Meanwhile, the New York Yankees are just biding their time, waiting for Hosmer to become eligible for arbitration and/or free agency, when they can bring him up from their “minor league farm system” in Kansas City.
This much is obvious: Hosmer is a future superstar. The word “future” could dissolve as quickly as Ivan Nova’s fastball did May 12 when Hosmer sent a screaming liner over the right-fiend fence for his second home run of the season – and second in as many days.
Royals fans, grown weary, but accustomed to cheapskate owner David Glass and his Walmart prices, know that Hosmer won’t be around long. It’s likely that neither will other bright prospects Aaron Crow, Mike Moustakis, Wil Myers and a slew of other “future superstars” who dot Baseball America’s list of Top 100 prospects.
After all, this is the same team that once boasted an outfield of Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye. But since the 1985 World Series trophy rested in Kauffman Stadium, prospects come to Kansas City to get a few seasons under their belt, then are traded for more prospects, or allowed to leave via free agency.
I had the fortune of getting a second baseball autographed by Hosmer recently before the Royals took on the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium.
I also am proud owner of an Aaron Crow 2008 Razor Authentic Signature baseball card.
The 2011 Royals FanFest, held every January in nearby Overland Park, Kan., featured many of the “can’t miss” prospects, and I was on hand to obtain as many signatures, on as many collectibles, as possible.
I’m no dummy. I know that these guys are going to be much more accessible in Kansas City than they will be in their final destinations of large markets such as New York and Los Angeles.
Why waste your time chasing down cantankerous, bitter, former superstars such as George Brett, when so many bright prospects are willingly accessible?
In fact, if you really want an opportunity to get your cards personally signed by superstars and prospects alike, go to spring training games. While the rosters for major league teams are limited to 25 players, there are tons of hopefuls in Arizona and Florida in the spring.
Don’t forget to scan the roster for coaches – many who used to be major league players themselves.
At the stadium, keep your eye out for announcers and color commentators – again, many whom once stepped foot on the hallowed grounds of a baseball diamond.
But if you really want to keep up with the future of baseball, find out who the prospects are, and when they might be playing. It may be worth a trip to a minor league game in your neck of the woods, where players are nearly as accessible as they are in the spring.
The neat thing about chasing prospects is that, once you’ve obtained an autograph, you might find yourself rooting for someone you once never knew existed.