Each season, when the Royals finish their sloppy waltz into irrelevance, they help ensure it will happen again next year by continuing to look unappealing to free agents. The organization's difficulty in recruiting good players increases its need to develop its own stars. First baseman Eric Hosmer is proof that the Royals can nurture their blue-chip prospects into big-league players. In May, the front office had a rare moment of clarity and called up Hosmer from Class AAA Omaha. It was a test case for the team's ability to prepare the young talent that it had accumulated in the amateur draft in recent years. Hosmer showed that he wasn't a flop. He hit, fielded well and showed good speed. If he's the future, the Royals' fortunes could soon change.