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Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Eric Hosmer Dilemma | FanGraphs Baseball

He seems like a great guy in the clubhouse. He’s a good player. I hope the Red Sox don’t pursue him.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2017 at 04:19 PM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: eric hosmer

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   1. BDC Posted: November 16, 2017 at 04:44 PM (#5577613)
Close comps to Hosmer:

Player            dWAR   PA OPSWAR/pos  HR RBI   BA  OBP  SLG       Pos
Dick Hoblitzell   
-5.0 4791  112    17.3  26 542 .282 .342 .381     *3/H4
Fred Merkle       
-5.1 4340  110    13.9  49 514 .271 .332 .388 *3/8H9745
Phil Cavarretta   
-7.6 4375  111    13.0  48 499 .284 .355 .403   *38/H97
Eric Hosmer       
-8.0 4393  111    14.1 127 566 .284 .342 .439    *3/HD9 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/16/2017.

Which is to say, there aren't any. Or not useful ones. They were all good players. Hoblitzell was pretty much done at age 28. Merkle stayed quite useful through age 31 and then was done. (He is of course remembered for a single Boner, while Hosmer will be remembered for one darn smart play.) Cavaretta … had a great season at age 28, and then a graceful though definite decline.

But there just aren't too many first basemen who get that much playing time by age 27 without hitting the snot out of the ball. Hosmer kind of reminds me of Wally Joyner, but Joyner came up older and was a level better. Hosmer obviously reminds me in some ways of his teammate/predecessor Billy Butler (lots and lots of playing time 21-27), but Hosmer is a better fielder and not as good a hitter.

I hope the Rangers don't pursue him. They have some in-house options for slow first basemen who would be much cheaper. That said, what if TFA is right and Hosmer might be able to work on his launch angle and deliver many more HR a year? A dilemma, as they say.
   2. Lars6788 Posted: November 16, 2017 at 05:25 PM (#5577648)
Hosmer reminds me of Adrian Gonzalez - a fine player with some big power years, but was never as good as the big contract he once signed with the Boston Red Sox.

Hosmer is probably looking to be paid like Joey Votto money without actually having reached Votto like excellence with the bat.
   3. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 16, 2017 at 05:39 PM (#5577658)
He’s a good player. I hope the Red Sox don’t pursue him.


Don't agree with the first part, totally agree with the 2nd part. Hosmer's inconsistency is who he is, he's not good, he's not bad. I think last year was the career year and I do not want the Red Sox paying for 5 years of very average. Sign up JD, stick Hanley at 1B and hope for the best. If you're giving Hosmer 6/130, you might as well give JD 6/150 or so. For an extra $3-4 mil per year JD is well worth the extra money.

   4. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 16, 2017 at 05:49 PM (#5577662)
Hosmer is not a good player. People need to get that idea out of their heads.
   5. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 16, 2017 at 05:56 PM (#5577666)
#4, that's been my sentiment for his entire career. Erratic with the wood, overrated with the leather, but he has his supporters so I kept thinking, maybe if I squint hard enough it'll come to me. As I wrote above, I think '17 was a career year for him and do not want the Red Sox paying for mediocrity for the next 5-6 years. They pretty much cornered the market on that with the Panda and Hanley duopoly over the last 3 years.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 16, 2017 at 06:13 PM (#5577674)
He’s a good player. I hope the Red Sox don’t pursue him.

He's been useful in the odd years, 2011 OPS+ 118, 2013 118, 2015 122 & 2017 132; but 81, 99 & 102 in the intervening years. Still, I think the Red Sox probably think they have to improve on 2016 to win the AL East again, and 1st base is an area that they can do that. Not sure the cheaper options will do as well as Hosmer, so it's a bit of a dilemma.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: November 16, 2017 at 07:11 PM (#5577705)
I was a pretty big Hosmer booster back when he was 20-22. I suppose it wasn't clear whether real 1B power would ever arrive but Mark Grace or, probably, Adrian Gonzalez were definitely in my mind. I recall that entering his age 22 season there were a lot of good young hitting prospects who were also 22 (and Trout at 20) and my memory is that ZiPS projected him to the best age-22 season (but it might have been Brett Lawrie! with Hosmer #2). I'm pretty certain he was projected to out-hit the 20-year-old Trout. But of course 2017 was the first year that he clearly out-hit his age-21 self and he's had some years where he clearly under-hit that level.

He's probably the clearest example of a player where we (and maybe the nerd insiders) are in fairly strong disagreement with baseball insiders. Even when they now give a voice to the fancy stats and provide that info to the voters, the managers/coaches who vote GGs are still selecting him. I don't even remember how silver sluggers are determined, but he won it for 1B this year. He has only made one AS game though, I assume the year they voted 39 Royals in, so the rest of the world hasn't gone insane yet.

As we know, he's alternated between a 3.5-4 WAR player (you pay that guy the standard $22-23 M a year) and a 1-WAR player (he's the new Mitch Moreland). From a projection system standard, he's a solid player and, given his age, he should be a solid player for another 4-5 years. In one sense the alternating nature of his performance is having a small effect on the projection ... but then .3 WAR is $2-3 M in AAV.

5/3/2 Marcel: 121 OPS+, 3 WAR
4/3/2/1 Marcel: 118 OPS+, 2.7 WAR

As long as nobody goes crazy, he's a fine guy to bring on board ... say 5/$90 ... 3/$54 if you can get away with it but you can't. But I'm guessing he is looking for at least Chris Davis money (7/$161) or the current equivalent of AGon money (call it 8/$200) and probably an opt-out after 3-4 years. Of course if a team really thinks he's a GGer then you can add at least 1 win to those projections and he looks worth $23-25 AAV.

I've generated a different comp list for him. 1B/LF/DH (80%), expansion era, ages 23-27, min 2500 PA, OPS+ 110-125 (Hosmer 115), dWAR < -1 (this excludes the good, faster LF in Luis Gonzalez, Shannon Stewart and Crawford). This gives us 12 guys who seem like decent comps to Hosmer 23-27, at least if you consider his dWAR credible: Joyner, Chambliss, Casey, Morneau, Grace, Burrell, Sexson, Sarge, Baylor, Konerko, Derrek Lee, Carlos May. Eight of the 12 are 1B, the other LF.

Looking at those guys from ages 28-32 by WAR it's unfortunately about what the pessimists expect ... two good guys, 5 average guys, 4 below-average guys, one disaster.

Grace 20 WAR
D Lee 17
Konerko 12
Joyner 11
Chambliss 11
Morneau 10
Sarge 10
Sexson 9
Burrell 8
Casey 7
Baylor 6
C May 0

That guy probably ain't even worth 5/$90. Obviously we can't rule out Grace (esp if Hosmer's defense is GG) or a Daniel Murphy-style jump in production (if it can happen for Chris Taylor, Justin Turner, JD Martinez, etc. it can happen for Hosmer) but even more obviously we can't assume it so you pay for what you think you're gonna get.

I'm surprised by some of the names on that list. My internal b-r would have said Grace, Joyner and Morneau had been much better than Hosmer for ages 23-27 but two of those three turned out mediocre anyway. That really is a list of guys whose reps maybe were larger than their production -- Joyner, Chambliss, Morneau, Casey ... Baylor eventually won an MVP, Sarge became a Cubs hero (for a very nice year), Sexson was part of one of those 5 for 1 type trades, Konerko of course a big fan favorite. I've got to say I'm really happy with how that comp list turned out -- Hosmer as a somewhat more athletic version of Casey and Konerko strikes me as perfect.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: November 16, 2017 at 07:16 PM (#5577709)
In fairness, Morneau put up 8 WAR at 28-29 then the concussion hit so he might count as a third success story. I don't recall anybody else's performance being injury-related. OK, looks like Sexson missed most of his age 29 season which might have added 2-3 WAR to his total but he was still totally done by 32. Somebody else can check others if they want.
   9. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: November 16, 2017 at 08:39 PM (#5577748)
Hosmer seems exactly like to sort of player who's going to get old in a hurry. He's not a bad player, but really not good enough at any one thing to hang his hat on it or to rely on it when his eye or bat speed start to erode.

From Baseball-Reference:
Similar Batters through 27

Billy Butler (932.5) - Turned into a pumpkin, literally and figuratively after his age-27 season, worth -1.1 WAR the rest of his career, which ended at age 30.

Freddie Freeman (915.2) - Just finished his age 27 season too, but a better bet for continued value, I think, with more patience and power than Hosmer.

Jeff Francoeur (915.0) - Only one full season after age 27 and it was terrible. Stuck around for his arm and his personality way longer than his skills justified.

Kent Hrbek (911.5) - Averaged 23HR the following 4 seasons, back when that was a lot, but went from a 4WAR player at age 30 to a 2WAR player for the last few years.

Delmon Young (908.2) - OK, so Hosmer probably won't have the same kinds of legal issues Young had (who does?) but Young played only parts of 2 seasons after age 27 and was not worth much in those.

Gus Bell (905.6) - Averaged .277 with 14 homers from age 28-31, after having averaged .300 with 26HR the 4 previous years. Then his career really fell off a cliff.

Harold Baines (905.5) - A good-but-not-great hitter continued to be that, except less often, missing 20-30 games a year over the next half decade. Averaged 2WAR because he didn't play defense. I read somewhere that the contract he signed with Baltimore in 1997 included a clause giving him a bonus if he got votes for the Gold Glove, even though he really hadn't played more than a handful of games in the field since 1986! A guy can hope, I guess.

Nick Markakis (900.5) - Averaged .280 with 10HR for the 6 years following age-27, but plays virtually every day despite not really being particularly good at anything.

Keith Hernandez (900.2) - Hit .300 with patience, doubles power and GG defense and played nearly every day for the next 6 years. You could do worse. ;-)

John Olerud (898.3) - Like Hernandez, only more so with the walks (and more homers) and only 3 GG's.


None of these guys is a great comp, not least because the ones who ended up being pretty good after turning 28 (Olerud, Hernandez, Baines) had all shown themselves to be considerably more talented than Hosmer has before turning 28. Olerud and Hernandez each won a batting title, Hernandez an MVP. Baines had led the league in slugging once and had gotten down ballot MVP votes several times. Hrbek might have won the 1984 MVP if the writers hadn't been so enamored of Saves at the time and given it to Willie Hernandez.

Anyway, the fact that the two most encouraging examples are at the bottom of this list means they're really not that comparable to Hosmer anyway.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2017 at 09:09 PM (#5577762)
Anyway, the fact that the two most encouraging examples are at the bottom of this list means they're really not that comparable to Hosmer anyway.


None strike me as all that comparable.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: November 16, 2017 at 10:48 PM (#5577802)
My internal b-r would have said no way but that Baines comp looks pretty good too. Baines and Hosmer through 27:

EH 284/342/439, 111 OPS+, 14 WAR, -8 dWAR
HB 287/331/468, 116 OPS+, 16 WAR, -3 dWAR

Ages 23-27 might be a bit closer. Hosmer's defensive rep arguably takes care of the dWAR difference but regardless, Baines was about to move to DH so it would be hard to argue Hosmer would have less defensive value than Baines from 28 on. Hosmer does have a solid BA, doesn't K much, will certainly get plenty of PA over the next 5 years which were all Baines ever really did. Obviously we'd never expect him to age as well as Baines -- whose BA and SLG remained constant while his OBP got a bit better as he aged.

And it's in line with my earlier ones -- from 28-32, as a mostly DH, Baines put up 10 WAR. He missed about a half-season to injury but that's only about 1 more WAR. Baines too was a major fan favorite whose rep was much larger than his production (average from 28 on, not even a single 3-WAR season).

Really all he seems to have going for him from a projection standpoint is that his alternating pattern keeps us from ruling out that he is a true 4-WAR player. Steamer likes the bat well enough (121 wRC+) but dings heavily on defense bringing him down to a 2.6 WAR projection.
   12. Rally Posted: November 17, 2017 at 09:37 AM (#5577909)
I looked at 1B post integration who had an OPS+ between 115-125 during their age 25-27 seasons (Hosmer 119), while playing everyday (1500+ PA).

Interesting list. One really close match is Jason Giambi (121) who hit 67 homers (Hosmer 68), hit .293 (Hosmer .294) and walked 187 times (Hosmer 184). Jason took a pretty big jump the following year, and then got even better. He's pretty much the best case scenario for those who think Hosmer has untapped potential.

Another is Willie Upshaw, who had one more OK year hitting (111 OPS+) and 4 years later was out of baseball.

Wally Joyner is a good match, he hit at the same level for 9 more years (119 OPS+, never more than 20 points over or under).
   13. Topher Posted: November 17, 2017 at 10:08 AM (#5577919)
KC fan here. Feel free to dismiss this as biased opinion. If it helps any, I don't like Hosmer and I hope to be objective with what is below.

I think those of you saying that Hosmer is "bad" are using the wrong word. He's not bad; he's quite inconsistent. That can lead to bad results. I would say that he still has most of the tools that got him drafted 3rd overall and was a consensus top 10 prospect in 2010. And because he's inconsistent, I like the Fangraphs' article quite a bit. If Hosmer can put it all together, he can be a very good player and I think can be worthy of the contract he's seeking. His opposite field power is ridiculously good. If he could learn to lift the ball when he pulls his swing, he could become an offensive force.

I mentioned I'm a KC fan both to point out the biases I may have, but also to point out that I've probably seen about 2/3 of Hosmer's MLB career. He hasn't been a good bat, but all the posts that point out his replacement level dWAR are assuming he is a horrific defender at first base. And in the WAR framework, I think it's possible, likely even, that Hosmer is indeed terrible. But while I'm not going to argue that his four gold gloves are earned, there is a reason he has them. Maybe not a *good* reason, but still .... Hosmer is a very athletic first baseman and his ability to pick a throw out of the dirt is excellent. He looks the part. His positioning, however, is terrible and he hugs the line way too closely. Similar to the bat, the tools are still there to turn him into a plus defender. Probably not to where he actually deserves the gold glove, but he shouldn't be putting up negative dWAR numbers.

While I'm not really arguing that the dWAR numbers he put up are wrong, I do think it screws up finding comps for him. He's not a slow, chubby guy that is stationed at first because that's where he does the least damage. I would hesitate projecting him with other first basemen that had previously put up similar defensive numbers. He's not slow and fat like most those guys are.

And speaking of him not being slow and fat, for a first baseman he does have excellent speed. He also doesn't know how to use it effectively when on the base path. Hosmer dashing toward home plate during game 5 of the 2015 World Series is a quintessential Hosmer moment. Hosmer is super aggressive on the bases. It obviously worked fantastic in the World Series even though he should have been a dead duck; there is something to forcing the defense to make a play. But during the regular season, he way too regularly runs himself into an easy out at second because he's tries to steal an extra base on a routine single to the opposite field. If you could teach Hosmer to be a smarter runner, that would be great. But I honestly doubt you get him to change at this point.

So with all that said "defending" Homser, I wouldn't sign him. In general, I think it's too risky that he puts it all together and there are better investments*** to be made. That risk is mostly that I think its folly to just assume that Hosmer can be taught to not hit the ball into the dirt whenever he pulls the ball. But it also is a risk in that Homser is willing to learn/adapt. The Fangraphs' article has a quote from Hosmer and it wouldn't be difficult to dig up a dozen more. Hosmer does not believe in analytics. And this is a tiny bit of conjecture on my part, but I think the Royals have coddled Hosmer so much and insulated him from criticism that he doesn't see any reason to change his ways.

*** The one thing I will note is that I think baseball is so flush with cash at the moment, that it isn't as risky as we think it is. But in the artificial construct of team spending limits, a 9 figure contract to Hosmer isn't worth the risk.

Getting back to what I said about Hosmer at the start, he's not bad. The results might be bad, but if you are thinking about signing Hosmer you have a player that:

-- Has decent plate discipline, fantastic opposite field power, and hits every ball he pulls into the dirt. *IF* you could just teach him to lift his swing when he pulls it ...
-- Has the look of a gold glove first baseman. *IF* you could just get him to position himself better ...
-- Has very good speed for a first baseman. *IF* you could get him to be smarter with the aggression and not run into outs ...

And yes, I know that all the above can to a certain extent be said for all players. But most players don't have the raw tools that Hosmer possesses.

I wouldn't want to be the one that signed him. At the same time, if I did, I'd be quite excited about how my team's coaching staff could transform him.
   14. Topher Posted: November 17, 2017 at 10:09 AM (#5577921)
Sorry about the long post; you guys might not want to read it.

Only Walt Davis can get away with making posts as long as I just did. :)
   15. Rally Posted: November 17, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5577947)
No apology needed. It was good stuff. Besides, if we don't want to read it nobody can force us to. So post away.
   16. DaVoice of DaPeople Posted: November 17, 2017 at 12:26 PM (#5578011)
I’m taking part in an Offseason Simulation with a group of friends. We try to keep budgets and transactions as reasonable as possible.

I’m running the Royals and signed Hosmer to a 7-year, $140MM contract.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: November 17, 2017 at 04:18 PM (#5578215)
Yep, good post. One nitpick ... you mean Rfield or Rdrs or UZR when you say his defensive numbers probably shouldn't be negative. dWAR combines Rfield (performance relative to average at position) and the positional adjustment, intended to allow you to compare across positions. 1B has a big negative Rpos of course so only very good-fielding 1B will avoid negative dWAR.

Also it's a fair point that Hosmer is (probably) more athletic than most 1B. But most of the guys in my list were not fat at these ages either. A few guys were big -- Sexson, Burrell, Baylor -- but not flabby yet. The young Baylor stole 20-30 bases a year. The young Derrek Lee was downright skinny for a man his size and stole 15-20 bases a year there for a while. The young Baines and young Sarge were skinny/fit. We all know the height/weight info is sketchy but Hosmer is listed at 6'4" 225, Morneau at 6'4" 220.

We will ignore Sexson's listed 6'7", 205 lbs (maybe at birth) but otherwise the players in my long list range from 6'1" to 6'5" (Hosmer 6'4") except the shorty May. If we look at the listed weights of the guys listed at 6'4" -- Hosmer 225, Morneau 220, Burrell 235, Casey 215 ... and add Lee at 6'5", 240. We're only talking up to age 27 so even if those are rookie weights, guys are in roughly the same ballpark. I will grant that Hosmer is surely going to work harder at staying in shape than Mark Grace did. :-)

Here's that list with SB through 27:

Baylor 169
May 67
Sarge 66
Lee 46
Grace 35
Hosmer 33
Baines 29
Joyner 24
everybody else <10

For sure, the positive list includes the two who turned out best 28-32 in Grace and Lee and, except for May, those guys all at least kept playing regularly, some for a very long time. So, as we'd expect, Hosmer's superior athleticism relative to other solid 1B/LF types probably means he'll age better ... but there's still not much hope that he'll perform better ... and then that performance will decline.

Your main point is certainly spot on, a lot depends on what Hosmer's true defensive value is. Even being an average 1B is probably enough to push his projection over 3 WAR, still not very promising but worth an extra $4-5 M per year. And if he does have good opposite field power, he might make a good fit for Fenway banging doubles off the wall.
   18. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 17, 2017 at 04:50 PM (#5578228)
One thing that post 13 seems to be arguing, without coming out and saying it, is that Hosmer is either deeply stupid or completely incapable of grappling with his own limitations. If he's a good fielder who puts up bad numbers because of his positioning, a talented hitter who puts up bad-to-middling numbers because of his swing path, and a fast-ish guy who runs the bases poorly because he insists on running as though he's still the fastest guy on the field (as he probably was in high school), then there's something very wrong with his decision-making, and not just in the moment.

The young Derrek Lee


I remember my impression of the young Derrek Lee was that he was a fantastic fielder. No idea if that's backed up by the data, but that's how he looked.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: November 17, 2017 at 09:02 PM (#5578285)
young Derrek Lee was that he was a fantastic fielder. No idea if that's backed up by the data,

Not by Rfield which puts him below-average most of those years. I thought he was pretty good when he got to the Cubs too ... and Rfield agress with that (at least a smidgen above-average).

As a guy who's played a lot of 1B (in softball), I would suggest that a guy who hugs the line is doing so because he's a bit slow getting to the bag so trying to stay as close to it as possible without being embarrassing. Certainly I always figured out how far away from the bag I could afford to be, took a couple of steps closer (so I might be able to take a step or two to my right) ... and as a slow, fat guy, that kept me playing pretty close to the bag. (Also the next time I see a pitcher successfully cover first in softball will be the first time so I tried to stay close enough that I might out-run the batter to the bag).
   20. Shock Posted: November 18, 2017 at 07:27 AM (#5578313)
I think those of you saying that Hosmer is "bad" are using the wrong word.


/searches for people saying he's "bad"
/finds two people saying he's "not bad" and nothing else.
/shrugs
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: November 18, 2017 at 10:21 AM (#5578328)
Also the next time I see a pitcher successfully cover first in softball will be the first time
As a beer league pitcher I concur. I almost always forget to cover first, and when I do remember, something usually goes wrong.
   22. Voodoo Posted: November 18, 2017 at 11:52 AM (#5578345)


/searches for people saying he's "bad"
/finds two people saying he's "not bad" and nothing else.
/shrugs


Did you overlook #4? The word bad isn't used, but it is certainly implied.
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 18, 2017 at 11:52 AM (#5578346)
One thing that post 13 seems to be arguing, without coming out and saying it, is that Hosmer is either deeply stupid or completely incapable of grappling with his own limitations.

He's never struck me as the smartest bro in the chapter house.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 18, 2017 at 12:04 PM (#5578348)
Did you overlook #4? The word bad isn't used, but it is certainly implied.

You could take it that way, but there is a middle ground between good and bad.

I'd call Hosmer mediocre, or average. He'll probably give you 10 WAR over the next 4-5 years, as people above have stated.

That's average, not good. And at the price he's asking, it's downright bad.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: November 18, 2017 at 12:18 PM (#5578353)
Hosmer has a punchable face.

There was a Fangraphs article a few years ago where the nerd writer recounts a disastrous clubhouse interview session where he was loudly mocked by Hosmer, who when asked about UZR or line drive % or such quickly reverted to high school jock d-bag role. They both come off bad, Hosmer for being a dick, and the writer for being unprepared and supremely dweebish.

What's funny in retrospect is that Hosmer yells at the writer something about "barrels," like, "We get paid to hit barrels! Get your statistics out of here, nerd." And in the time since that was written, "barrels" has become a trendy statistic.

Anyway, douchiness aside, I'll take the over on 10 WAR. I don't think it's far-fetched that Hosmer puts it together and becomes a consistent 3-4 WAR player for what ought to be the prime of his career. He's the perfect age, he's a good athlete, he's in good shape, scouts love him. He's exactly, exactly the type of player that you expect might break out. But I wouldn't want to pay him for that production...
   26. BDC Posted: November 18, 2017 at 12:40 PM (#5578357)
I'd call Hosmer mediocre, or average

I'd say that's fair. If you take team OPS by first basemen over the past seven years, which is about the easiest thing I could think of to search by, the Royals (almost completely Hosmer) are tied for 15th/16th in the majors: impossible to get any more average than that. (If you want to factor in defense, split the difference between Hosmer's RField and his reputation, and that's average too.)

From the perspective of a Ranger fan (Texas is 28th on that list) it does seem very good, and of course from the perspective of Reds or Diamondbacks fans (1 and 2) it seems laughably bad.

Although – I guess I'd have a lower bar for "good" than others. If you're around major-league average for seven years (including, in Hosmer's case, a truly bad sophomore season in 2012*), I would call that a good major-league player. Your team can (self-evidently) win pennants and WS with you. Your durability means they can ink in one lineup position and worry about staffing the others.

A good player is one you can count on for consistently average performance, given that we are talking average at the major-league-regular level. It's not all that paradoxical, I reckon.

*Do the same search over the past five years, and the Royals jump to 11th in the majors.
   27. PreservedFish Posted: November 18, 2017 at 01:00 PM (#5578368)
Although – I guess I'd have a lower bar for "good" than others. If you're around major-league average for seven years (including, in Hosmer's case, a truly bad sophomore season in 2012*), I would call that a good major-league player.

Me too. Average players can be frustratingly elusive.
   28. PreservedFish Posted: November 18, 2017 at 01:06 PM (#5578369)
DaVoice of DaPeople Posted: November 17, 2017 at 12:26 PM (#5578011)
I’m taking part in an Offseason Simulation with a group of friends. We try to keep budgets and transactions as reasonable as possible.

I’m running the Royals and signed Hosmer to a 7-year, $140MM contract.


Did you need to outbid someone else to get there?
   29. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 18, 2017 at 02:48 PM (#5578389)
A couple of other guys who come to mind when I think of Hosmer:

Pete O'Brien of the Rangers and Indians

JT Snow

Dan Driessen - unlike most of the guys coming up in this thread, he did come up in his early 20s, without being a masher, but had a long career.
   30. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 18, 2017 at 02:58 PM (#5578393)
A good player is one you can count on for consistently average performance, given that we are talking average at the major-league-regular level.


But again, that's not who Hosmer is. He's a guy who's had a few years in which he's been genuinely good, alternating with years in which he's been bad. That's what I mean when I say that people need to get the idea that Hosmer is a good player out of their heads. He's a maddeningly inconsistent player who can't be relied upon, at this point, to be a worthwhile part of your lineup every year.
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: November 18, 2017 at 03:17 PM (#5578398)
He's a maddeningly inconsistent player who can't be relied upon, at this point, to be a worthwhile part of your lineup every year.


If you're projecting, do you expect him to continue to this pattern, or would you simply anticipate a guy who churns out 2-2.5 WAR seasons? He's been a maddeningly inconsistent player, but I don't know if he is one.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: November 18, 2017 at 04:08 PM (#5578402)
#29 ... Snow and Driessen aren't bad comps. An issue with the Driessen comp is that he had trouble establishing himself as a regular, unlike Hosmer. Anyway, from 28-32, he had 9.4 WAR, 1 WAA on a 120 OPS+ in a bit under 4 full years of PT so in line with Konerko, Joyner, Chambliss from my earlier list. As you know, Snow came up later but is similar in that he had a fine defensive rep while Rfield doesn't think much of him. From 28-32, he put up only 5 WAR in about 5 full seasons so that's not good for Hosmer's future employers.

#25 ... it's not far-fetched at all, it just doesn't seem likely (as you suggest when you say you wouldn't want to pay for it). But yes, all indications are that he'll keep getting lots of PT and be healthy enough to take it so 10 WAR in replacement value is his probably starting point then it's a question of whether he can outhit his dWAR ... which is most likely a question of whether Rfield or rep is accurate. Then add on the chance of being the next Murphy and taking the over on 10 WAR seems reasonable.

Nobody seems to be talking about Moose which I find odd. Pretty similar issues really. He's established himself as an above-average hitter but was whacked by Rfield in 2017. He's been less durable than Hosmer but conceivably could move to 1B/DH to counter the defense/durability issues. If faced with a choice between Moose at 5/$85 and Hosmer at 5/$120, I think I'd go Moose. (Assuming the option to take neither is off the table for some reason.)
   33. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 18, 2017 at 04:09 PM (#5578403)
the next time I see a pitcher successfully cover first in softball will be the first time


I played lot of softball with two pitchers who both hustled to cover first on every ground ball to the right side. Neither ever got there in time. One had a congenitally mal-formed ankle and the other had half of his left foot blown off in Vietnam. The fact that they never stopped trying was quite remarkable.
   34. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 18, 2017 at 06:06 PM (#5578421)
the next time I see a pitcher successfully cover first in softball will be the first time
I've had it happen once. It was awesome. I dived to my right, came up with it, and tossed to first. The pitcher was there, the throw was behind him, and he reached back and bare-handed it as he stepped on 1st, just ahead of the runner.

That was like... 10 years ago? Damn, I'm old.
   35. BDC Posted: November 18, 2017 at 08:57 PM (#5578437)
He's been a maddeningly inconsistent player, but I don't know if he is one

Also, I think a lot of players reach their overall numbers by being streaky/slumpy, and indeed in his bad years, Hosmer has good months, and in his good years, he has bad months. This may be characteristic of guys who play through minor injuries, or it may just be the constant cycle of adjustment and readjustment.

In 2016, Hosmer was "bad" (OPS+ 102, all of 1 WAR) and the Royals were 13th in the majors in OPS by first basemen. Hosmer hit 25 HR and drove in 104 runs that year. You can live with that.

None of which is to say that he should get 7 years at $140M :) But heck, maybe that's a bargain anymore.
   36. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 18, 2017 at 09:28 PM (#5578443)
I am a believer that the next five years of Hosmers career will be better than the last five and hope the Sox get him. Feel free to mock.
   37. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: November 18, 2017 at 09:34 PM (#5578445)
As with most non-elite FA's (particularly 1B), the problem will be the years rather than the AAV.

Nothing wrong with $80M/4yr for Hosmer in a ~$9M/WAR market (not who I'd invest in, but defensible contract in the abstract). The problem is guaranteeing $20M/yr for years 5-7 (or whatever) at which point he may very well be sub-replacement level.
   38. Walt Davis Posted: November 19, 2017 at 03:23 PM (#5578568)
Softball pitchers: I meant no offense. Standing that close to a guy with an aluminum bat hitting a hard object in your direction is a silly thing to do. Most of the ones I played with were too busy back-pedalling to worry about covering first. And the distance is quite a bit to cover -- if I was a pitcher, I'd have never made it in time or anything close.

#35 ... this is pretty common (in-season) for a lot of, probably most, players. Obviously it's a matter of degree ... Trout rarely (ever?) has a bad month but will still vary at times between an 800 OPS and a 1100 OPS. And average-ish player may have two bad months, two average months and two good months. A good season then is when a bad month is swapped for an average or good one; a bad season when the reverse. Hosmer has clearly been more extreme than most in the regularity of his pattern.

It's kinda neat, but pointless, to drill down to the game level. Aaron Judge had 55 games where he reached base 0 or 1 times and not by HR -- that's about 35% of his games. In 70 games he didn't score a run; in 91 games he didn't drive in a run; in 62 games he did neither, 40% of his games.

So about 40% of his games, Judge was useless in the batter's box. Baseball's a cruel game.
   39. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 19, 2017 at 07:53 PM (#5578608)
I am a believer that the next five years of Hosmers career will be better than the last five and hope the Sox get him. Feel free to mock.


And how much do you think this next 5 years is worth? As mentioned earlier, I am not a believer, but if he's willing to sign for 5/95, then sure why not. I can see the value in that. However I'm thinking someone will pay him 6/130 and I'd rather have JD at 6/155 type of thing.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: November 20, 2017 at 09:31 AM (#5578685)
As with most non-elite FA's (particularly 1B), the problem will be the years rather than the AAV.
Well, it's the overall guaranteed money that is the problem; the AAVs don't come out of the ether.

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