Watch out baseball. The drawbridge to the Kansas City Royals fortress of minor league prospects has slowly started to lower to reveal the giant stockpile within.
First up across the midseason moat to the major leagues: First baseman Eric Hosmer(notes), who was called up from Triple-A Omaha after Thursday's 9-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. He'll replace Kila Ka'aihue(notes), who was struggling with a .612 OPS and will likely pass Hosmer on I-29 as he was sent down to make room for the team's newest addition.
Hosmer was recently rated by Fangraphs as the No. 2 prospect in the Royals organization. Through 98 at-bats with Omaha this season, the 21-year-old was hitting .439/.525/.582 with three homers and 19 walks against 16 strikeouts. Calling him up this early might have a big impact on his service time, though the Royals really couldn't have gone forward with Ka'aihue struggling like he was. It'll be interesting to see if GM Dayton Moore says that the Royals current standing — at 17-14, they're only four games behind the Cleveland Indians for first place and five or more games ahead of the Twins and White Sox — had anything to do with the decision.
While it's probably presumptuous to think the Royals can compete this year, Hosmer's callup clearly sets the wheels of their rumored bright future into motion. Combine this news with pitcher Aaron Crow(notes) making the opening day roster as a reliever (and posting a 0.00 ERA and 15 strikeouts through 15 1/3 innings so far) and it's hard not to be optimistic if you're a Royals fan.
So beware, baseball. It's only a matter of time before they're joined by guys like Mike Moustakas(notes) ... Wil Myers(notes) ... Mike Montgomery(notes) ... Danny Duffy. Like Hosmer before Thursday, they're all young and just waiting for their own call to the bigs.