Texas Rangers: Five non-tendered free agents to ponder signing
By Travis Koch
Here’s a fun one for you. How about the Rangers sign arguably the fastest player in all of Major League Baseball? Sure, they already have one of those in Delino DeShields, but there is no such thing as having too much speed.
Center field looks to be a position battle come spring training. Though, Billy Hamilton could put that to rest as early as December.
Hamilton didn’t exactly have an inspiring 2018 season. He slashed .236/.299/.327 and swiped only 34 bags (by far his career low). A .299 OBP isn’t what you want to see from a speedster like him.
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DeShields posted a rather poor OBP himself at .310. He had a lower batting average, slugging percentage, and fewer stolen bases than Hamilton in 2018. To go even further, DeShields had one triple to Hamilton’s nine and played in 106 games compared to Hamilton’s 153.
We’re not exactly comparing All-Stars; however, it’s clear Billy Hamilton has more upside than Delino DeShields. He is also the better defender. Delino is pretty darn good at roaming center field, but you should see some of the miraculous plays Hamilton has pulled off.
The 28-year-old may not be the perfect fit for the Texas Rangers, but he’s worth the team going out of their way to make room. Imagine Hamilton reaching base ahead of Elvis Andrus, Nomar Mazara and Rougned Odor…how could he not score almost every time!
He strikes out less than DeShields, often has an extra step towards first base compared to DeShields, and is a better basestealer than DeShields. So what’s to stop the Rangers from bringing him on board?
Plus, with Hamilton in center, Delino could be a defensive replacement to either Mazara or Joey Gallo. NOTHING would drop between Billy Hamilton and Delino DeShields!