Eric Hosmer’s OPS+ tells more of the same story. From 2011-’17, these were his OPS+ numbers: 118, 81, 118, 99, 122, 102, 132.
Again, his 2012 and 2014 seasons were borderline-disastrous in the big picture of his career but would be decent seasons for 50% of MLB position players.
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To put things in perspective once again, Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds led all of MLB in OPS+ last season with 168. Hosmer’s 132 last year isn’t a far cry from the league leader in Votto.
If this is the player we can expect to see over the next few, prime-of-his-career seasons, it makes the San Diego Padres investment worth every penny.
Padres’ new first baseman’s advanced fielding stats
Eric Hosmer has won a handful of Gold Glove Awards for his play at first base over the last seven seasons. From 2011-’17 his UZR was as follows: -10.5, -12.8, 2.5 (Gold Glove), -0.4 (Gold Glove), 1.0 (Gold Glove), -8.4, and -0.3 (Gold Glove).
In Hosmer’s Gold Glove-winning seasons, his UZR never ranked above 11th among MLB first basemen (2013, 13th; 2014, 11th; 2015, 17th; 2017, 14th).
Researching and finding those stats certainly weaken my faith a little bit in the Gold Glove Award selection process, but I’m not the first to make that observation and won’t be the last either.
If the San Diego Padres get, for example, a handful of seasons like Eric Hosmer had in 2017, again, their considerable investment in a fringe-elite player will have been completely justified.