RC Interview with Eric Hosmer

Eric Hosmer was the Royals' first round pick in the 2008 draft, and the left-handed slugger has already turned heads at camp with his impressive raw power. RC on Monday caught up with the big first baseman to talk about his transition to professional baseball, and to get his thoughts on the Pirates' dispute with Pedro Alvarez that briefly put his contract with the Royals in jeopardy last summer.

Royals Corner: How did you feel at the plate today?

Eric Hosmer: I felt great. The whole spring I've been feeling real good, and seeing the ball really well, and hitting the ball pretty hard. It's just another day, just trying to get used to playing every day, and I felt really great.

RC: Rumor has it that you hit a ball over the batter's eye in center field during yesterday's game.

EH: Yeah, I got a pretty good piece of the ball yesterday.

RC: How do you feel your first spring training is going?

EH: I feel it's going really great. I'm getting a couple of hits every game, doing well, working hard. I'm getting out here early every day, and I'm really starting to get the whole pattern down of playing every day and getting used to it.

RC: You were something of a YouTube legend, and I know that's how a lot of fans in Kansas City got their first look at your swing. How did those videos come about?

EH: It was actually my aunt. My mom would videotape all my games in high school. I have about four aunts and four uncles, and they all wanted to know how I was doing. So my mom would send the videos to them on the computer. She would always send the home runs and stuff, and my aunt actually had the YouTube account. She started putting them on, and I guess they got a lot of views, so she just kept putting them on.

RC: Let's talk a little bit about last year, when you were in Idaho Falls but got pulled away from the club by the contract dispute between the Pirates and Pedro Alvarez. What were your impressions of that whole situation?

EH: I got out there, and it was great. The fans were great, the coaches were great, Gabby (manager Jim Gabella) was awesome. I got my feet wet, got a couple of knocks, and then they pulled me off the field. At first, I showed up to the yard and they told me I wasn't playing in the lineup. I asked Gabby if I'd done something wrong, and he said "no, there's something going on." So at first, I didn't know what was going on. But then J.J. [Picollo], Dayton [Moore], and Scott [Sharp] were calling me every day and letting me know what was happening. They were really great about the situation, so I felt comfortable the whole time. I knew I just had to wait.

RC: Your contract and signing bonus were eventually approved, but by then it was too late to rejoin the Chukars. So your next action was in instructs. How did that go?

EH: Great. That's when I really started getting used to playing every day, and getting up early. Instructs were really great. I got a chance to play with these guys, like Gia (Johnny Giavotella) and Moustakas and all those guys. It was good for me to get to know everybody in the organization so I came to spring training knowing a lot of people.

RC: You mentioned Giavotella and Moustakas. Do you guys hang out quite a bit?

EH: Yes, we do. We're actually good friends. Our hotel rooms are right next to each other, so we all go out to dinner every now and again, and stuff like that.

RC: What types of things are you working on at the plate right now?

EH: Just seeing the ball every day. Just recognizing pitches and squaring up on the barrel.

RC: How's your defense at first base coming along?

EH: It's coming along really well. I'm working with Harry every day, and just working really hard.

RC: Have you been told yet, or do you have any idea, where you're going to be assigned? Do you think it's going to be Burlington?

EH: I have not been told. I have no idea. I'm playing with the Low-A team now, but the word is that you don't find out until the last couple of days of camp, so I have no idea.

RC: What are your goals this year?

EH: Just to get a full season under my belt. Stay healthy, and just win. Just like last year's team. Hopefully put up a good showing for the fans out in Burlington, or wherever I go.

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