What The Eric Hosmer Call Up Means

I suppose it was only a matter of time until the Kansas City Royals called up Eric Hosmer, who at the age of 21, in his first season at Triple A, is destroying the competition. In 118 plate appearances the top prospect has accumulated 43 hits and 19 walks. That’s good enough for a .525 OBP, .582 SLG and .502 wOBA.

If the Royals were at all interested in avoiding a potential Super Two situation common thought would lead one to believe that they would’ve been better off waiting four to six more weeks before making the call up. Unfortunately, Kila Ka’aihue, looking more and more like a Quadruple A player, came down with another case of terribleness at the Major League level, getting on base in less than 30% of 96 chances. That opened the door for Hosmer’s early arrival, and Dayton Moore and the Royals entered it.

Assuming that Hosmer remains on the team for the rest of the season, the rookie first baseman will accumulate 146 days of service time. Then, further assuming that he remains with the Royals for two straight seasons after that, he’ll sit at two years and 146 days of service time, which in years past would’ve been enough to ensure that he earns that extra year of arbitration eligibility that Super Two players get.

However, as Ben Nicholson-Smith points out in his excellent breakdown for MLB Trade Rumors, this year’s cut off date for Super Two service time is estimated to be higher than ever before, as more and more teams begin relying on cheaper and younger talent. In addition, a new collective bargaining agreement will be signed this winter that may abolish the whole Super Two policy altogether.

While Brandon Belt, Zach Britton and Michel Pineda started the season on Major League rosters, Hosmer represents the first player to be called up from a list of potential Super Two candidates that includes Dustin Ackley, Manny Banuelos, Lonnie Chisenhall, Kyle Gibson, Brett Lawrie, Jordan Lyles, Jesus Montero, Mike Moustakas and Julio Teheran.

As Nicholson-Smith suggests, there are far too many variables to know for certain, but Hosmer’s call up could have financial implications on all of these players, as well as his own team.