06/02/09 5:27 PM ET
Hosmer answers fans' questions
Royals' top prospect talks about Minors life, expectations
By / MLB.com
Eric Hosmer: Thanks for joining me today. Let's get started.
royalfan25: What advice do you have for the soon-to-be newly drafted players?
Eric Hosmer: It's a very long process so don't get too excited or too down on where you are picked. Just know that there is a team out there who likes you, and if they like you enough, they will end up taking you.
baseballam: Are you being pitched around more because pitchers know you are a first-round pick and are one of the Bees' best hitters? What adjustments have you made?
Eric Hosmer: No, because Nick Francis is hitting behind me, and he is doing a great job and does a great job of protecting me in the lineup. Just getting used to playing every day as far as adjustments.
royalfan25: What are your goals for your team and yourself this year?
Eric Hosmer: My goals for this year and for myself are to get through the full season and stay healthy. To get my whole routine down. Goals for the team are continue to click as a team and play well to get into the playoffs. If we continue to play well, we will have a good chance of getting into the playoffs.
waterdog122420: Is there a big difference between Connie Mack and A ball?
Eric Hosmer: There is a pretty big difference. The competition in the World Series is a pretty big difference. The amount of people you are playing in front of is a lot more and you use a wood bat. In the World Series, you just play for that week otherwise you play the whole season. It's good competition.
labsorhors: What was your first big purchase after being drafted?
Eric Hosmer: My first big purchase was a car for both my mom and my brother. I just figured I wouldn't be where I was today if it wasn't for them, so I wanted to get something for them first.
royalfan25: What baseball player did you look up to growing up?
Eric Hosmer: Growing up in Miami as a Marlins fan, I would probably say I looked up to Chuck Carr. I always went to the games with my parents, had the posters and he was my first autograph, so he was who I looked up to a lot.
nascarty: What's going to be one thing you're going to bring to the team when you come up
Eric Hosmer: I try to bring a good bat in the lineup and try to drive in runs. Not only on the field but off the field, I try to be a good teammate.
valleyfink: Did you ever think you would be drafted in the first round?
Eric Hosmer: It was always my goal, but it is a lot of people's goals. When you talk to teams before the Draft, it doesn't really hit you until that day, but it has always been one of my goals.
valleyfink: What advice do you have for young ballplayers
Eric Hosmer: When you are younger playing in high school, have as much fun as you can. Really enjoy the tournaments and don't take it as a job. Your good buddies that you play with may not be there every year so cherish the friendships that you have during high school. Then of course, it is fun to play against them later on.
cubs12993: I am in high school and I was wondering if you have any tips to help me get more power in my swing? Thanks for taking the time to answer everyone's questions!
Eric Hosmer: Don't go up there trying to swing as hard as you can to be a power hitter -- sometimes you drive the ball when you least expect it. Just go up there and relax and take a nice easy swing to hit the ball hard.
camdogg: With Billy Butler and Mike Jacobs tying up first base at the bigs, are you able to play other infield positions, and if so what?
Eric Hosmer: I can't actually because I'm a left-handed first baseman. Those two are great players and whenever I see them, I try to watch what they do to see if there is something I can add to my swing.
lemlem: What were the events you had to go through to get drafted and what did you need to do every day to get better
Eric Hosmer: My junior year in the summer there were quite a few showcases, so I couldn't have done those unless my parents let me go. It was a long process of playing in front of scouts, but I couldn't have done it without my family.
labsorhors: Eric, welcome again. Just curious as to your favorite ballpark that you have hit in so far and why.
Eric Hosmer: I would have to say Fort Wayne, because it is a great atmosphere to play in with 7000 to 8000 people there. They have a big jumbotron where you can watch yourself after every at bat which was pretty cool.
kcbottom9: So how are you finding the Midwest? Is it easy to adjust to the weather/culture after coming from Florida?
Eric Hosmer: The Midwest is definitely different than back home. The weather is colder, but you find ways to adjust. The guys that are from here gave me pointers. The month of April was cold, but after that, it gets a lot warmer and stays that way.
jonathan26: Eric, first off, good luck in the Minors hope to see you one day on baseball tonight. I am a high school coach down in Miami and wanted to know how has the transition been from playing high school ball to pro ball.
Eric Hosmer: The transition has been a lot different. In H.S. you go from playing two games a week with 50 people in the stands (like your parents), to playing every day in front of thousands of people. In high school, you feel pretty good going 3-for-3, where in pro ball you go 3-for-3 and you are already playing the next day.
labsorhors: If asked to play in the Classic in a few years, would you pass or play?
Eric Hosmer: I would definitely play. I think it is a great honor to represent your country. One of my buddies played in it this year, Juan-Carlos Sulbaran and had a good time.
waterdog122420: Do you still practice off the tee? If so, how many balls do you hit every day
Eric Hosmer: I still do every day. I pretty much have a routine that I go through every day now where I go take a few swings off the tee, then take soft toss and then go take BP.
quagmire_: Who is your favorite current player?
Eric Hosmer: I would say right now it would be Josh Hamilton. I don't get to read that often, but I read his book in Spring Training and getting to see him play in camp right next to ours was really unbelievable.
quagmire_: Are you a better hitter than Mike Moustakas?
Eric Hosmer: Me and Mike are pretty similar hitters. We both have good power, but we really don't have to worry about who is better, because we play on the same team. Hopefully, we can be in Kansas City together here in a few years.
rdf8585: How do pitchers in the Midwest League differ from the ones you dominated in high school?
Eric Hosmer: The pitchers in the Midwest League throw 89-90 mph. In high school, you might run into that every one to two weeks depending on where you play.
urriola: Have any pro players talked to you? Like give you some guidance
Eric Hosmer: Yes, Mike has give me a ton of advice. All the guys on the team give me a ton of advice, and they are always there when I need it.
baseballam: Eric, thanks for signing a ball for me two weeks ago. What has been your favorite part about playing in the Midwest League so far this year?
Eric Hosmer: Traveling to different parts of the country and going to different stadiums. You are always excited to play in a championship and see different places. There are a lot of great facilities out here.
benkc: Do you think going straight from high school to the pros is better for a young player's development?
Eric Hosmer: It depends on the player. if a player feels that they are mature enough to go, then it might be right for them. Others go the college route. It just depends on the player.
josh_frost: What was your Draft day like?
Eric Hosmer: Draft day was an unbelievable experience. I got to experience it with all my friends and family. I was glad to get the day over with. It was a long process of who would pick me and where I would go. I was glad to enjoy it with all my family and friends though.
siege616: What would you say was your best moment of your career? Whether it be in your high school or professional career
Eric Hosmer: My senior year in high school. The whole season was great. I graduated with a whole bunch of players I had been playing with since I was 11 or 12 years old, so it was really special. We ended up winning state and then getting drafted, it was a great year.
cubs12993: I am going to see you play the South Bend Silverhawks in mid-July. I was wondering, do you enjoy signing autographs and talking to fans before the game or do you try to get focused on the game?
Eric Hosmer: I do enjoy signing autographs. It really makes me feel good that there are fans out there that follow the game and enjoy the game.
rdf8585: Has there been anyone in the MWL that has really impressed you this year?
Eric Hosmer: The whole league is really impressive. A lot of older guys from college. The most impressive have been Nick Van Stratten and Nick Francis. Just watching them on a day to day basis.
gilgameche55: How if in any way did being held out of games due to the Pedro Alvarez situation last year affect you? And what did you do during that time?
Eric Hosmer: It really didn't affect me that much because I only sat out about six games, then I had a chance to go to Arizona after that for instructional league so it really wasn't too bad.
rdf8585: Your numbers have gotten a lot better in the last few weeks -- what kind of adjustments have you made?
Eric Hosmer: Just working with Jack and Andre -- the hitting guys -- has helped me get my whole routine down. At first you wonder why you get to the ballpark early, but getting the routine down really helps. The guys on the team have been really great.
dizzzle: How did your first home run feel?
Eric Hosmer: The first one felt really good. It actually came on Mother's Day, so I was excited about that. My mom was listening to the game. It felt good to have the pressure off to get that first home run.
cubs12993: What are some of your favorite offseason hobbies?
Eric Hosmer: Coming from Florida, I like to go to the beach and hang out with my friends. The offseason is a good time to catch up with family and friends to see how everyone is doing.
labsorhors: What is the biggest thing that has surprised you about professional baseball?
Eric Hosmer: Realizing how long the season actually is. Looking at it on paper is a lot different than actually playing day in and day out.
lemlem: What would be your advice to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps (get drafted) or attract scouts?
Eric Hosmer: You don't go out there and play to try to attract the scouts. Just go out there and play and have fun. It takes hard work but you should enjoy playing as well.
Revive85KC: Are you getting to know any pieces of Royals history? If so, do you have a favorite moment or player?
Eric Hosmer: I am starting to learn a lot about the Royals history. In Spring Training, we meet a lot of the guys who played like John Mayberry, and George Brett is really great. My favorite moment would be the George Brett pine-tar moment and then getting to actually talk to him about it was pretty cool.
sparkykc4: What excites you the most about playing in KC?
Eric Hosmer: The amount of talent we have in our farm system is exciting. We have a lot of great talent, and it is going to be exciting to see in a couple of years how it is going to turn out.
urriola: Has Omar Ramirez helped you out
Eric Hosmer: Omar has been a big help in the transition. He is a really good hitting coach. During the game, he lets you do what you do. If he sees something, he'll tell you after the game and then work on it the next day. That way you don't stress out during the game. He is a really big help.
nascarty: If you had to choose a sport besides baseball what would you have chosen instead?
Eric Hosmer: Basketball. In high school, my buddies and I really liked playing pickup games -- so definitely basketball.
KCFanJakee: Do you miss pitching? Do any guys in the low Minors wish they could be two-way players?
Eric Hosmer: I do miss pitching a lot. I think a couple of guys in professional baseball think they could be two-way players. You control the mound when you are in the game, and I was always the closer in high school.
sparkykc4: What areas of your game would you like to improve on before you get to KC?
Eric Hosmer: Learning the whole grind and the mental part of the game. The first month when I was struggling, I really got down on myself and then you realize how long the season actually is. So the mental part of the game is something I would like to work on.
rdf8585: What have been your early impressions of Tim Melville?
Eric Hosmer: Timmy and I have played against each other in showcases all through high school. Now it is really fun to be on his team. You can see how great of a pitcher he really is. He has three pretty good starts already and it will be great to see how he does in the future.
nascarty: Has George Brett given you ideas about what to expect in baseball
Eric Hosmer: The first day I met George was after I went through the signing day in Kansas City. I flew to Utah to meet the team in Ogden and he was actually on the same flight. He let me pick his brain on everything to do with professional baseball.
raiduhs: How do you and the other players on your team handle the long bus rides? Any funny pranks so far from your fellow teammates?
Eric Hosmer: On the bus ride, we can watch movies and everyone is pretty laid back on the bus. We just relax before games.raiduhs: What number would you like to wear if you were fortunate enough to represent the KC Royals, and why that number in particular?
Eric Hosmer: I used No. 20 in high school, but I know it is retired in Kansas City. If I made it to Kansas City, the number really wouldn't matter. I would just be glad I was fortunate enough to make it there.
masterd: As a prospect, would you prefer to be with a winning organization or a team that will give you a big league chance as soon as you're ready?
Eric Hosmer: I would always want to be a part of a winning organization, but also a part of an organization who would give you a chance when you are ready. I think they are a good organization with all the young players they have now.
Eric Hosmer: Thank you for all your questions so far. I have time for just a few more.
sparkykc4: Is there any current Major League player that you think that you are most alike?
Eric Hosmer: In high school a couple of the scouts would compare me to Adrian Gonzalez or Casey Kotchman. I would say Adrian Gonzales would be a good one to compare to because he is a great player.
lemlem: Do you have a gamer tag? Do you play video games? If so what's your favorite game
Eric Hosmer: I do play a lot of video games, but I do not have a gamer tag. I usually just play guys in the clubhouse. My favorite games would be MLB The Show '09 or the new UFC Unleashed game.
tigrgal: Hey Eric! Have you had much time to visit Kansas City? Had any barbecue yet?
Eric Hosmer: The only time I've been to Kansas City is for the signing. I had Jack Stack BBQ and it was really good.
dizzzle: If you had to name a good young baseball player in high school, who would it be
Eric Hosmer: I would say Devin Marrero. He is a senior at my high school, American Heritage, as a shortstop
gilgameche55: Is there any particular pitcher in the bigs you hope to get a chance to face someday?
Eric Hosmer: Tim Wakefield -- just to see how much his knuckleball moves.
Eric Hosmer: Thank you everyone for joining me today. Hope to see you all in Kansas City soon.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.