Eric Hosmer’s presence at the plate this postseason has been bordering on absurdly productive.
The Kansas City Royals first baseman has slowly but surely spent the better part of the last few weeks evolving into an RBI machine It’s a moment Hosmer, 26, has been waiting for since he joined the big league team in 2011.
Now, Hosmer is in the spotlight, looking to lead the Royals to the club’s first World Series championship since 1985. If he keeps driving in runs, that shouldn’t be too difficult. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hosmer Was Drafted Out of High School With the No. 3 Pick in the 2008 Draft
A left-handed hitter with “raw power,” coming out of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida, Hosmer was drafted with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 MLB Draft.
It took a little while after he was drafted for Hosmer to sign, but once and he the club ironed out the details of his initial contract, the top prospect inked his name on a $6 million deal on August 15, 2008. It was the largest sum given to a draft pick in Royals history.
After moving up the ranks of the minors quickly, Hosmer was officially promoted to the Royals in May, 2011. He had hit .439 in 26 games at Triple-A Omaha. It was the highest average of any minor league regular in the country.
2. His Mother, Ileana, Fled to the United States From Cuba
Hosmer’s family history is, perhaps, one of the more interesting aspects of his road to the Major Leagues. His father, Mike, was a firefighter in Miami while Hosmer was growing up. His mother, Ileana, meanwhile, was born in Cuba and came to the United States when she was just seven years old.
Mike and Ileana met in 1979 and were married four years later. They welcomed their first son, Mike Jr. in 1985, and Eric was born four years later.
Hosmer frequently credits his family for his success as a baseball player. His parents were the first to introduce him to the game and when he was promoted to the big leagues, the first thing Hosmer did was tell his parents, “We made it.”
3. Hosmer Was Touted as the Royals ‘Super Prospect’
The expectations for Hosmer were sky-high coming out of high school. He had hit .470 with 11 home runs during his senior season and drew dozens of MLB and college scouts throughout his final season on the diamond. Hosmer had initially planned on attending Arizona State if he hadn’t heard his name called during draft weekend.
It was plenty of pressure for a teenager just trying to play the game he loved, but Hosmer explained how he kept everything in check:
My brother (Mike Jr.) and my dad (Mike) tell me not to worry about who’s outside the fence but worry about what happens inside the fence. Once I get in the box, I zone everything out, and I don’t hear a thing. I block it out and focus on hitting.
Hosmer was named one of the top-five prep baseball player in the country by nearly every scouting agency when he graduated, including No. 2 by Rivals and No. 3 by both RISE Magazine and Sports Illustrated.
4. He Broke George Brett’s Postseason RBI Record This Year
This postseason has been like something out of a dream for Hosmer. This is the reason the Royals drafted him. This is what he thought about when he was in high school in Florida.
This is why he plays baseball – to hit the ball and drive in runs.
Hosmer broke George Brett’s postseason RBI record this season as the Royals ripped through the postseason and he’s not done yet. His .363 on-base percentage this year was a career high and with a .297 batting average and 18 home runs, Hosmer is starting to come into himself at the plate.
He’s also drawing comparisons to Lou Gehrig. Hosmer has 27 RBI in his first 28 postseason games. The only player with more? Gehrig. He had 33. That’s some pretty good company to be in.
5. Hosmer Is Dating Kansas City Reporter Kacie McDonnell
Hosmer may be having a pretty good season on the field, but he may be having an even better time away from the diamond.
The Kansas City Royals standout is currently dating local broadcaster Kacie McDonnell and the two have been spotted together throughout the team’s postseason run. Hosmer and McDonnell first started dating earlier this summer and the two acknowledge the brand-new relationship by posting photos together on their respective social media profiles.
McDonnell, who is a traffic reporter in Kansas City and a part of the Sport Kansas City broadcast team, was previously engaged to Aaron Murray, the former Georgia football standout. The two broke off their wedding plans earlier this year after McDonnell had moved from Philadelphia to Kansas City to be with Murray after he was drafted.