Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Evan Drellich: Eric Hosmer’s leadership, J.D. Martinez’s power fits for Boston Red Sox

Eric Hosmer isn’t a good fit. In this big boom era they need more power.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2017 at 06:38 AM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 11, 2017 at 09:16 AM (#5549549)
Hosmer hit 25 HR in 603 PAs in 2017 and slugged just under .500. I think he'll sustain something close to that level, which should be just fine. I'd still take him over Pedro Alvarez :)

BTW, one of his nicknames per Baseball-Reference is "Papo".

-- MWE


   2. No longer interested in this website Posted: October 11, 2017 at 09:23 AM (#5549562)
At first base, that sort of production is not very good. I think Hosmer will probably have one, maybe two more GOOD years. He's not going to be an impact player. He's like Wally Joyner-Lite: he'll take up a spot for 5 more years for you, but he's not going to do anything spectacular.
   3. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 11, 2017 at 09:27 AM (#5549569)
Hosmer has to be the most overrated player in baseball.
   4. DanG Posted: October 11, 2017 at 12:26 PM (#5549856)
Martinez and Hosmer 2015-17:

Player      WAROPS+  Rfld   BA  OBP  SLG   PA   Age   G  HR RBI
JD Martinez 11.0  149 
-23.0 .296 .363 .580 1663 27-29 397 105 274
Eric Hosmer  8.6  118 
-13.0 .294 .359 .463 2005 25-27 478  68 291 
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 11, 2017 at 12:30 PM (#5549863)
At first base, that sort of production is not very good. I think Hosmer will probably have one, maybe two more GOOD years. He's not going to be an impact player. He's like Wally Joyner-Lite: he'll take up a spot for 5 more years for you, but he's not going to do anything spectacular.

It's not about production, it's about leadership! Duh, read the headline.
   6. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 11, 2017 at 01:25 PM (#5549932)
If the Sox sign Hosmer expect a lot of "swing made for Fenway" articles.
   7. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 11, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5549937)
Hosmer's a paper tiger, and I think people inside baseball probably know it. Twenty years ago he probably would have gotten an enormous contract. Now he'll get a much more normal one. Of course, today's normal contract is bigger than yesteryear's enormous one, but still.

I don't know about his leadership, though. My impression of him is that he's a world-class #######.
   8. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 11, 2017 at 01:29 PM (#5549938)
Martinez's power is a good fit for every team in baseball.
   9. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 11, 2017 at 01:46 PM (#5549968)
JD Martinez is going to wind up being the classic FA blunder. A good hitter (who has played over 123 games once in his career) having a very shiny .690 SLP and 45 HR at age 29 is going to get a HUGE contract. He won't be Pujols bad, but I'm thinking something like Milton Bradley (without all the baggage), Jason Bay, Mo Vaughn. I don't think he will be immediately bad, but someone is going to pay a lot for that .690 SLP and it won't happen again.
   10. Lars6788 Posted: October 11, 2017 at 01:58 PM (#5549985)
Or Martinez could be the next (if not there already) Nelson Cruz.
   11. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: October 11, 2017 at 02:00 PM (#5549989)
Martinez and Hosmer 2015-17:
The thing that might get missed in that comparison: Martinez 2.4 more bWAR in 81 fewer games ( 342 PA - half a season).
   12. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: October 11, 2017 at 03:02 PM (#5550074)
Martinez seems like he is tailor made to be a DH. He is pretty bad in the field and maybe less wear and tear keeps him off the DL.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: October 11, 2017 at 06:11 PM (#5550378)
Or Martinez could be the next Donaldson or Encarnacion or Bautista or Daniel Murphy. He's likely well worth a 5-year risk.

How's Hosmer opposite field power? Is he the type of guy who can bang a lot of doubles off the Monster? Or is he gonna fly out to RCF all season?

Hosmer would be on my "let somebody else take that risk." But he will only be 28 and he's likely to be the same level of solidly good for 4-5 years so should be a fairly safe contract as long as you don't overpay. There seems a lot of disagreement over his defense -- either way, it's not likely to get better and he's not likely to have the bat to be a good DH.

But where's the money for the Red Sox to sign anybody? B-R projects them to $220 M already and there's no obvious way to cut that substantially barring a trade. Signing either of those guys might keep them over the lux tax threshold for 5 more years.
   14. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: October 11, 2017 at 06:20 PM (#5550389)
Would like JD.
   15. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 12, 2017 at 12:43 AM (#5550888)
JD Martinez is going to wind up being the classic FA blunder. A good hitter (who has played over 123 games once in his career) having a very shiny .690 SLP and 45 HR at age 29 is going to get a HUGE contract. He won't be Pujols bad, but I'm thinking something like Milton Bradley (without all the baggage), Jason Bay, Mo Vaughn. I don't think he will be immediately bad, but someone is going to pay a lot for that .690 SLP and it won't happen again.

I was actually kind of thinking the opposite -- that he would end up with a somewhat underwhelming deal and would outperform it. Here's why I think he might not get a huge contract:

* He was the best bat on the trade market this summer and generated a seemingly light return.
* Increased emphasis on WAR/defense highlights his shortcomings.
* Now that guys like Didi Gregorius and Scooter Gennett are hitting 25 HR, corner outfielders who can hit 40 are not so impressive.
* Superficially similar bat-first guys like Chris Carter and Mark Trumbo (Note: I am aware that JDM is a much better hitter than these fellas) did not get much interest in last year's free agent market. Even Edwin Encarnacion, arguably the best hitter available, only got $60 million (though of course he's quite a bit older than JD).

And why he might be better than expected:

* He seems like a scholar of hitting more than a big guy loaded with natural talent. He keeps notebooks on all his plate appearances, and he's essentially been a .300 hitter since leaving the Astros. So he's a much more complete hitter than a guy like Chris Davis.
* He's a very hard worker as well as a humble/good-character guy -- I don't see him getting fat and complacent with a big contract.
* As I recall, his injuries (or at least some of them) have been freak impact-related things that aren't necessarily the mark of an "injury-prone" guy.
* His defense has the POTENTIAL to be good, or at least not-bad. In 2015, he had pretty good numbers and was even a Gold Glove finalist. I don't know what happened in 2016 (he was truly terrible) but I think he recognizes he needs to work on defense more. His arm is pretty good.
   16. Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: October 12, 2017 at 08:28 AM (#5550925)
Hosmer's a paper tiger, and I think people inside baseball probably know it. Twenty years ago he probably would have gotten an enormous contract. Now he'll get a much more normal one. Of course, today's normal contract is bigger than yesteryear's enormous one, but still.

I don't know about his leadership, though. My impression of him is that he's a world-class #######


Anything that makes you feel this way about Hosmer? I do feel he's overrated & agree with the Wally Joyner comparisons
I don't see Hosmer as a great fit in Boston either
   17. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 12, 2017 at 08:56 AM (#5550937)
* As I recall, his injuries (or at least some of them) have been freak impact-related things that aren't necessarily the mark of an "injury-prone" guy.


Past injuries are the biggest predictor of future injuries. Doesn't matter what they were. Martinez has averaged 130 games the past 4 seasons. Seems reasonable to expect that for at least the next season or two.
   18. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: October 12, 2017 at 09:10 AM (#5550951)
I wrote this on Feb 16:

I have an almost entirely unsupported theory that Hosmer is going to have his career year in 2017 -- it's his age-27 season, it's a contract year, it's the good year in the every-other-year thing he's got going on, and he's a guy who's never hit his ceiling. I guess the nightmare scenario for the Royals is that that happens, the teams is never in real contention but is in pseudo-contention for long enough that they waste rebuilding time, and they then re-sign Hosmer to a contract he'll never live up to.
I'm still convinced that 2017 was Hosmer's career year and that anyone who pays him to repeat 2017 isn't going to get his money's worth. He strikes me as a classic guy of midlevel talent who has a peak at 27 during which he's a legitimate All Star, but otherwise is just north of cromulent. IOW a guy who's great to have at the minimum or on one-year arb salaries, but not someone you give a big contract to if you can avoid it.
   19. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 12, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5551017)
Or Martinez could be the next Donaldson or Encarnacion or Bautista or Daniel Murphy. He's likely well worth a 5-year risk.

How's Hosmer opposite field power? Is he the type of guy who can bang a lot of doubles off the Monster? Or is he gonna fly out to RCF all season?

Hosmer would be on my "let somebody else take that risk." But he will only be 28 and he's likely to be the same level of solidly good for 4-5 years so should be a fairly safe contract as long as you don't overpay. There seems a lot of disagreement over his defense -- either way, it's not likely to get better and he's not likely to have the bat to be a good DH.

Generally speaking, I think the Sox should be taking risks, and go for high upside over dependability. They don't have a lot of big holes on the roster, and they have the resources to eat mistakes if they have to. Swing for the fences.

But where's the money for the Red Sox to sign anybody? B-R projects them to $220 M already and there's no obvious way to cut that substantially barring a trade. Signing either of those guys might keep them over the lux tax threshold for 5 more years.

That is significantly off from the numbers I have seen floating around. BRef's arbitration "estimates" at least previously, have been simple constants (x year arb - y million dollars) for every arb player, so not hugely accurate. The number I have seen has been around 129m committed, with around 50m in arb awards assuming they tender them all. I believe that estimate comes from MLB trade rumors. Leaving them just under 180m, with the LT at about 197m.

Looking at it, that does probably not include the 12m they owe Rusney Castillo, who is not on the 40 man, and doesn't count towards the LT, which does seem to be in BRefs numbers. Not sure if BRef are counting any other payments that are also not counting towards the LT.
   20. PreservedFish Posted: October 12, 2017 at 10:24 AM (#5551019)
My hunch is that Hosmer will continue to improve and surprise many BTFers.
   21. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 12, 2017 at 10:28 AM (#5551025)
The big thing for Hosmer is being consistent. His FanGraphs WAR in his seven full years has been; 1.0, -1.7, 3.2, 0.0, 3.5, -0.1, 4.1. If he, entering his expected prime, can be a consistent 3-4 win player for the next 4-5 years then he is worth the contract he is likely to get. I'd gamble on that.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 12, 2017 at 10:31 AM (#5551026)
The big thing for Hosmer is being consistent.

What?

His FanGraphs WAR in his seven full years has been; 1.0, -1.7, 3.2, 0.0, 3.5, -0.1, 4.1.

That's the opposite of consistent; he's yo-yoed between good player and worthless.

If he, entering his expected prime, can be a consistent 3-4 win player for the next 4-5 years then he is worth the contract he is likely to get. I'd gamble on that.

Why would you expect that from a player who has spent 3 of his past 6 seasons at, or below, replacement level?
   23. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 12, 2017 at 10:34 AM (#5551033)
The big thing for Hosmer is being consistent.

What?

He is not saying he has been consistent. He is saying that is his challenge. If he can be that, he can be a good player.

Personally I wouldn't go for Hosmer. And I don't have access to his medicals to know if I would go for JD. If I thought he could stay healthy though, that would be my pick.
   24. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 12, 2017 at 10:52 AM (#5551055)
Why would you expect that from a player who has spent 3 of his past 6 seasons at, or below, replacement level?


Because I think/hope that he has figured out whatever it is he needs to figure out to offset those lulls. I could be wrong but at some point you have to gamble a bit. I mean I'd love to get my hands on Rizzo or Goldschmidt or Votto but that's not likely. Hosmer just costs me money.

If I go for "consistent" I wind up with Mitch Moreland. Mitch did a nice job for the Sox this year and I loved him but Hosmer should be expected to represent a substantial upgrade.
   25. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 12, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5551058)

Personally I wouldn't go for Hosmer. And I don't have access to his medicals to know if I would go for JD. If I thought he could stay healthy though, that would be my pick.


I'm with you on this. I'd rather have JD in Boston. I think he fits and if he can be a DH I think you play Hanley at first this year and still have an opportunity for Travis to establish himself and if not Dalbec, Okimey and Chavis are in the minors.
   26. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 12, 2017 at 10:55 AM (#5551060)
That is significantly off from the numbers I have seen floating around. BRef's arbitration "estimates" at least previously, have been simple constants (x year arb - y million dollars) for every arb player, so not hugely accurate. The number I have seen has been around 129m committed, with around 50m in arb awards assuming they tender them all. I believe that estimate comes from MLB trade rumors. Leaving them just under 180m, with the LT at about 197m.


This does not take into account 40-man players in the minors (not a lot at $2.5M) and player benefits (estimated at $13.5M). Toss those onto the 180M and the Sox are close to the tax cap. Cots has them at just over $145M before accounting for the arb guys. They made approx $32M last year, so that $50M in arb does seem to hold up.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 12, 2017 at 10:57 AM (#5551065)
He is not saying he has been consistent. He is saying that is his challenge. If he can be that, he can be a good player.

OK, gotcha. I misread.

Thing is, Hosmer's good years look just like his bad years, except with a high BABIP. In 2017 Hosmer was a little better in BB%, K%, and SLG, but the real difference was a .351 BABIP vs. a .301. His hard hit % was actually down from 2016, but somehow he hit more line drives.

edit:

Because I think/hope that he has figured out whatever it is he needs to figure out to offset those lulls

Yeah, I don't see it. I don't think hitting more line drives, despite being a ground ball machine, and not hitting the ball particularly hard, is a sustainable improvement. We've seen this movie before.
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: October 12, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5551067)
In another thread, jacksone mentioned Carlos Santana. If this was a Theo/Cherington front office, I would say he would almost be a lock. Even with Dombrowski in charge, Santana looks like a more likely acquisition than Hosmer.
   29. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 12, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5551068)
I could be wrong but at some point you have to gamble a bit. I mean I'd love to get my hands on Rizzo or Goldschmidt or Votto but that's not likely. Hosmer just costs me money.


The problem as I see it, is Hosmer is going to get guaranteed production money, not take a gamble money. Someone is going to buy in to him being a top of the line 1B and pay him way more than he is reasonably worth. With the Sox so close to the tax threshhold I think they need to be smarter about who they target. I'd rather see them go for a 1B AND a DH instead of blowing their wad on Hosmer.
   30. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 12, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5551075)
Is Santana a free agent? I didn't realize that. The price in dollars and years would be interesting but apples to apples I'd prefer Hosmer just based on the age. On a shorter and cheaper deal though...he's an interesting target.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: October 12, 2017 at 05:31 PM (#5551566)
#19 ... b-r's arb estimates are hit and miss but Betts, Bogaerts, Bradley and Pomeranz (he'll get a "big" raise) are all high-priced arb guys relative to service time. That will probably be about $28 M right there. Kelly, Thornburg, Holt and Ross were $10 M this year -- only Kelly is in line for much of a raise and they could choose to walk away from the other guys but it won't save much money, so call that $12. Workman, Rutledge, Wright, Vazquez and Carson Smith are all first-year arb ... again no big awards and some guys they might non-tender but that's another $8 M or so.

But fair enough -- both Cots and b-r seem to have messed up Castillo, b-r doubly so (god created negative signs for a reason :-). The forward guaranteed commitment appears to be $110, add the Sale and Kimbrel options brings it to $135 give or take. Add $50 M in arb plus $5 M for pre-arb and it's around $190. But according to Wiki, the threshold for 2018 is $197. (I still can't believe MLBPA accepted such small increases in the threshold.)
   32. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 12, 2017 at 09:57 PM (#5552035)
Past injuries are the biggest predictor of future injuries. Doesn't matter what they were. Martinez has averaged 130 games the past 4 seasons. Seems reasonable to expect that for at least the next season or two.

Just a nitpick, but if we're focusing on past health, his games/season average should be higher than that. He only played in 123 major-league games in 2014, but he played 17 games at Toledo before he was called up, then it took a few weeks before he became an everyday player. Basically he was healthy enough to play full seasons (155+ games) in both 2014 and 2015.

He broke his arm in 2016 and missed 40 games, then missed another 40 this year with the foot thing, which seems more likely to be chronic/repeated.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2017 at 10:21 PM (#5552164)
Past injuries are the biggest predictor of future injuries. Doesn't matter what they were. Martinez has averaged 130 games the past 4 seasons. Seems reasonable to expect that for at least the next season or two.


Is this true? Has it been studied among position players?

   34. DanG Posted: October 12, 2017 at 11:26 PM (#5552402)
First basemen and corner-OF with similar WAR, OPS+ and PA as Hosmer at ages 25-27 in past hundred years:

Player         WAROPS+  Rfld   PA From   To   BA  OBP  SLG
Trot Nixon      9.1  115  14.0 1582 1999 2001 .276 .368 .482
Luis Gonzalez   9.1  117  32.0 1601 1993 1995 .284 .358 .448
Lee May         9.1  123   4.0 1916 1968 1970 .273 .321 .495
Bob Allison     9.1  118  17.0 1895 1960 1962 .254 .367 .458
Melky Cabrera   8.8  120  
-8.0 1716 2010 2012 .303 .348 .450
Willie Upshaw   8.7  119   9.0 1936 1982 1984 .284 .348 .474
Al Cowens       8.7  114   3.0 1763 1977 1979 .295 .343 .446
'Eric Hosmer    8.6  118 -13.0 2005 2015 2017 .294 .359 .463'
John Stone      8.6  113   8.0 1923 1931 1933 .302 .365 .461
Chili Davis     8.5  117  10.0 1747 1985 1987 .266 .357 .423
Ron Fairly      8.4  122  
-9.0 1598 1964 1966 .271 .362 .402
Don Hurst       8.3  121  
-5.0 1842 1931 1933 .304 .376 .470
Richard Hidalgo 8.2  116  21.0 1676 2000 2002 .279 .360 .514
Mike Greenwell  8.1  117  
-4.0 1921 1989 1991 .301 .363 .432
Jackie Jensen   8.1  113   1.0 1968 1952 1954 .274 .357 .428 
   35. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 13, 2017 at 08:25 AM (#5552979)

Is this true? Has it been studied among position players?


Can't find who said it, but it has been studied and previous DL time was the biggest correlation to future DL time.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: October 13, 2017 at 09:56 AM (#5553011)
Can't find who said it, but it has been studied and previous DL time was the biggest correlation to future DL time.


For all players, or just position players. I have no doubt that it would be true of pitchers. I'm less certain about position players (and, to the extent it is true, I doubt the correlation is nearly so strong).
   37. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 13, 2017 at 10:40 AM (#5553048)
For all players, or just position players. I have no doubt that it would be true of pitchers


Not sure. What I do know is there isn't necessarily a category or type of injury that is necessarily more likely to re-occur or not re-occur. An injury is an injury. Player A breaks a bone once, freak accident. Player B breaks a bone in his arm, twists an ankle, thigh bruise, gets hit with a pitch and gets a concussion - all different seemingly not connected injuries, but they add up to that player being more likely to be hurt at a later date.
   38. DanG Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:48 PM (#5553167)
First basemen in 2017 with OPS+ of 130:

Player          OPSoWAR dWAR WAA/  PA Age  Tm HR   BA
Joey Votto       168  6.4  0.2  5.4 707  33 CIN 36 .320
Freddie Freeman  157  4.4 
-0.5  3.0 514  27 ATL 28 .307
Cody Bellinger   142  3.4  0.0  2.4 548  21 LAD 39 .267
Paul Goldschmidt 140  4.8  0.1  3.8 665  29 ARI 36 .297
Jose Abreu       140  4.7 
-0.9  2.4 675  30 CHW 33 .304
Justin Bour      139  2.5 
-0.8  1.0 429  29 MIA 25 .289
Ryan Zimmerman   135  3.5 
-1.6  0.9 576  32 WSN 36 .303
Logan Morrison   135  3.6 
-0.7  1.6 601  29 TBR 38 .246
Yonder Alonso    133  2.8 
-1.6  0.1 521  30 TOT 28 .266
Eric Hosmer      132  4.8 
-1.6  1.7 671  27 KCR 25 .318
Anthony Rizzo    132  3.5 
-0.1  2.3 691  27 CHC 32 .273 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Harveys Wallbangers
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT - NBA 2017-2018 Tip-off Thread
(1963 - 7:26pm, Dec 13)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

NewsblogOTP 11 December, 2017 - GOP strategist: Moore would have 'date with a baseball bat' if he tried dating teens where I grew up
(1390 - 7:20pm, Dec 13)
Last: Trout! Trout! Let it all out!

NewsblogCardinals trade for Marcell Ozuna of Marlins
(15 - 7:18pm, Dec 13)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogEric Hosmer will get paid even though the numbers may argue against it
(28 - 7:16pm, Dec 13)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogThe Cincinnati Reds showed us what they showed Shohei Ohtani
(7 - 7:16pm, Dec 13)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

Hall of Merit2018 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(364 - 7:14pm, Dec 13)
Last: Bleed the Freak

NewsblogMets agree to two-year deal with Anthony Swarzak
(4 - 7:04pm, Dec 13)
Last: Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb

NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
(352 - 6:42pm, Dec 13)
Last: There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2010 Discussion
(7 - 6:36pm, Dec 13)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogJack Morris, Alan Trammell elected to Hall | MLB.com
(208 - 6:22pm, Dec 13)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogRyan Thibs has his HOF Ballot Tracker Up and Running!
(417 - 6:07pm, Dec 13)
Last: gabrielthursday

NewsblogDerek Jeter's defense of Giancarlo Stanton trade was weak | SI.com
(50 - 5:52pm, Dec 13)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogIf Kyle Schwarber goes anywhere could it be back to Cubs leadoff spot? – Chicago Sun-Times
(28 - 5:35pm, Dec 13)
Last: Andere Richtingen

NewsblogUCL of Los Angeles Angels' Ohtani is damaged, according to physical
(18 - 5:33pm, Dec 13)
Last: Tim M

NewsblogCardinals Baseball Prez John Mozeliak Is in a Bind. Can He Find a Way Out? - 101Sports.com
(3 - 5:25pm, Dec 13)
Last: The Duke

Page rendered in 0.6074 seconds
47 querie(s) executed