San Diego Padres: Putting Eric Hosmer’s Play Into Perspective

SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 2: Eric Hosmer
SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 2: Eric Hosmer /

San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer has been playing well, despite the moans of many fans.

After just 44 games, many fans and analysts have been speculating that the Eric Hosmer signing has already “backfired”. Particularly, a Bleacher Report article came out last month that refers to Hosmer as a “toxic asset”. Although this San Diego Padres team is underperforming, the play of Eric Hosmer is meeting expectations, maybe even surpassing them.

Let’s put something into perspective for a moment. Wil Myers was arguably the Padres’ best

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player in 2017 and played first base for the entirety of the season. Myers hit .243, had an OBP of .328, and an OPS of .792. During Hosmer’s “rough” start to 2018, he is hitting .270, has an OBP of .369, and an OPS of .856. Offensively, Eric Hosmer is doing fine thus far, even leading all Major League first baseman in doubles.

Other than committing an incredibly costly error in Houston (Hosmer’s only error in 2018), he has played an exceptional first base. Those who watch every game have seen Hosmer bail out Christian Villanueva several times. Hosmer already has 10 scoops and is tied for the Major League lead among everyday first baseman in fielding percentage (.997). He is also ranked 7th in major league assists and sixth in range factor at 8.68.

As of late, there has been a serious amount of angst surrounding the San Diego Padres. The Friars are in last place in the National League West (coming for you Dodgers), and rank bottom five in nearly every Major League offensive category. But honestly, was this not expected? As a rebuilding team, and as the youngest team in baseball, growing pains will come. Hosmer cannot simply fix the franchise on his own. If San Diego isn’t above .500 by the end of 2019, then fans have a right to hit the panic button.

If there is one legitimate knock on Hosmer, it’s his play at Petco Park. He recorded just his second home run at home on May 15th, this rocket to right field.

He’s hitting .216 at home versus .380 on the road, so to be fair, the home crowd hasn’t seen a lot of flash from Hosmer. When looking at his home/road splits, it’s important to keep in mind that three of those “home” games were played in Mexico, where Hosmer hit two home runs.

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After watching nearly every game since 2010, I understand fan’s displeasure. When any sports franchise hasn’t made the playoffs in 11 seasons, frustration is inevitable. But for now, let’s appreciate that ownership made the commitment to sign Hosmer. Hopefully, this is a sign of future aggressive free-agent deals as the franchise pushes toward a return to the playoffs.