Fantasy Spin: Eric Hosmer Signs with San Diego Padres

By Matt Johnson on Sunday, February 18th 2018
Fantasy Spin: Eric Hosmer Signs with San Diego Padres

After months of waiting and searching for the right deal, the San Diego Padres and first basemen Eric Hosmer agreed to an eight-year, $144 million deal. Kevin Acee of the San Diego-Union Tribute first reported the agreement. Bleacher Report's Scott Miller first reported terms of the eight-year contract.

Hosmer, 28, heads to San Diego after spending his entire career with the Kansas City Royals after they drafted him with the third overall pick in 2008. During his tenure in Kansas City, Hosmer played a pivotal role in the team's two trips two World Series and helped bring Kansas City its first World Series championship in decades.

Across seven seasons with Kansas City, Hosmer's tenure could simply be described as inconsistent from one season to the next. In his first two seasons at the MLB level, Hosmer combined for a .262/.319/.411 slash line, .316 wOBA, 96 wRC+ and a - 0.7 fWAR in his first 1,161 plate appearances. 

Then he broke out in 2013 with 17 home runs, 79 RBIs, 11 stolen bases and career-high marks in runs (86), wOBA (.350), fWAR (3.2) and wRC+ (120). It also marked the first season in Hosmer's young career in which he posted a positive Defensive Runs Saved (three) and a positive UZR/150 (2.2). He then took a drastic step back the following season with nine home runs, 58 RBIs, a 98 wRC+ and a 0.0 fWAR.

Hosmer's next two seasons would be equally as inconsistent with a .297/.363/.459 slash line, .355 wOBA, 124 wRC+ and 3.5 fWAR in 2015, followed by a .266/.328/.433, .326 wOBA, 102 wRC+, -0.1 fWAR, -6 DRS and -6.1 UZR/150. At the plate, Hosmer fit the very definition of inconsistency, but defensively he consistently related below average at the position every year.

Naturally in his contract season, Hosmer finished with a career-best year at the plate in 2017. He played in all 162 games and set career highs with a .318/.385/.498 slash line, .376 wOBA, 135 wRC+. and 4.1 fWAR. While he still finished as one of the worst defensive first basemen in the league, his work at the plate paid off for a substantial pay day.

His arrival in San Diego represents an upgrade over what he would have landed back into if he stayed with the Royals. Instead of being in a lineup with Salvador Perez, Whit Merrifield and marginal talent surrounding them, he'll be at the heart of a Padres' lineup with Manuel Margot, Wil Myers and Hunter Renfroe. In terms of park factors, PetCo Park is far from an ideal landing spot, but it's similar to Kauffman Stadium.

In terms of projection, Hosmer seems poised for another 20-plus home run, 85-plus RBIs and 80-plus runs scored. The question for his fantasy value, which would remain the same wherever he landed is if he can maintain his .300-plus batting average and .375-plus OBP. Given the likely unrepeatable nature of his .351 BABIP, fantasy owners should expect some regression into the .280.290 average range with a .340-plus OBP.

Wil Myers will move positions for the second time in his career, this time moving back to the corner outfield. His fantasy stock receives a slight boost once he gains outfield eligibility in fantasy leagues. Manuel Margot also receives a fantasy boost with two run-producing bats who can drive him in.
 

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