On an afternoon in April, Royals manager Ned Yost summoned a collection of team leaders and pending free agents into his office for a heart-to-heart chat.
In the middle of the discussion was Eric Hosmer, the first baseman and franchise pillar who had carried a .195 batting average and one homer into the 21st game of the season.
Four months later, Hosmer has turned the worst start of his career into the finest season of his life, shaking off a brutal April and lugging a wounded team toward the fringes of postseason contention.
According to the advanced metric Weighted Runs Created Plus, a measure of total offense, Hosmer is having the best season by a Royals hitter since Mike Sweeney in 2002.
But his daily work with hitting coach Dale Sveum, his consistent use of video and his approach allowed him to tap into his strengths.
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