Hello everyone, I was looking into some past free agent classes trying to find players I could compare with Eric Hosmer and I noticed a very interesting pattern.
A lot of people like Hosmer and hey what’s not to like, he is athletic, he is the leader of his team, he makes exciting plays like going home with that crazy slide in the WS, he is young and overall he just looks good which causes the perception he is far better than he actually is.
The general consensus is he will be overpaid, there is no getting around it and he might start hitting the ball in the air next year due to some adjustment the team that signs him conviced him to do, which is a longshot, but even if you sign him based on a potential adjustment, that’s still overpaying on a bet, right now there is no plausible way to justify paying him anything close to what he’s going to get based on his past production, despite all of what I mentioned, he’s virtually a lock to be massively overpaid, why is that? I ask with an answer in mind already.
Despite all of the things I`ve said earlier qualifying as plausible answers to my question, there’s one overwhelming reason.
We and I mean all baseball people tend to assume that the following premise is a reality when its as far from that as it can be, the premise is:
Young Free Agent equals Great Player, don’t believe me, I’m going to give you a list of players.
Jason Heyward 184/8. 27 Years old
Rick Porcello 82.5/4. 27 Years old
Melvin ”BJ” Upton 75.25/5. 28 Years old
Carl Crawford 142/7. 29 Years old
Prince Fielder 214/9. 27 Years old
Jose Reyes 106.6. 28 Years old
Pablo Sandoval 95/5. 28 Years old
Jordan Zimmermann 110/5. 29 Years old
What all of these players have in common, they all became Free Agents before turning 30 and together as a whole had two seasons worthy of their contracts.
Prince Fielder in 2012 and Rick Porcello in 2016, that’s it, the rest stunk, a few 2 win seasons but well below expectation, the only contract which you could argue it’s mildly close to being kind of ok is Porcello the rest is a joke.
Every single one of them had their qualities but none were complete, all had big clear flaws.
Jose Reyes was a light hitting shortstop with little power relying on defense and baserunning to increase his value, not a good bet to age well, Crawford the same thing with even worst plate discipline, Jason Heyward is a wizard with the glove CAN’T HIT, way too inconsistent with the bat.
Melvin Upton, not enough power to make up for lousy plate discipline and low AVG, for crying out loud his OBP the year leading up to FA was .298, I repeat .298, Prince Fielder a DH and its not like he was peak Pujols/Cabrera with the bat, he was very good not great, which is just not enough to earn 214 over 9.
Pablo Sandoval, really, the guy had 2 very good years in 09 and 11, but was declining defensively, 3 straight 2 WAR years before becoming a Free Agent with wRC+ around 110, Rick Porcello signed the deal in his walk year but it was close enough I included him, both him and Jordan had one really good year in between them, that was Jordan in 14, otherwise it was a lot of good not great, which you shouldn’t pay over 20 mils for.
So before I state my final thought, I’ll say Bryce Harper, a FA to be next year does not fit in here as he is not flawed, for anyone thinking about signing Hosmer.
Signing young talented but ultimately flawed players as great as they look, it does not pan out, i looked at this decade only and found irrefutable evidence that such notion is true.
Hosmer`s flaws: inconsistent, worse fielder than it might look and hits way too many groundballs.
Feel free to comment, leave suggestions and anything else you feel like it.
See you for the next one.