by John Viril—
1B Eric Hosmer and 3B Mike Moustakas were supposed to be the shining stars of a Kansas City Royals renaissance built around prospects. They came to Kansas City as top picks in successive drafts (Hosmer #3 2008, Moustakas #2 2007) and rose quickly through the minor league system. By 2010, they headlined a class of prospects that many considered the best collection of minor league talent that any team had assembled in a generation. They both debuted in 2011 by seizing starting roles on the big club—giving promise they could form a middle-of-the-order duo that could drive an offense.
Today, they’re dragging down the lineup they were supposed to lead.
The quick answer is that both Hosmer and Moustakas are young—at 23 and 24 years old. Everyone wants the next Mike Trout or Bryce Harper, who hit the ground running from the moment they stepped onto a major league field. But the vast majority of players aren’t those guys. Even good hitters can struggle to find ...