Josh Hamilton is doing pretty well in ST and projecting 2008

(AP image)

Of course in the past year, we knew about OF Josh Hamilton’s drug troubles, etc etc. Right? Right now, Hamilton is hitting .512 for the Texas Rangers in Spring Training with an OPS of 1.437. With a minimum of 20 ABs, he is only behind bench guys who are not projected to do much this year, like Baltimore’s Scott Moore and Oakland’s Todd Linden, as well as Seattle utility player Mike Morse (who will do decent in regular season play in 2008).

I understand that Spring Training numbers are an awful projector, but that .512 average still deserves some notice, and gives me an excuse to write about him. This is Hamilton’s Age 27 year, and barring injuries, in which he has a high chance for, especially after last year’s gastroenteritis fiasco, he can break out this year. It appears that there is a good chance that his numbers were not a fluke. Plus he plays in Ameriquest Field Rangers Ballpark, a good hitters’ park. Of course there’s always the chance of a relapse or a season-ending injury. In fact, I’m pretty sure he’s missed a few days in ST already, and he’s complaining of shin problems again, like last year. In 2007, in offense, his runs created count was at 56, and he only played 90 games, and he hits very well with runners in scoring position I would definitely like to see what Hamilton does in a full season, on a pretty mediocre Texas Rangers team. Plus I own his jersey.

The problem is, if Hamilton goes the full season, will his numbers be wasted? In that mediocre Rangers team, if Hamilton plays the full 162-game season at say, a .295/.350/.520, that Rangers team has way too many holes to be good. They do have some good prospects coming in, but players like German Duran, Elvis Andrus and others will not be around until 2009. The other thing is that Hamilton cannot hit lefties (.206 last year) and other teams will try to use as many lefties as possible against him in later innings, so that average and OBP, etc will go down. Hopefully Josh Hamilton plays great again.

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