KANSAS CITY -- Things came pretty easy for Eric Hosmer in his rookie season of 2011 -- to the tune of 19 homers, 27 doubles and 78 RBIs in his 128 games along with a .293 average.
Not this year. By May 20, his average was down to .172. It's been a struggle, which is why Hosmer frequently has his eyes on his batting videos in the Royals' clubhouse or is working with hitting coach Kevin Seitzer in the batting cage.
It's paying off.
Going into the Detroit series, Hosmer hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games at a .378 (14-for-37) gallop and his average has passed the .240 mark for the first time since April 9.
So does that mean that Hosmer has everything figured out?
"No, not even close," Hosmer said. "I'm just putting in the work every day with Seitz and just trying to get productive at-bats every day, and eventually try to move back up in the lineup and get in more RBI situations and stuff. I'm just taking it game by game really."
Manager Ned Yost projects Hosmer as a middle-of-the-order hitter, where he spent most of last season, but he's had the left-handed batter swinging eighth recently.
"Obviously, I don't want to be down there and I'm doing everything I can to get out of there," Hosmer said. "Hopefully, I can keep this going and eventually move out of there."
Hosmer, just 22, has learned the value of patience this season.
"You tend to try to get it all back on one swing and stuff like that," he said. "But the reality of it is that's it's not going to happen in one swing. That's a big thing that I learned this year and I think it's going to help me in the future."
Through 124 games this year, Hosmer has 19 doubles, 12 homers and 51 RBIs to go with his .241 average.