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Auditing The Royals: Ka`aihue Was Disappointing In His Opportunity

Continuing the series we started on Wednesday, we are looking at first half performances at each position, and first base certainly hasn't gone how most envisioned before the start of the season. Kila Ka`aihue struggle in his brief audition for the starting job at first base over the first month of the season and was optioned to Triple-A Omaha, paving the way for super prospect Eric Hosmer to be called up.

I imagined Ka`aihue was going to be formidable for Kansas City, likely hitting in the .270's to go with 20 or so home runs and about 70-80 RBI. While we never know what may have been, Ka`aihue has not exactly put up the eye-popping minor league statistics this season we grew accustomed to seeing. He is currently batting .293/.409/.452 with six home runs and 42 RBI. He has seemed to regress closer to his 2009 form, when he hit .252/.392/.433 at Omaha. At the age of 27, Ka`aihue has now lost his opportunity with the Royals organization and it's likely that if he will reach the majors for extended playing time in the future, it will be with another club. DOWNGRADE

After a sizzling start to his spring, Eric Hosmer has now moved on to Kansas City, batting .269/.319/.434 through 59 games. That includes eight home runs and 34 RBI. Given a chance at a full season, we'd be looking at nearly 90 RBI for the young slugger. However he still has room for growth at the major league level as lately he has been swinging at too many high fastballs. He has struck out 43 times with Kansas City while walking just 18 times. I will grade Hosmer as a PUSH because no one expected him to be with the Royals in the first half of the 2011 season.