Texas Rangers Looking to Josh Hamilton as Savior on Offense
By David Hill
To say that the Texas Rangers offense has struggled this season would be the equivalent of saying that William Hung’s singing is slightly off key or that the Kardashians are somewhat useless. Considering the Rangers have five starters with a batting average below .200, and six starters with an OPS under .600, help is certainly needed.
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That help is what the Rangers are hoping they will have acquired once the trade for Josh Hamilton is finalized. Obviously, Hamilton has plenty of other issues that he has to deal with aside from fixing the Rangers offense, but he is being looked upon as the possible savior in Arlington.
Considering that Josh Hamilton has not exactly set the world afire since going to Los Angeles, and will be coming back from quite a layoff, this is an interesting position. Even if Hamilton had the benefit of a full Spring Training and the first month of the season, he has still produced a .255/.316/.426 batting line with the Angels. His speed is all but gone at this point, and Hamilton has hit a mere 31 home runs in 1017 plate appearances. He is, at this point, a shadow of his former self.
Yet, as pedestrian as those numbers are, Hamilton’s 110 OPS+ would rank third on this years’ Texas Rangers. In fact, aside from the first base/designated hitter combination of Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland, the Rangers do not have a single starter with an OPS+ over 90. These are certainly not the Texas Rangers that we have been accustomed to.
While adding Josh Hamilton, in a vacuum, would seem to be an upgrade for this offense, one has to wonder whether or not the pressure would be a problem. Perhaps it was a matter of trying to live up to the contract he signed, being in Los Angeles and away from the support he had or a combination of all of those problems, but Hamilton did not exactly hold up well under pressure with the Angels.
Maybe, just maybe, heading back to the place that he had success before will be the answer. Maybe that support staff, and the knowledge that he is back in a more comfortable environment, will help him on and off the field. Maybe he can actually be exactly what the Rangers offense needs.
Josh Hamilton as the savior of the Texas Rangers offense. As crazy as it sounds, that may actually work.