Josh Hamilton: Good at Baseball

You have probably heard, Josh Hamilton is good at baseball.But how good? Is this his best ever? MVP? Home-Run Derby? Triple Crown? $200 Million? Cure Cancer?

The answers to these questions will be found in the next four and a half months. The only question I can answer is, yes, this is the best Josh Hamilton has ever played baseball.

But what about that one month when he went nuts, during his MVP season in 2010?

 

June 2010 is what I believe you’re referencing. And yes it was historically great:

.454/.482/1.297, with 9 HRs, all aided by a whopping BABIP of .500

But half-way through May 2012, Josh is already exceeding that historic month. Here’s his numbers through the 15th of May: 

.415/.489/1.611, with 9 HRs all from a BABIP of .421

Josh’s next HR will set a career high for HRs in a month. The fact that he is already met such a statistically historic month in just half the time is “Bondsian”, or “Ruthian”, or maybe just “Hamiltonian”.

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But what does this all mean?

Hamilton etched his name beside Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green and Mike Cameron as players who had a 4 HR game in recent years. Delgado, Green and Cameron had varied degrees of power. However, hitching your wagon to those names doesn’t really validate greatness.

The 4 HR game was a spectacle, it was amazing, it was a rarity, but it was also coincidence. Cameron mustered only 5 HRs in the month of his 4 HR game. In 2002, Green had three months where he had 4 HRs or less. And Delgado did alot of HR hitting. He hit 469 other HRs in his career, and averaged 38 HRs over 162 games a year. So the four HR game is a spectacular coincidence.

MVP?

Sure. He’s the best player on the best team in baseball. So yes, he wins the May 15th MVP award. Oh…. there is no such thing, that’s right. Hamilton only needed 5 months of amazing baseball to win the 2010 MVP award. So I suppose he could withstand his average of 20-30 games on the DL and still bring home another MVP trophy.

 

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HR derby?

Only if a Baltimore pitcher pitches to him. But seriously, he’ll likely give it strong consideration. It could only enhance his marketability to all other teams in his contract year. Plus, he technically didn’t even win the HR derby last time, Justin Morneau did, (but who cares about facts, right!)

Triple Crown?

If ESPN could tap the brakes on the Triple Crown watch, everyone would probably realize how unlikely this really is. Every year, someone is a Triple Crown threat—- in May. Much like the MVP, and every other award -you can’t win it in May, but only after the season.

Personally, I would like for a law to pass, that outlaws mentioning Triple Crown before September. Hamilton does have the highest likelihood to win the triple crown. However, history, injuries, ill-advised 3rd base coach signals, out-field walls and 1st base-head-first-slides all stand in his path. And like every other May-Triple-Crown-Winner before him, he’ll likely slide back to the rest of the pack. 

 

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$200 Million?

No matter how historic a game is, it’s still just one game. Would it had been wise for the Rangers to sign Kenny Rogers long-term after his perfect game? What about extending Gary Matthews Jr. after his Spider-Man catch? Or would you send Ian Kinsler to AAA after an 0-4, 4 strike-out night. Would you send Neftali Feliz to the bullpen, because he had one bad start?

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the moment, but to water it down by rash claims and outcries is ridiculous. In my opinion, the 4 HR game and all the increased media attention, pushes Hamilton further away from the Rangers’ comfort zone in negotiations with him on his next contract.

All it takes is one team in free agency to offer a market-busting contract. And methinks there will be more than one team willing to throw heaps of cash Hamilton’s direction.


Dan Allsup is a Senior Staff Writer for ShutDownInning. You can email him at Dan.Allsup@shutdowninning.com or reach him on Twitter @SDIDan.
Dan Allsup

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