It may have come four months too late, but Los Angeles Angels fans may finally be witnessing the Josh Hamilton offensive renaissance that we’ve all been waiting for.
He still looks completely lost in the field, which is probably why manager Mike Scioscia has been DH’ing him, a move that will likely not be feasible once Albert Pujols returns to full-time action next year.
Even so, there’s no denying Hamilton’s resurgence at the plate; going into Sunday’s game, he is hitting .318 over his last 16 outings with three home runs and nine RBI, a pace that would give him 31 home runs and 92 RBI over a full season.
Not too shabby by the horrendous standard Hamilton has set for himself this season, though if he can find a way to carry his current momentum into 2014, the Halos regret his five year, $125 million contract just a little less.
Assuming Hamilton can maintain a decent offensive presence, the Angels have some difficult questions to answer: is it really wise for the error-prone Hamilton to continue his right field duties, especially with Los Angeles’ newfound depth in the outfield? Where does he fit into the order, and how might his slot change if Howie Kendrick or Erick Aybar get traded?
Once Peter Bourjos and Pujols are both at full strength next year, Hamilton will need to only get around 30 home runs, 90 RBI and a .280+ batting average for the Halo lineup to be devastatingly effective. The question, as always, is his consistency, and that is where we will have to wait and see.