Making sense of 2nd-year slumps

Statistically, Hosmer's sophomore slump has him headed on an unremarkable career path. Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Last year, Eric Hosmer, Dustin Ackley and Matt Moore put themselves on the map in their major league debuts. Hosmer was an above-average hitter at age 21, showing special offensive skills that created expectations he would be able to anchor the Kansas City Royals' lineup for years to come.

Ackley proved he could handle second base and showed more power than expected, giving the Seattle Mariners a legitimate major league hitter they badly needed.

Moore didn't show up until September, but in five appearances between the regular season and the playoffs, he looked like a flamethrowing ace who just might be the guy to put the Tampa Bay Rays over the top.

Instead of building off their remarkable debuts, however, all three have taken significant steps backward.