Josh Hamilton will be a free agent when the season ends, if the Rangers do not extend his contract and re-sign him. The Rangers have had many chances to extend Hamilton’s contract this past Fall and Winter of 2011-2012 but have not done so. I guess they wanted to wait and see how he plays this season and how his injuries stand up. Richard Durret with ESPNDallas.com said, “Hamilton knows that how well he plays — and whether he stays healthy — can have a large impact on his next deal.”
This season only started a month ago, April 6, 2012, and the Rangers have played a total of 28 games. So far this season Josh Hamilton has been playing to the best of his ability. Hamilton has been amazing, and is currently ranked number 4 in batting average. To see the ranking click here. While at bat Hamilton already has 9 homes runs and has batted in 26 runners. He has hit the ball 37 times and has safely made it to 67 bases. But lets not forget his fielding talent. Not only is Hamilton a good batter, but he is also a great fielder. Hamilton can play any of the three outfield positions: Center Field, Left Field, and Right Field. This season Hamilton has completed 54 putouts with no errors. Hamilton says he prefers the center position but “will do whatever they ask me to do.”
But even with being a great player Josh Hamilton does have two recurring injuries. He has to be careful of back stiffness and a groin injury. Hamilton was out almost a total of 6 weeks last season because of a groin injury. So far this season Hamilton has missed 3 games due to a stiff back. On Sunday April 29th after a hit and run to first Josh Hamilton noticed spasms in his back. Then during a run and slide into 2nd base Hamilton’s back began to hurt even more. When Hamilton got back to the dugout he did not come back into the game. Hamilton still planned to play in Monday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays but the Manager of the Rangers, Ron Washington decided to keep Hamilton out during that series. Just before the last game of the Rangers vs. Blue Jays series on May 2, 2012 Washington explained to Ben & Skin on ESPN Dallas Radio that the turf on the Blue Jay’s field is not good for Hamilton to be playing on when his back is already acting up. Washington talked again how playing on turf affects all the Rangers. He said, “When you play on turf, it’s a little different if you’re playing on it every day, Than coming up in here for a series and you haven’t been used to it. It shocks your body. Everybody’s dealing with soreness the past three days, but we’re not using that as an excuse to not win a ballgame.”
Josh Hamilton is loved by all Rangers fans, Rangers staff, and his teammates. Whenever you go to a Rangers game you will see more Hamilton jerseys than any other player. Personally I am a huge fan of Hamilton, not only because of his talent, but because of his personality as well. I have never meet Hamilton, but I love to listen to him talk. Hamilton has been through so much in his life and still remains positive. He is a great role model for all, knowing that no matter how bad your situation is, you can always change. In June 2011 Josh Hamilton appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman in June 2011 which you can watch a clip of below. It was almost a year ago and before his second relapse, but it is a good interview.
I know that before the Rangers can offer Hamilton a contract extension they need to look at all aspects of things, like the injury, money, timing, other options, etc. But if the Rangers wait till Josh Hamilton becomes a free agent, they are taking a risk of losing him to another team. If Hamilton becomes a free agent many teams will do all they can to sign him. When asked about the issue of not receiving a contract extension yet and how he feels, Hamilton said, “It all depends on what kind of season I have. It’s either having faith that I’m going to play all year and have a good season or I could say, ‘Oh no, I’m scared and I don’t know if I’m going to play or if I get hurt and if I should take any kind of deal that comes my way.’ I have faith.” I feel that Rangers need to re-sign Josh Hamilton as soon as possible. He is a great leader on and off the field. Hamilton is a talented baseball player and one the Rangers need to keep on their team despite his recurring injuries. He is more of a positive to the team with his talent on the field and amazing personality, then a negative with his occasional back stiffness and groin pains. RE-SIGN JOSH HAMILTON!
UPDATE: On Monday May 7, 2012 the Texas Rangers started their series against the Baltimore Orioles. The Rangers won 14-3 with Josh Hamilton getting 1 HR (Home Run) and 2 RBIs (Runs Batted In). Tuesday May 8, 2012 the Rangers beat the Orioles again 10-3. During this game Josh Hamilton became the 16th player to ever get 4 HRs in one game. Hamilton was 5-5 tonight, meaning within 5 times at bat Hamilton hit the ball every time. He had 4 homers and a double. What an outstanding game for Josh Hamilton. His batting average has now gone up from .381 to .406. Hamilton is also now ranked number 1 in the AL (American League) in HR (14) and RBIs (36). RE-SIGN JOSH HAMILTON!
JOSH HAMILTON BATTING STATS SUMMARY from April 6, 2012 to May 6, 2012:
G – (Games) number of games a player has appeared in
AB – (At Bats) number of times a player bats
R – (Runs) number of times a batter safely makes it to home plate
TB – (Total Bases) the number of bases a batter safely makes it to, and or passes
2B – (Doubles) number of times a batter hits a ball and safely makes it to 2nd base
3B – (Triples) number of times a batter hits a ball and safely makes it to 3rd base
HR – (Home Runs) when a batter hits a ball and safely makes it all the way to home plate, this is always when the batter hits the ball over the fence in the back field
RBI – (Runners Batted In) number of runners that safely cross home plate because of balls that the batter hits.
BB – (Bases on Balls) number of times a batter gets to walk to 1st base, this is when the pitcher throws 4 balls before he throws 3 strikes to the batter, or when the pitcher hits the batter with the ball
IBB – (Intentional Bases on Balls) number of times a pitcher intentionally walks a batter by throwing 4 balls on purpose or hits the player with the ball on purpose
SO – (Strike Outs) number of times a batter strikes out, this is when the pitcher throws 3 strikes before he throws 4 balls
SB – (Stolen Bases) number of times a runner successfully steals a base
CS – (Caught Stealing) number of times a runner is caught trying to steal base and is tagged out
AVG – (Batting Average) H divided by AB
OBP – (On-Base Percentage) (H+BB+HBP) divided by (AB+BB+HBP+SF) note: HBP – hits by pitch; SF – sacrifice fly balls
SLG – (Slugging Percentage) TB divided by AB
OPS – (On-Base Plus Slugging) OBP + SLG
GO/AO – (Ground Outs/Air Outs Ratio) the ratio of a batters outs note: GO- number of ground balls hit that result in an out for the batter; AO – air balls that are hit by the batter and caught by a player to get the batter out
GS – (Games Started) the number of games the player has started in
INN – (Innings at this Position) the number of innings the player has played this position
TC – (Total Chances) the number of chances the player gets to make a play with a ball that was hit
PO – (Putouts) the number of times the player catches a ball that puts out the batter
A – (Assists) the number of times the player catches the ball and throws it to a teammate to get the batter or runner out
E – (Errors) the number of times the defensive player, or player on the field, makes a mistake that allows the runner to get to an extra base
DP – (Double Plays) the number of times a player on the field gets the ball that was hit and throws it to a teammate that gets a runner out and then throws it to another teammate that gets another runner out.
RF – (Range Factors) the sum of (PO+A)*9 divided by INN of that particular POS
FPCT – (Fielding Percentage) the effectiveness of a player calculated by (A+PO) divided by TC