Chiefs draft rewind, and some numbers that might surprise you about Eric Hosmer
The Kansas City Star
In a lot of ways, consumption of the NFL Draft is sports’ ultimate Rorschach test. “Surprising pick” is often digested as “awful pick,” and “guy we’ve heard of especially at a skill position and/or major program” is often digested as “awesome pick.”
So in that way, taking Memphis nose tackle Dontari Poe just had no chance with many fans.
My own thoughts about the Poe pick haven’t changed much since Thursday night, when I saw it as very un-Pioli like and encouraging for what it represented.
This one is on coach Romeo Crennel as much as Pioli, though, because Romeo’s background is coaching the defensive line and Poe is a raw nose tackle with an enormous gap between what he is now and what he may someday become.
The more I think about the pick, the more I like it, actually, because nose tackle was — by FAR — the team’s biggest need and the best chance the Chiefs have of playing top-shelf defense is with a big strong guy taking up two blockers in the middle.
As for the rest of the Chiefs’ draft, I’m mostly sticking with my any-major-instant-reaction-is-overreaction stance when talking about specific players.
But I do think it’s fair to judge thought processes, and toward that end, most everything Pioli did in the draft makes plain sense. My only nitpicking is I wish they’d have taken an inside linebacker instead of one of the offensive linemen — filling a bigger hole, especially in the short-term — but I also understand that the way the draft played out, there may not have been a great time for the Chiefs to do it.
These things are almost always best taken in the big picture, and the Chiefs are in a much better position now than they’ve been in the four years since Pioli arrived in Kansas City.
Eric Hosmer is 0-for-his-last 15, a rotten stretch that’s sucked his batting average down to .188, like he’s a National League pitcher, or Tony Pena Jr.
He’s admittedly frustrated, even as hitting coach Kevin Seitzer does his best cheerleading, so he probably doesn’t want to hear any of this even as it’s the truth:
He’s been remarkably unlucky.
Among them, he’s taking more walks and hitting more home runs while maintaining the same strikeout rate as a year ago. He’s hitting fewer line drives, but also swinging at fewer pitches outside the strike zone with a contact percentage that, depending on the situation, is even or only slightly down from last season.
Most of all, Hosmer is hitting an insanely unlucky .164 on balls put in play. He was at .314 last year, and the league average is around .300.
If you play with the numbers a bit and give Hosmer league average luck on balls put in play — and, the way he hits, he should usually be a bit above league average — here are his numbers:
.294 batting average, .368 on-base percentage and, even if we assume each of the added hits are only singles, a .494 slugging-percentage.
Those are, essentially, the numbers Hunter Pence and Dustin Pedroia had last year. Not far off Alex Gordon, either.