Worst part of 2012 for Hosmer? It may have been batting eighth

If you haven’t read Bob Dutton’s


on Eric Hosmer, do so. It’ll certainly make you feel like Hosmer is going to be put last season’s woes behind him.

And it was a tough year for Hosmer, whose slash lines were .232/.304/.359. He particularly struggled against lefties (.220/.284/.308).

After scalding the ball in spring training, Hosmer’s April was one to forget: .188/.274/.388. But you may recall that he was hitting a lot of balls right at people. Indeed, his BABIP was just .164.

“For me, last year started off as bad luck,” Hosmer said at FanFest. “I don’t know if it was me trying to get out of it too hard or something. It started off as bad luck and then after that, it just wasn’t very good.

“It was real frustrating. You tend to want to do more and break out of it.”

Hosmer’s numbers did improve in May and for the month of June, his slash lines suggested that maybe he was turning it around: .270/.340/.438. But Hosmer’s numbers went down in July, bounced back in August and then came September: .179/.264/.295.

After starting the season as the No. 3 hitter in the lineup, Hosmer plummeted to the eighth spot, a memory that still leaves a bad taste in his mouth.

“I didn’t like it at all, to be honest with you,” Hosmer said. “I’ll be brutally honest with you on that. Obviously, it’s not where I wanted to be. Like I said, I’m just going to use last year as a learning experience.

“I’m glad that I can put it in the past and use it as motivation for this offseason to work hard and come back and try and get back on the field with these guys and win some ballgames.”

There is reason for hope in 2013, of course. Not only did Hosmer identify a flaw when batting, but his BABIP in 2012 was the lowest of his career (.255), except for a brief stay with the Surprise Rafters in the Arizona Fall League in 2010.