Padres’ Eric Hosmer- Positives, Negatives, Outlook
Taking a look at San Diego Padres’ left-handed hitter Eric Hosmer
2020 was Eric Hosmer’s best season as a San Diego Padre.
He only played in 38 out of 60 games but was still able to put up impressive numbers with a .287 batting average with nine home runs and 36 RBIs. It was Hosmer’s highest average since 2016 and highest as a member of the Padres.
Hosmer is in year four of an eight-year, $144 million contract. When the Padres signed him they expected him to bring his leadership and experience that he displayed with the Kansas City Royals. The first baseman brings new energy and excitement to a team that has been lacking both over the last decade. His most memorable moment in 2020 is the grand slam he slugged against the Texas Rangers completing “Slam Diego”, in which the Padres hit a grand slam in four consecutive games. Eric Hosmer and the Padres look to bring that same energy and excitement into the 2021 season.
After two down seasons in San Diego, Hosmer seemed to turn the corner last year, posting his best numbers as a Padre in the shortened season. Last year he batted .330 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs against right-handed pitching, which is up from his lifetime average against righties which sits at .292. He is also a .283 hitter at Petco Park, which is great given that it’s a pitcher’s ballpark and a lot of hitters seem to struggle there. At opposing National League West ballparks, Hosmer batted .357 in 2020 which is a good signing moving forward into 2021. Hosmer has won a World Series, doing so in 2015 with the Kansas City Royals. He brings postseason experience which will be vital for a young and talented Padres squad that hopes to make a deep playoff run in 2021 and beyond.
As mentioned before, the Padres signed Hosmer to help them win a world series. The only problem is that he has struggled in the postseason. In last year’s playoffs, Hosmer batted .160 and his lifetime average in the playoffs is .257, which isn’t great given the expectations. He is also 31 years old and entering his 11th major league campaign, so it will be interesting to see how many good years he has left as he is nearing the end of his prime. Hosmer is a lifetime .243 hitter against National League West opponents, which isn’t great for one of the Padres top paid players and someone that the team looks to be one of its best players. There are also some defensive concerns with the left-handed thrower.
Hosmer will be the starting first baseman for the Padres in 2021. Expect him to be the four or five-hitter and, if healthy, will probably have a .275-plus batting average with 18-25 home runs and 85-plus RBIs. He is very durable and will play around 150 games. Expect him to be a big contributor for the Padres, on and off the field. I would expect him to help the younger players out and be one of the main leaders in 2021 for a team that expects to play deep into October.
My name is Joey Serrano. I am currently in my last year at at Arizona State University. I am majoring in sports journalism and I am a huge fan of the San Diego Padres. I can’t wait to give my readers some great baseball material.
Hosmer is well below average, at best (when comparing WAR with other first basemen). Yes, he played over his head for 20-30 games last year, but only against right handers.
However, he is increasingly bad defensively. He is on the decline. He should never play against lefties. He should never bat in the top 6 or 7. Yet, sadly, he will play everyday and bat 4th (thus, inflating his stats), and the team will suffer for this. Also, I believe his no-trade clause ended this year.
Well, Hosmer’s no-trade has run out, and after next year, his salary drops to $13M for the last htree years. He also has an opt-out after the 2022 season, though he’s unlikely to get 3/$39M for his age 33-35 seasons.
Unless he continues to do in 2021 what he did in 2020 (except for the bunt injury), he’s not going anywhere. I can see him getting traded back to KC after 2022 (or during the 2022 season) if the Royals improve enough to desire his clubhouse presence and leadership on a rising team.
That’s a big ‘if’ though. The best we can hope for is that he unlocked something last year and it’ll still work for a couple more years. I wouldn’t worry about his World Series performance, since he won’t be facing NL pitching. It’s him facing the best of NL pitching in the playoffs BEFORE the WS that I worry about.