Here’s the fun sleepers! Put away your Dylan Moores! Get out of the way with your Franchies! Stop exploring the dirty stuff you want to do with your Ryan Jefferii! We’re looking at a guy who is way more exciting than that! *sees we’re looking at Eric Hosmer* Okay, I take that back. Eric Hosmer isn’t exciting at all. Yeah, he’s boring as all crizzap. Let’s hit the snooze button and take a siesta, what say you? You’re already asleep? Okay, cool. I will just go ahead…and…slide…my spoon right next to your fork–WHOA! Stop yelling! I was going to nap with you! Hayzeus Francisco Cristo! I didn’t mean to upset you. It was just Eric Hosmer hit nine homers and .287 last year, and lowered his strikeouts to 17.9% and stole four bags and all in 143 ABs…Hey, wait a second, I’m getting excited for Eric Hosmer! That’s weird, and awkward since I’m still spooning you — How ya doin’. So, what can we expect from Eric Hosmer for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
I did a Ric Flair WOOOOOOOO and strutted around my office for 15 minutes after I did some rudimentary math about Eric Hosmer. It went like this: A new Launch Angle that went from 2 to 8.7 that led to an increase of his fly ball rate from 23.1% to 34.2%. 34.2% fly ball equates to something like 181 fly balls, and Eric Hosmer has maintained a 20% HR/FB rate for five straight years, and 20% HR/FB with 181 fly balls is 36 homers and I’m WOOOOO’ing and strutting again. 36 bazingas and it’s not even noon yet? I’m going to take a nap before I use all my juice up. You don’t have a battery charging symbol on your forehead telling you how much charge you have left for the day? It’s only me? That’s weird.
But wait there’s more! Hosmer’s Launch Angle change wasn’t just for some cheapo homers that sail into the hands of a Chardonnay drinker out on Tony Gwynn Drive. His Barrel% was the highest in his career, and he had a .291 xBA. His line drive rate went from 23.2% to 30.8% year over year, and he was pulling the ball a lot more. Yo, hand Hosmer the keys, he’s driving! Too bad the Padres didn’t hire Tony La Russa, he could use that. Eff me in the eff hole, Hosmer’s a .280 hitter for real for real? For real!
Too bad Hosmer’s going to hit 36 homers and .280 with no speed, am’right? No, am’wrong! He had four steals in only 38 games last year, and, while none the previous year, he’s usually good for at least six to eight steals. What’s that, Hosmer is a 31-year-old who is just now becoming prime Au Shizz? Yes, it appears that way, but for a third of the price. Maybe a fourth of the price. I’m not sure how percentages work. Hosmer’s going around 150th overall. Pop shot, hotquiz! 36 homers, 7 steals, and a .280 average is better or worse than any 1st baseman being drafted in the top 50 overall? I’m going with better, but what do I know? I don’t even know if you end “What do I know” with a question mark or period. This is having a lot of fun about a small sample from last year if there wasn’t a real change made, but there was. Okay, I’m not a complete idiot, I know Hosmer isn’t young and his upside might be limited, but he could have one full season in his bat that looks a lot like what we hoped to get from Kris Bryant or Anthony Rizzo or a non-Cub. For 2021, I’ll give Eric Hosmer projections of 83/29/94/.283/8 in 591 ABs with a chance for more.