Eric Hosmer finishing up strong


&#8226 Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer homered among his five hits Tuesday night and knocked in three runs, continuing a standout rookie season. Hosmer, who didn't make his big league debut until May, has 18 home runs, 75 RBIs and 11 steals, and he's hitting .416 in September. This sure looks like a top-10 first baseman for 2012 drafts.

&#8226 Meanwhile, things keep getting worse for right-hander Kyle Drabek. The Toronto Blue Jays rookie was a trendy sleeper in March, but the six runs he allowed in relief Tuesday pushed his ERA to 6.03, his WHIP to 1.79. At least he didn't walk anyone. It's fair to wonder if Drabek can be relevant even next season.

&#8226 Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa slugged his 20th home run of the season Tuesday, becoming the third rookie at his position to achieve the feat (Dan Uggla, Alexei Ramirez). Espinosa's .238 batting average is a drag, but it's tough to find this power-speed combo at middle infield. Espinosa should be a top-10 second baseman in 2012.

&#8226 Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis singled, doubled and stole a base Tuesday, raising his OPS to an impressive .905 over 106 at-bats. Kipnis, 24, has enough power, speed and plate discipline to contend for top rookie honors in 2012. Look for the Indians to play him regularly and fantasy owners to love him.

&#8226 Atlanta Braves right-hander Randall Delgado won his first big league game Tuesday, shutting out the Marlins for five innings. Delgado has allowed one run in four of his past five starts, and while the 21-year-old isn't going deep into games yet, he makes for a decent spot-starter next week against Philly's checked-out offense.

&#8226 One last rookie to watch: Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Jerry Sands homered off Tim Lincecum Tuesday; Sands also homered the previous Sunday. Sands struggled in the big leagues earlier this season, but he's hitting .390 in September, after crushing 29 home runs in 94 Triple-A games. Sands could be a 25-homer fellow in 2012.