Who is Josh Hamilton, really?
The Los Angeles Angels would sure like to know, considering they’ve made a $125 million bet that he’s really the guy who hit .285 with 43 home runs and 128 RBIs last year.
Hamilton was consistently disappointing for most of this season. From the season opener through August 7, he hit a laughable .217, which was then the lowest mark in the entire Halos batting order. Fast forward over a month, and Angel fans have seen a completely new Hamilton: in his past 30 games, the slugger has hit a very solid .330 with four home runs and 14 RBIs to go along with a .536 slugging average.
Worth a $125 million contract? Probably not. But the Angels will take those numbers over the course of an entire season, especially with the likes of Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and a healthier Albert Pujols lurking throughout the rest of the order.
The Angels can’t do much more with their personnel. They’ve put their money where their mouth is, so to speak, and help is not on the way. They will have to stick with the players they have, meaning that a lot rides on whether Hamilton will be the power-hitting terror he’s been for the last five years, or the absent-minded underachiever he’s been for much of this season.
While it may be highly frustrating to watch Hamilton cruise through his slumps with his characteristic, lackadaisical demeanor, just know that he’s liable to flip the switch at any moment at the plate. The Angels are hoping that the switch will be on throughout 2014, which would make Los Angeles’ offense truly terrifying.