Why Texas Rangers' Star Josh Hamilton Will Cool Down
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Josh Hamilton is having one of the most electric starts to a season we've seen in a long time. As he sits, Hamilton is projected to finish the 2012 campaign with a .368 batting average along with 68 home runs and 179 RBI.
That sounds pretty comparable to stats compiled in a video game on rookie difficulty. Hamilton's 53 RBI are 12 more than second-place Carlos Beltran; not to mention he has five more home runs than anyone else in the majors with 20.
Everything came together for Hamilton in a game against the Baltimore Orioles on May 8 in one of the single greatest offensive showcases in Major League history. The left-handed all-star went 5-for-5 with an astounding four home runs and eight RBI, becoming the first player since Carlos Delgado in 2003 to hit four long-balls in a game.
To put that into perspective, there have been 21 perfect games in MLB history, while Hamilton was just the 16th player to hit four home runs in a single game.
The Rangers star continued his power-hitting tear by hitting four more home runs over the next four games, giving him a five-game total of eight home runs.
Unfortunately, Hamilton is hitting at such a frenetic pace, it seems he has nowhere to go but down.
Hamilton's numbers have already taken a dive in the month of May.
He's hit just two home runs in his last 58 at-bats, while simultaneously dropping his batting average 34 points. Hamilton's slugging percentage has taken the biggest hit over that span, dropping 124 points over the same 14-game span.
Dropping a batting average from .402 to .368 might not sound like an alarming statistic, but the lack of power Hamilton has shown recently is somewhat alarming.
While "The Natural" will most likely be in contention for a triple crown and an MVP award come season's end, it is still safe to say that the 31-year-old slugger will not come close to 68 home runs or 179 RBIs, as much as baseball fans would love to see it happen.
One of the biggest driving forces behind the likelihood of a decrease in production for Hamilton is his susceptibility to injury.
Since 2008, Hamilton has missed a total of 143 games due to injuries. He's not exactly a workhorse, but everyone knows he is one of, if not the most, feared hitters in all of baseball when he can stay healthy.
While Hamilton is healthy and getting swings at the dish, it's practically a lock that he'll be productive, but as Hamilton gets more banged-up over the season, expect his stats to drop from superhuman to still-really-good human.
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