CLEVELAND -- Eric Hosmer doesn't just help the Royals on the field. Off it, he does what he can for the Kansas City community.
The 30 team nominees for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award were announced on Tuesday, and Hosmer's teammates chose him to represent the Royals. From now until 10:59 p.m. CT on Sunday, fans can go to MLBPLAYERS.com and vote for the big leaguer "whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others to higher levels of achievement."
Hosmer's continued involvement with the Kansas City-area Big Brothers/Big Sisters program likely made him stand out as a candidate for the award.
"Anytime you're up for basically anything, you're excited about it," said Hosmer, who was unaware of his nomination until asked to comment. "If you have the ability to help out kids and have the ability to just be a role model for kids, it's an unbelievable feeling."
For his efforts, Hosmer must have plenty of young fans. Anybody who roots for him has probably noticed how productive he's been for the Royals over the past few months. Through the season's first two months, Hosmer was hitting .261. Since June 1, though, he's batting .323/.374/.509 with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs.
It was toward the end of May that hitting coaches George Brett and Pedro Grifol came aboard. Brett is no longer in that role, but Grifol has remained, and so has Hosmer's hot bat.
"Confidence is a lot of it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "There was some mechanical issues in his swing. He was really struggling early in the year to pull the ball and use the whole field, but since George and Pedro got here, they got him freed up. He's now using the entire field, and his confidence just grew from there."
Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less