On Thursday, the Kansas City Royals whipped the Baltimore Orioles 9-1, with struggling slugger Kila Ka'aihue sitting on the bench. And after the game, the team made an announcement: Ka'aihue is going away, to make room for an exciting top prospect.
#Royals announce postgame that Eric Hosmer will be selected from Omaha. Kila optioned to Omaha. Kendal to 60-day DL. Hoss in KC tomorrow.
Ka'aihue has been kind of a contemporary Erubiel Durazo or Calvin Pickering - a guy that stat-friendly baseball fans wanted to see get a good big league opportunity after he proved that he can mash in AAA. But while Ka'aihue has indeed posted great numbers in AAA, his Major League OPS through 87 games is .683, and he hasn't seized any opportunities he's been given. So he'll take his act back to Omaha.
And replacing him is Baseball America's preseason #8 prospect in baseball. Just 21 years old, Hosmer put up great numbers with A-ball Wilmington and AA Northwest Arkansas a year ago, and with Omaha this season, he's hit an impossible .439/.525/.582 through 118 trips to the plate. The first baseman should slide right into the Royals' lineup as the team looks to continue hanging around in the race.
The Kila demotion is sad news for Kila fans. But now, the Hosmer era and the Royals' transition are beginning. Exciting times, these. You can read more on Hosmer over at Minor League Ball.