One month into the 2021 season, the offense of the Padres hasn’t exactly been a model of consistency. It’s been a lot of ups-and-downs without the key guys ever seeming to ride the wave together – leading to some not-so-great showings here in April.
But one guy who’s played his role to perfection is first baseman Eric Hosmer, who leads all San Diego hitters with 29 hits – which ranks second in the Senior Circuit, behind only Justin Turner of the Dodgers.
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Last year, we saw Hosmer retool his swing to some notable improvements. He turned in his best campaign in a Padres uniform and became a critical part of the lineup. It’s early, sure, but so far this year, it looks like he’s only building on the strides he took during the shortened 2020 campaign.
On the year, Hosmer is batting .299/.361/.443 – and leads the Friars in hits, doubles and on-base percentage. Given the ebbs and flows of guys like Wil Myers and Manny Machado, Hosmer’s consistency has been one of several ways the team’s stayed afloat, despite never finding their groove at the dish.
Earlier this week, I talked about how San Diego has kept themselves in the hunt through their work on the base paths. Nobody has gotten on as much as Hosmer, who is looking a lot like the player he was back in 2017, when he earned both a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in his final year with the Kansas City Royals.
Padres: Eric Hosmer is doing all the little things right
He’s hardly striking out (Hosmer ranks in the 89th percentile in terms of strikeout rate this season) and has been causing major damage off the fastball. In the season’s first month, he’s seen 210 heaters and is batting .407 against them. Furthermore, he’s not only swinging more at pitches in the zone, but he’s making more contact.
Hosmer doesn’t look like he’s ever going to be a 30-homer threat. Instead, he brings a much more balanced approach – one that’s already paying off for a team with a lineup loaded with streaky sluggers.