Kansas City Royals have promoted top prospect 1B Eric Hosmer and fantasy owners abound should add the highly touted 2008 first round pick immediately. While the cautious fantasy expert would advise adding Hosmer in deeper leagues, I’m wary of this hesitant thinking. Hosmer’s ability to produce at the minor-league level has made the Royals prized prospect a hot commodity with his Major League debut set for Friday evening against the A’s.
The statistics would make any fantasy owner looking for a 1B salivate at the mouth. Hosmer led all minor leaguers in batting average (.439) and on-base percentage (.525). Hosmer essentially forced the Royals hand into moving him to the bigs with impressive plate discipline (he drew more walks than strikeouts). He’s smashed three homers and drove in 15 runs in 26 games while batting over .400. He’s been compared to Joey Votto with the ability to have a “Jason Heyward-like” impact as soon as he makes his debut. His high contact rate and ability to take pitches at the plate makes Hosmer even more attractive.
The reality of it is that there are few can’t-miss prospects and even fewer studs that actually live up to their billing in a rookie campaign. For every Ryan Braun, there’s an Alex Gordon whose rushed entrance to the big leagues hindered development rather than enhancing it. Hosmer has yet to log 600 plate appearances at any professional level and tearing up minor league pitching is nothing compared to facing the likes of C.C. Sabathia or Felix Hernandez.
However, the first-round pedigree and prodigious power potential alone makes Hosmer a must add if only to try and catch lightning in a bottle. This is one of those situations where the rewards highly outweigh the risks in adding Hosmer. At a position that is tremendously deep and typically one of the better offensive parts of a fantasy team, Hosmer might not be a must add for your team. But could you pass up the potential American League Rookie of the Year? The time to move is now before Kansas City’s royal prospect no longer calls the wire his home. He’s owned in 20% of Yahoo! Leagues and expect that number to rise astronomically if the rookie has an impressive weekend in Oakland.