Earlier this month, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer reached 20 homers for the first time in his career. After a productive series against the White Sox, he’s closing in on another statistical benchmark.
In an 8-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday afternoon, Hosmer finished 2 for 5 with two RBIs, extending his career high in RBIs to 97. With three more runs batted in over the Royals’ last 12 games, Hosmer, 26, will reach 100 RBIs for the first time.
“He’s had a fantastic year,” Royals manager Ned Yost said, “and what’s so impressive about him is he’s still got so much more production in that bat.”
After Monday’s victory, Hosmer was batting .272 with a .335 on-base percentage and 23 homers in 149 games. His overall production waned during a lengthy slump in July and August. But he has rebounded — to a degree — in September, hitting better than .270 with an on-base percentage hovering around .350.
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On the whole, Hosmer’s offensive numbers have declined after a breakout 2015 — even with a career high in homers and RBIs. A year ago, he posted an .822 on-base- plus-slugging percentage, which rated 22 percent better than league average. On Monday, Hosmer entered the day with a .775 OPS.
Still, the Royals believe Hosmer will continue to improve as he reaches his prime years.
“We felt all along that Eric was a guy that could hit 25 to 30 homers and be a perennial 100-RBI-a-year guy, plus a .300 or .320 hitter,” Yost said. “So he’s continuing to grow.”