A very special Christmas edition of 9 innings with Royals 1B prospect Eric Hosmer
Eric Hosmer was just called up by the Royals and will make his debut on Friday night, May 6th, 2011 against the Oakland A’s. Here is a re-post of the 9 innings interview from December – Bob Stalder
1st inning- Eric, tell us about your family background and what baseball meant to your family when you were a kid?
Greg thank you for having me. Growing up I was like any other kid playing all sports during the season but I think I really picked up on baseball because my older brother Mikey was on a travel team that my dad actually coached and they would always let me practice with them. Me and my brother have been best friends my whole entire life and he would always include me in everything he did and whenever he went somewhere with his friends it was almost like he wouldn’t go unless he can bring me. I really cant explain how fortunate enough I am to have him in my life. With my brothers travel team, when they were all around 12 or 13 they started going to a lot of these tournaments and were dominating, I’m pretty sure they were ranked one of the top teams in the state, so i was always going with them sitting in the dugout i felt like i was part of the team. I think my dad saw how much there team meant to me… he thought to himself I have to start doing this for Eric and put a team together so they can start getting in these tournaments. So he started a younger team with me and we became unstoppable went all over the country won national championships and everything. We kept the team together through 8th grade and everyone on the team actually ended up going to the same high school and like 7 of us made the varsity team our freshman year. So i pretty much played with the same guys from like 11yrs old through my senior year. It was a storybook ending we won the state and national championship our senior year. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those guys. My mom was famous around South Florida for always having her video camera out recording every single game since i was like 10, I always remember after all my games my family and i would always go home and watch every game, we truly became a baseball family. I honestly could not have done anything i have accomplished today without my family they mean everything to me.
2nd inning- I know you and Sal Perez were close friends on the Wilmington ball club and I would imagine since you are bilingual that really helps you with those relationships. Give us a scouting report on Perez?
Salvador Perez is one of the best catchers i’ve played with. You’re not going to see a guy play better defense then him. He controls the whole entire game when he is behind the dish. He’s just a great person in general you won’t find anybody that works harder then him. I always think that fans look at salvador during a game and think to themselves man that guy must be having a blast out there. Its scary to think that he’s still only 20.
3rd inning- You played very competitive summer ball in high school playing for the Midland Redskins with guys like Alex Wimmers, Kolbrin Vitek, and Zach Cox who are all legitimate major league prospects right now. What do you think that team meant to you in your growth as a ball player?
it was absolutely huge for me, there’s not any high school summer team that does what they do. Papa Joe Hayden the owner of the program is in my book the nicest person on this planet, he dedicates his whole summer to helping his players whether its getting them a scholarship, trying to get them signed he does it all. It helped me on being on my own, that was the first time i was away from home so it made the transition to pro ball a lot easier. My best memory from Midland was we were in the connie mack world series in farmington, nm and the championship game was actually the night before the Aflac all american game, and I remember papa joe telling me its ok if you want to leave to go to the game thats a once in a lifetime experience and i told him theres no way im leaving the team i’ll just miss the game, we ended up winning the game and Papa Joe flew me on his private jet to San Diego that night and i got to play in the Aflac game.
4th inning- I know that you were not satisfied with the year you had in 2009 how hard was it to put that behind you before your monster year in 2010?
2009 was tough for me, but at the same time I really do think it might have been good for me at the same time. I know its hard to think that but that was really the first time i have ever struggled playing this game, I never missed a game from injuries and i missed a lot of time in 09, we lost in the playoffs on the 5th game, it was a rough year all together. I remember sitting on the plane coming home from instructional league that year and i told myself I can’t go through another year like that, I used it to motivate myself that offseason.
Preparing for games everyday. In high school you kinda just showed up and played, being around guys who have been playing pro ball for 3 or 4 years already you kinda pick up on little things they do. Ive always been big on video, i think that helped me a lot in double A getting to watch my at bats after every game.
Moose has been like a big brother to me. Our families got to spend a lot of time together in puerto rico and we consider them family. He took me under his wing and made it everything a lot easier. Its tough in the beginning going to Idaho meeting 25 new guys then going to instructs meeting more guys and then spring training meeting even more new guys, he made Â a point to introduce me to everyone and get comfortable with the team.
7th inning- Fair or unfair yourself and Mike and the other great prospects are being counted on to bring this city back t baseball greatness. How aware are you of what you mean to this city and are you comfortable with the pressure that comes from being a blue chip prospect?
To me personally it’s not so much the question about being fair or unfair. I feel like throughout my career i have been faced with challenges at every level i’ve played at so far and this is just another one of those challenges, granted this is obviously the biggest challenge i’ll face thus far in my career but I really do believe that it is a challenge that myself and all the other prospects are up for.
8th inning- I love watching you play 1B but I know that you also have a cannon for an arm…I know you get some work in practice in the OF and my question is this…If it was necessary to do so what would you think about being a RF?
I was actually pretty excited when i talked to Sharpie (Scott Sharp director of minor league operations) and he told me to start doing some work out there. My last year at midland i played outfield all summer so it wouldn’t be that new to me.
9th inning- Dayton Moore showed a great deal of respect for you by telling a radio audience on KCSP 610 sports that he called you to ask what type of guy Jeremy Jeffress was….tell us what you told Dayton and also why it is important to surround yourselves with teammates that share your vision?
I was actually out of the country when Dayton called but I was texting Sharpie and Lonnie (Lonnie Goldberg recently promoted to Royals director of scouting) back and fourth about him, JJ is a great dude who can sure light up the radar gun and he’s a great guy to have in the clubhouse. Winning teams always have good chemistry so its important to get guys that all have the same vision, JJ is one of those guys.
extra innings question- If I gave you a time machine and 4 tickets to go back in time and watch game 7 of the 1985 world series…who would use the other 3 tickets and what specifically would you be looking for in that game?
My brother Mikey, my dad, and my Uncle Joey. I’d be locked in on George Brett.
really great stuff….I am sure everyone will appreciate reading this and getting to know you as a man a little better….
Enjoy your holiday with your family and best of luck going forward
Thanks Greg u to!
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