defense score. He's a 10! I find that hilarious because, first of all, Tyler Chatwood? And second of all, how much of an effect can that have? Say he's twice as capable as Jim Kaat or Greg Maddux. What does that do for you?
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 13, 2017 at 10:11 AM (#5591545)
I feel Hosmer is going to be a successful signing for whoever gets him. I stand by that just as I stand by "Clint Frazier will have the best career of any 2017 Yankee rookie outfielder."

Hosmer is an upgrade for the teams considering him. There's some question as to whether he'll be as good as he was in 2017, and how consistent he might be going forward, so he could be overpaid, but MLB teams can afford to overpay a few players. They underpay players all the time.

I'm not sure how accurate Jose's New York Yankee predictions or scouting reports have been, but he's probably due to get one right, no? We can only hope.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2017 at 11:09 AM (#5591613)
He probably is a 100 million dollar player even if cooler heads prevail. Two years ago Chris Davis got 161 million. It's been over 5 years since the elite (at the time) first basemen like Fielder, Pujols, and Votto got 200+ million contracts.

But the Davis signing is already disastrous. Hosmer is a $100M player if you go by the standard that two-thirds of FA deals are going to suck for the team.

He projects as a 2.6 WAR player per Steamer (ZiPs is not out yet for KC). Assuming ~$8-9M per win, $20M p.a. is not crazy. But you just don't give 2.6 WAR players 5 or 6 year deals.

I don't see why market for Hosmer should be any more than the 3/60 or 4/75-80 people are talking about for Carlos Santana. Santana is simply a better player.
   12. Captain Supporter Posted: December 13, 2017 at 11:22 AM (#5591627)
I'm not sure how accurate Jose's New York Yankee predictions or scouting reports have been, but he's probably due to get one right, no? We can only hope.


I really hope Jose is wrong about this one, because that will probably mean that Aaron Judge's 2017 season was a mirage.

Re: Hosmer. If there is a disconnect between the eye test and the defensive metrics, I wouldn't let the very questionable metrics have an inordinate effect on my valuation
   13. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 13, 2017 at 11:55 AM (#5591694)
I really hope Jose is wrong about this one, because that will probably mean that Aaron Judge's 2017 season was a mirage.

No, no, it just means we were wrong on which one was "Ruth", and which one was "Gehrig". Or that - praise be to Jose - we are finally seeing "better than Ruth". Let's hope he's on to something.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2017 at 12:02 PM (#5591708)
Re: Hosmer. If there is a disconnect between the eye test and the defensive metrics, I wouldn't let the very questionable metrics have an inordinate effect on my valuation

I would, unless you see many dozens of games of Hosmer, and other 1B, and have some scouting chops. We fans, watching on TV, have very little idea which plays should be makeable or not. Also, a guy can look super smooth, and have good hands, but simply not get to any ball that requires range. see Jeter, Derek, and his Gold Glove awards.
   15. wjones Posted: December 13, 2017 at 01:43 PM (#5591886)
Maybe this eye test thing is what led Leyland to play him over Goldschmidt in the WBC. Maybe Hosmer is just one of those guys who impress by the way they look when they play. Like Jeter and others. The 'anti-Moneyball', if you will.
   16. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 13, 2017 at 01:52 PM (#5591896)
Or that - praise be to Jose - we are finally seeing "better than Ruth". Let's hope he's on to something.


Would that mean that in the first five years of his career the Red Sox would win four World Series rather than three?

EDIT: HMmmm...that would mean the Sox are about to win four in a row. That'd be nice.
   17. Khrushin it bro Posted: December 13, 2017 at 04:10 PM (#5592038)
I don't see why market for Hosmer should be any more than the 3/60 or 4/75-80 people are talking about for Carlos Santana. Santana is simply a better player.


Hosmer is 4 years younger. I agree that Santana is a superior player and much more consistent year to year. They also both play a position that doesn't need a ton of athleticism. I would rather sign Santana for 3 or 4 years than sign Hosmer for 5+.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: December 13, 2017 at 04:21 PM (#5592042)
Hosmer was an excellent prospect back in the day and looked like he'd develop into a very solid hitter -- more a Hernandez/Olerud type, maybe a Tex -- so I won't be surprised if he maintains around his 2017 line. (I obviously also won't be surprised if he returns to meh 110 OPS+ levels.) He's still young and reasonably fit so at worst he should amble along as an average 1B for several years -- it's easy to see him being ovverpaid, hard to see him being a disaster.

Hosmer vs Santana .... Hosmer is 4 years younger, that's why you're much more likely/comfortable signing him long-term than you are Santana. Entering his age 32 season, Santana is a prime candidate for collapse and you really, really don't want to be holding that hot potato entering his age 35 season. Sure, no reason to sign Hosmer for more than 3-4 years if you don't need to, no particularly compelling argument to think you should need to (i.e. he's not worth getting in a bidding war) but he's almost certainly still deserving a roster spot at age 32.

I did some Hosmer comps a few weeks ago. The only guy who came up who truly cratered was Carlos May. There were a number of under-whelming (Sexson, Burrell, etc.) but not disasters; several average-ish (Chambliss, Konerko); and 2-3 good (Grace, D Lee and pre-concussion Morneau).

Another name that popped up struck me as a pretty good comp too -- Harold Baines. Baines was more consistent a hitter than Hosmer young but wasn't particularly impressive. He just regularly churned out 118 OPS+ with the occasional year around 130; some years he hit over 300, some he hit about 280. He peaked in his 30s putting up a 131 OPS+ from ages 30-37 -- as a DH, that was still just 15-16 WAR, 1-2 WAA. Hosmer does have the look of a guy who can last forever. A poor man's Al Oliver isn't too bad a comp either.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: December 13, 2017 at 04:24 PM (#5592047)
Oh yeah, phrases like "$100 million player" are a pet peeve. It's a meaningless statement without years attached. Sure, 6/$100 might be fine; 5/$100 is within the realm of possibility; 4/$100 would be absurd. I suspect the scout meant 5/$100 or similar
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: December 13, 2017 at 04:53 PM (#5592064)
Oh yeah, phrases like "$100 million player" are a pet peeve. It's a meaningless statement without years attached.
I can't help but point out that discussing the length of contracts is also stripped of meaning without the dollars attached.
   21. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 13, 2017 at 04:53 PM (#5592065)
I've been teasing Jose about his Hosmer affection for weeks as I don't want the Red Sox to sign him. However this has all been occurring within the original parameters on which FA contracts were discussed with Hosmer getting something like 6/140 and Santana getting something like 3/60. At those numbers Santana is clearly the better option for the Red Sox. However if Hosmer can be had for something like 5/95, then that's more acceptable. At 27, I just see someone giving him 6-7 years and regretting not only the inconsistency of his year to year performance but the last 2 years of that contract. You'd really need a consistent 3.5 WAR player to make up for what is going to be no contribution once he hits 32 years of age.

   22. Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2017 at 05:01 PM (#5592073)
As has been mentioned, the dollars combined with the years is what's important. If he were going for $60 million for three years, it wouldn't really bother me. That's not what he's targeting and may, at the least, get close to getting. If he's at 6+ years and $120 million plus (which is very low for the AAV he's looking for), I'd hate it.
   23. Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2017 at 05:01 PM (#5592075)
There is no way he's an 80 fielder. No way.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2017 at 06:21 PM (#5592137)
Hosmer is 4 years younger. I agree that Santana is a superior player and much more consistent year to year. They also both play a position that doesn't need a ton of athleticism. I would rather sign Santana for 3 or 4 years than sign Hosmer for 5+.

At Hosmer's ability level, his age shouldn't really matter much. You don't give slightly above average players long contracts, because there's a good chance they aren't worth starting within 2 or 3 years.
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2017 at 06:32 PM (#5592143)
There is no way he's an 80 fielder. No way.

It's odd anyone would believe that given the metrics have shown him solidly below average for a couple of years now.

He doesn't make errors, which I think is what's fooling people.
   26. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: December 13, 2017 at 06:38 PM (#5592145)
It's odd anyone would believe that given the metrics have shown him solidly below average for a couple of years now.

He doesn't make errors, which I think is what's fooling people.
Fangraphs fan rating had him at 56 last year, 57 for his career. He hasn't fooled that many people.

Seems like "one team" might want to recalibrate it's scouting department.
   27. Joe Bivens is NOT a clueless numpty Posted: December 13, 2017 at 06:51 PM (#5592150)
They need a 30 hr guy and Hosmer ain't that.

Can Schwarber play 1st?
   28. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 13, 2017 at 07:16 PM (#5592158)
They need a 30 hr guy and Hosmer ain't that.


Not sure they need a 30 homer guy. They were 6th in runs in the AL last year, but within 33 runs of the 3rd placed Indians. Needless to say NY and Houston were monsters last year and look to be so again. They need to score 800+ and give up less then 680. All you need is that 120+ run differential and 90+ wins is in the bag.

   29. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 13, 2017 at 08:37 PM (#5592204)
At Hosmer's ability level, his age shouldn't really matter much. You don't give slightly above average players long contracts, because there's a good chance they aren't worth starting within 2 or 3 years.


This. At his best, Hosmer is only good, and he's not proven that he's actually that guy.
   30. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 13, 2017 at 08:58 PM (#5592215)
it's easy to see him being ovverpaid, hard to see him being a disaster.


I'm not sure it's all that hard to see him as a possible disaster, given that he's been at 1 WAR or lower in three of the last six years by bWAR, and at or below replacement level in three of the last years by fWAR.
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 13, 2017 at 08:58 PM (#5592216)
Quick poll: Who ends up more badly overpaid this offseason, Hosmer or Moustakas?
   32. puck Posted: December 13, 2017 at 10:06 PM (#5592255)
Oh yeah, phrases like "$100 million player" are a pet peeve. It's a meaningless statement without years attached. Sure, 6/$100 might be fine; 5/$100 is within the realm of possibility; 4/$100 would be absurd. I suspect the scout meant 5/$100 or similar


Are these anywhere in the ballpark of what Hosmer is expected to get? Given his age, gold gloves, traditional stats and whatever it is that leads to things like him starting the WBC over Goldschmidt, I thought he was headed for a current day equivalent of Teixeira's contract.

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