Padres’ Eric Hosmer diligently working on defense in spring camp

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Early in this spring camp, San Diego Padres’ first baseman Eric Hosmer is working hard to improve his defense.

The San Diego Padres expect improvements in many areas for the 2020 season.

At times throughout the year last season, the defense failed. A new stat developed by Statcast to recognize defensive skill is called OAA (Outs Above Replacement). The San Diego Padres, as a team, came in dead last with minus 23 OAA in 2019. In other words, the team was 23 runs under a league-average defensive team, which is not productive at all.

Eric Hosmer, at the first base position, the least demanding position in the infield, posted a minus 6 OAA while committing 14 errors last year. According to FanGraphs, in 2019, Hosmer rated minus 4 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) at first base. For a former three-time Gold Glove award-winner, this is inexcusable. The Padres expect more from Hosmer, who should help anchor the defense on the infield, not be a hindrance.

In Peoria, this spring, the Florida native is working hard.

There are several reports and videos of the first baseman putting in extra work with the glove. Hosmer is out early with infield coaches and is utilizing new techniques to improve his hand-eye coordination and his footwork at the position. There will be vast improvements in 2020 from the 30-year-old.

Take a look at this series of tweets showing Hosmer putting in the work.

The Padres have every intention to complete this 2020 season on a positive note, and an improved defense will go a long way to ensure that happens. If the Padres can get results from a veteran like Hosmer, they will surely get through to the younger players on the team in regards to improving their defense. The Padres posses many young players in the system, and it is only a matter of time before the next prospect is up.

In an attempt to bolster the defense and add a coach who will get through to the players, the team added Bobby Dickerson to the staff this winter. The 10-year coaching veteran is admired for his ability to use old-school techniques and do so in an entertaining way. Padres’ fans will adore Dickerson as he brings personality to the coaching staff. The baseball lifer also brings accountability.

Dickerson is not afraid to talk. He pushes his players and motivates them with words. Some may be taken back by this, but his words come from the heart.

Manny Machado is not a stranger to Dickerson, and his style, as the two spent several years together in Baltimore. The Padres are attempting a more aggressive approach to get results from the unit. If the team fails during the season, expect there to be repercussions. The older coaches on the staff expect more from this group of players.

Bobby Dickerson is sure to get results from several infielders. Jurickson Profar and his throwing problems are also something that the coach is trying to solve this spring. Fernando Tais, Jr. should also show improved numbers with the glove in 2020.

For the Padres, improved defense from Hosmer, who is due $102 million for the next six years, is vital. The team cannot continue to receive subpar defense from a player who is regarded as a significant factor for the team. Early in camp, Hosmer is putting in the work to rectify his defensive issues. Hopefully, for Padres fans, this extra effort will translate into another Gold-Glove year for the first baseman.

3 thoughts on “Padres’ Eric Hosmer diligently working on defense in spring camp

  1. Ah February, when we yearly see an explosion of “best shape of his life” and “working hard” stories. This level of effort is expected. It should not be news. To take just one instance, Mike Trout is always featured in publications for his off season workouts, his commitment to improve small parts of his game. If any player could get by with coasting…
    As for our defense, let’s address the cause of this, that the GM simply does not care about or understand defense. This a roster that is of his choosing. Just think of some of the misadventures: trading for Kemp; using Myers in CF; using Myers at 3B; using Myers in CF redux; trading admittedly role players, but good defenders in Margot, Jankowski and Renfroe, and replacing them with Pham, Grisham and Myers (now in RF); inexplicably trading for Profar when he was about to be cut, and when he can’t make the throw from 2B; and of course, signing the Ground Ball King. Brutal defense is a hallmark of Preller’s teams.
    All this was known about Hosmer, yet the club had to have him. Stupid. Now we’re left hoping that a 30 year old player will suddenly improve at basic skills. We all do hope you’re right that “There will be vast improvements in 2020 from the 30-year-old.”, but let’s be honest that the chances of that happening are remote. If he goes from awful to tolerable that will be wonderful.

  2. Thanks for including my tweet! I’m flattered. My amateur video paid off. It’s been great watching the various fielding exercises. I don’t recall seeing so much emphasis on the basics. Being old school baseball guy I love seeing it.

  3. While on one hand he should, perhaps, be given credit for working this (e.g. foot work; etc), on the other hand, at 30 years old, and a profession paid a bazillion dollars a year, and with 3 gold gloves, should he have this down by now? …At least to the point he does not commit 14 errors at FIRST BASE? How much is he really going to change or improve at this point? I hope he does …

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