The underrated Josh Hamilton

A slow start has people forgetting just how good this former MVP really is

Updated: April 22, 2013, 9:14 PM ET
By Manny Acta | ESPN Insider
Josh HamiltonAndy Lyons/Getty ImagesJosh Hamilton is hitting just .176 with two HRs in 17 games this season.

After a bit of a slow start, the Los Angeles Angels finally showed some life over the weekend with a sweep of the Detroit Tigers. However, one Angel who is still struggling is Josh Hamilton. He's hitting below the Mendoza Line, and this slump looks even worse in light of the five-year, $125 million deal that he signed with the Angels over the winter.

Look, I'm not here to tell you that Hamilton is playing well right now. But we all know that he has a tendency to be streaky, and it's a pretty good bet that one of his incredible hot streaks is coming soon. It almost seems to me that people are starting to forget how good Hamilton is, and that he is becoming underrated. I'm here to tell you not to rush to judgment.

Short memories

In 2012, Hamilton hit 27 home runs with a 1.016 OPS before the All-Star break, and was arguably the best player in baseball. But it seems like everyone wants to focus on September, when Hamilton "slumped" and the Rangers fell apart. (The reason I say "slumped" is because he hit seven homers and slugged .543 from Sept. 1 through the end of the year. So even if his batting average was just .245 in that span, he contributed.)


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