CF JOSH HAMILTON
Say what you want about Hamilton, but he’s as gifted a player as there is in the game today. It’s like he can roll out of bed, slip on his uniform and rattle off a 3-for-4, two-homer, three-RBI night just about any time he goes out there.
Though a second-half slump denied him AL honors in homers and RBIs, and also knocked him out of an MVP race that he seemed to own for the majority of the season’s first four months, the 6-4, 240-pounder remains arguably the most dangerous offensive weapon in baseball. He finished 2012’s regular season with a .285 batting average, 43 homers and 103 RBIs in 562 at-bats.
Clearly, he can hit … any time … anywhere.
The 31-year-old also has some postseason experience under his belt, and shown some pop in the process. In 33 games, he has six homers and 22 RBIs, although his batting average of .234 leaves much to be desired. But this will be his third straight foray into the meaningful games division of the sport, as the Rangers will be shooting for a third straight World Series visit … with the hope of a different outcome from the previous two seasons.
A free agent after the season, Hamilton pretty much could name his price and destination if he does what everyone thinks he is capable of doing at this point, beginning with Friday's play-in game against Baltimore. He hasn’t homered since Sept. 24, and the Rangers collapsed in the interim, dropping seven of their last 10 to allow Oakland to steal the AL West crown.
The chance for redemption is here, for him and Texas.