A few weeks ago my colleague Bryan Lutz suggested that Matt Kemp would win the Triple Crown. In order to win the Triple Crown, a player must lead their league in runs, homers and RBI. Kemp has slowed down a bit, as he’s tied for the National League lead in home runs (12) with Carlos Beltran. David Wright leads the NL in batting average (387), with Kemp right behind him at 375. He’s still a fantastic player, and if anybody has a shot at winning it in the National League it will be Kemp. But it’s a lot closer than it looked in April.
There is, however, a player in the American League who has a strong chance at winning the American League Triple Crown. And that’s none other than the Texas Rangers outifelder, Josh Hamilton. You may have heard about some of his exploits, but they need to be repeated because of how awesome they are:
- On May 8th Josh Hamilton went 5/5 with four two run home runs, driving in 8 runs.
- From his last at bat on May 7th through May 8th, five of his last six at bats ended in a home run.
- On May 11th Josh Hamilton went 3/4, hitting two home runs.
- And if that wasn’t enough, Josh Hamilton also hit a home run earlier today against the Los Angels Angels.
Josh Hamilton isn’t the first hitter to get off to a tremendous start – we have to look no further then last year, when Jose Bautista did his best Babe Ruth impression. Through the first two months of the season, Bautista had 20 home runs, 38 RBI and a batting line of 363/505/786. It was one of the hottest stretches in recent memory. And Josh Hamilton has made that look like nothing.
So far this season, Josh Hamilton has hit 402/457/877, mashing 18 homers, 41 RBI and scoring 30 runs. He’s simply unstoppable. Baseball has typically been seen as a team sport that requires all 25 players on the roster to contribute in order to earn a win, but Josh Hamilton is quickly disproving that theory. He’s a one man wrecking crew, and he’s single handedly beating opposing teams. Pitchers haven’t started to issue intentional walks to him yet, but that’s likely due to the fear of any pitch thrown within 30 feet of Josh Hamilton being launched over the fences.
Josh Hamilton is a free agent this year, and with his performance in recent days he’s looking at a monster contract. While it’s a legitimate fear that his body will break down due to years of abuse due to drugs and alcohol, Josh Hamilton is in the driver’s seat right now. His otherworldly performance has given him the ability to demand whatever salary he deems reasonable, and if the Texas Rangers refuse to pay there’s bound to be a GM who will take a chance on him.
It would be easy to proclaim that Josh Hamilton is going to win the American League MVP or even the Triple Crown right now. I’m not going to make that call, however, as we have to keep in mind it’s a very long season. But in the mean time, let’s just enjoy what is truly one of the greatest stretches of baseball we’ll ever see in our life times. Josh Hamilton is a supremely talented player, and it’s simply incredible to watch him at his craft.