hot4tx wrote:Josh Hamilton could put up numbers with similar value to Rios, but so could Kemp, D Young, Justin Upton, Francouer, J Hermida, J Willingham, M Cameron, J Bruce, etc. They are less likely to, but they could do it. Or they could continue to do about what they've been doing or regress.
So if you're counting on Josh Hamilton to put up Rios numbers in order to make it worth it for you I think that's a bad idea, as Rios could just as likely ascend into the elite hitters this year.
This remains as true today as it was when it was posted. Given the available data, taking Hamilton over Rios at the beginning of the season was borderline absurd and nothing has changed that fact.
Can you justify this? "Borderline absurd" is an easy phrase to toss around; how would you defend it?
I would say, to preface it, the following:
A) The available data has changed. Hamilton leads
the AL in EqR. Rios trails him
B) The available data around the time of the draft....
Their 2007's with Hamilton / Rios
AB: 298 / 643
R: 52 / 114
H: 87 / 191
HR: 19 / 24
RBI: 47 / 85
BB: 33 / 55
SB: 3 / 17
BA: .292 / .297
OBP: .368 / .354
SLG: .554 / .498
In what was Hamilton's first year in the majors, he out-performed Rios on a pro-rata basis in everything except for runs scored and stolen bases. And it has been known for years that Hamilton had the talent... this isn't a half-season wonder coming out of the middle of nowhere.
C) The news
coming out of Spring Training was really sick.
Yes, the legend is growing. What started with a few awe-inspiring rounds of batting practice has quickly become the biggest story in the Rangers' camp. Well, the biggest story that doesn't involve a pitcher, an ice pack and a strained muscle.
Hamilton went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks in Sunday's 9-7 loss to Oakland. A called third strike in his final at-bat of the game ended a streak of 13 consecutive times reaching base.
It also dropped his batting average to .600 for the spring. But since batting average has become a relatively insignificant statistic in the modern baseball world, consider Hamilton's on-base percentage (.647) or his on-base-plus-slugging average (1.747). It may be the best spring training by a Ranger, ever.
Or by any player. Anywhere.
"It's an absolute joke," Rangers starter Kevin Millwood said. "He doesn't swing at a single bad pitch, and he doesn't miss anything he swings at."
Or from ESPN
Josh Hamilton, CF, Rangers
SPRING STAT LINE: .556 AVG., .600 OBP, .972 SLG, 5 DOUBLES, 2 TRIPLES, 2 HR, 13 RBIS
We didn't think it would be possible for Hamilton to pop more eyeballs this spring than last spring, when he came back from nearly four years out of baseball to just about leap off the field at us. But he's pulled that off, one spring after his stunning trade from Cincinnati to Texas in December.
"Josh Hamilton," said one scout, "has been the best player in Arizona. When he hits the ball, it has a completely different sound than just about any player out there. He's just a different player. If he stays on the straight and narrow, and he stays healthy, he could hit 40 home runs this year. Wait. You know what? In that park in Texas, he could hit 50. He's that good."
Now, I can digest all that, look at the fact that Rios produced in 2007, produced in 2006, and has been in The Show for four years overall, and decide that Hamilton was too much of a risk to predict that he would out-produce Rios. But I can't digest that information and come up with the idea that Hamilton out-producing Rios is, "borderline absurd".
How do you get there?
0-3 to 4-3. Worst choke in the history of baseball. Enough said.