SURPRISE AZ - FEBRUARY 23: Eric Hosmer #40 of the Kansas City Royals poses for a portrait during Spring Training Media Day on February 23 2011 at Surprise Stadium in Surprise Arizona.. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
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We are now roughly a month into minor league baseball action and four of the Royals minor league affiliates are in full swing. Three of the clubs sit at .500 or better on the season, while Kane County is off to a slow start due in part to the thumb injury of Brett Eibner.
Omaha seems to be red-hot after starting the season at 2-6, and is led by our first ever Minor League Offensive Player of the Month (April), Eric Hosmer. Through 26 games this year, Hosmer is batting a cool .439 for Omaha, with 3 home runs and 15 RBI. He also has walked a team-leading 19 times thus far. Hosmer currently leads th Pacfic Coast League in hits (43), on-base percentage (.525) , and OPS (1.107) and is second in the league in walks (19) and slugging percentage (.582 and trailing Omaha's Clint Robinson).
With Kila Ka`aihue struggling for the Kansas City team, it has added the pressue of bringing up Hosmer to play first-base. Going into the season, I thought we wouldn't be seeing Hosmer get the call to the majors until 2012 but he may soon force the Royals hand. I would look for Hosmer to likely get his first call in late June or somtime in July. Seeing Hosmer play a hand-full of times in person, the man has a quality glove and will eventually be a star at the plate coming to an American league ballpark near you.
Other April nominees for the player of the month:
1B/ DH Clint Robinson (Omaha) .323/.409/.635 8 Home Runs 19 RBI
3B Mario Lisson (Northwest Arkansas) .382/.421/.717 6 Home Runs 12 RBI
2B Rey Nevarro (Wilmington) .370/.416/.565 1 Home Run 13 RBI
Royals Minor League Standings:
Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA) 16-10
Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA) 11-11
Wilmington Blue Rocks (Advanced A) 16-9
Kane County Cougars (A) 8-19