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Archive for Friday, June 6, 2008

Kansas City takes Hosmer at No. 3

June 6, 2008

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— Help may be on the way for the weakest-hitting club in the major leagues.

The Kansas City Royals took Eric Hosmer, a power-hitting high school first baseman, with the third overall pick of the baseball draft on Thursday. Twelve months earlier, they tabbed third baseman Mike Moustakas, the California state high school home run champion, with the No. 2 overall choice.

The 6-foot-4 Hosmer, the son of a Plantation, Fla., firefighter, batted .470 with 11 home runs and 27s RBIs while leading American Heritage High school to the Florida state championship. If the Royals fail to come to agreement with Hosmer and his agent, Scott Boras, he'll still have a baseball scholarship to Arizona State.

Hosmer, who throws and bats left-handed, was considered the best in a deep pool of first basemen and is known to hit for power to all fields.

"His batting average and home runs speak for themselves," said Deric Ladnier, the Royals' director of scouting. "The thing about this young man we were able to find out is he's a winner. He's always been a winner. With their second selection, the Royals took left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery, who was named California high school pitcher of the year. The 6-foot-5 Montgomery was also an accomplished basketball player. The Royals had the 36th overall selection as compensation for losing pitcher David Riske to free agency.

With their selection in the second round, KC took second baseman Johnny Giavotella, who hit .354 with 12 home runs for the University of New Orleans.

The Royals ranked last in the majors with 32 home runs entering Thursday's play.

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