Josh! Josh! Are you back Josh?
Who would have thought Josh Hamilton, arguably baseball’s best player before the All-Star Game, would have hit the skids after the break?
That .173/.253/.360 line in July was awful.
How did this happen?
Josh, you batted .395/.438/.744 in April and .344/.405/.781 in May. Sure your .223/.318/.436 line in June wasn’t as spectacular, but after hitting 21 home runs in two months everyone expects a little drop off.
And then he surprised us again.
Facing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, arguably the Texas Rangers’ biggest rivals (I know Oakland is doing well, but I still see the Angels-Rangers rivalry as the biggest in the division), he goes off.
His 3-for-4 night with a double and a homer came out of nowhere.
He looked like, well, Josh Hamilton.
To put it in perspective, the last time he hit a home run was July 17. Hamilton’s last multiple-hit night was July 4. The last time he had more than two hits was May 8 against Baltimore when he went 5-for-5.
That’s a big-time performance in a big-time game.
That’s what you expect from a superstar.
And that’s what Hamilton delivered.
Is the Rangers’ superstar back?
Or is it an anomaly?
Given time we’ll find out.
Last week: 18
Stats: 11 doubles, 3 triples, 28 home runs, 58 RBI, .246/.342/.504
After hitting three jacks in five days, Granderson has gone stone cold.
The centerfielder is on a 0-for-12 hitting streak in his last three games.
Last week: 17
Stats: 21 doubles, 5 triples, 22 home runs, 50 RBI, .265/.340/.521
Reddick went 0-for-7 against Tampa and is currently on an 0-for-13 streak.
Last week: 20
Stats: 17 doubles, 1 triple, 29 home runs, 84 RBI, .288/.357/.590
Well hello there again, Mr. Hamilton.
How long will you be staying with us, sir?
Last week: N/A
Stats: 13 doubles, no triples, 31 home runs, 73 RBI, .212/.352/.508
Sorry I forgot about you last week, Mr. Dunn.
It’s just that you’ve struck out 25 times this month and are batting slightly above the Mendoza line, so I might have overlooked that you’re leading the league in home runs.
Last week: 19
Stats: 14 doubles, no triples, 27 home runs, 65 RBI, .244/.360/.534
Four doubles in five days?
That might help Blue Jays fans forget that Joey Bats has only hit one home run this month.
Last week: 16
Stats: 24 doubles, 3 triples, 24 home runs, 57 RBI, .289/.336/.539
As his team continues to descend into oblivion, Jones has struggled.
A .257/.312/.495 July is his worst month so far.
Last week: 7
Stats: 31 triples, 2 doubles, 16 home runs, 71 RBI, .330/.421/.554
July has been a tough month for Wright.
After hitting .340/.426/.563 in June, the third baseman is batting .258/.336/.526 in July.
Last week: 5
Stats: 27 doubles, no triples, 14 home runs, 57 RBI, .342/.407/.569
It’s been a bit of an off month for Ruiz (see the trend?).
This could be the first month this year that Ruiz bats below .300.
Last week: 4
Stats: 29 doubles, 1 triples, 22 home runs, 56 RBI, .309/.365/.551
After two solid games against Seattle and Boston when he went 4-for-10, Cano is on a three game hitless streak (0-for-13).
Last week: 6
Stats: 23 doubles, 3 triples, 22 home runs, 72 RBI, .293/.364/.568
After his huge three-homer game against Houston and the subsequent 3-for-4 game following it, Kubel has cooled off a bit.
He was a combined 2-for-14 in four games against the Mets last week.
Last week: 13
Stats: 23 doubles, 5 triples, 20 home runs, 70 RBI, .328/.389/.578
After slowing down a little bit in July, CarGo went 5-for-12 against the mighty Reds.
Last week: 14
Stats: 22 doubles, 1 triple, 27 home runs, 79 RBI, .274/.386/.571
Two homers apiece against the White Sox and Indians?
Yeah, I’ll take that.
Last week: 15
Stats: 21 doubles, 1 triple, 6 home runs, 49 RBI, .327/.416/.444
It will be tough for Mauer to match his .397/.438/.548 line in June, but a .330/.416/.433 follow-up shows he’s for real.
Mauer Power is back (actually, he could probably hit for more power).
Last week: 12
Stats: 17 doubles, 2 triples, 28 home runs, 70 RBI, .309/.390/.596
Two three-hit games against the Phillies in a row?
Not too bad, Mr. Braun. Not too bad.
Last week: 10
Stats: 16 doubles, 3 triples, 27 home runs, 69 RBI, .304/.354/.599
Trumbo had a big, big series against Kansas City.
He went 4-for-11 against the Royals.
Then again, it’s the Royals.
He cooled off in the Tampa Bay series, going 2-for-10 against the Rays.
Last week: 7
Stats: 20 doubles, 5 triples, 17 home runs, 53 RBI, .351/.408/.600
This has been Mr. Trout’s best month yet.
The phenom had more home runs in July (9) than in May and June combined (8) and his .387/.449/.785 line is a career high.
Last week: 8
Stats: 20 doubles, no triples, 28 home runs, 72 RBI, .295/.390/.585
Encarnacion played well against Oakland and Detroit recently.
He went 3-for-9 with a homer and three RBI against the A’s and 3-for-10 with a homer and two RBI against the Tigers.
Not too shabby.
Last week: 9
Stats: 20 doubles, 8 triples, 10 home runs, 52 RBI, .353/.393/.518
No, they are not the numbers he put up in May (.429/.457/.647 with 51 hits), but his .360/.392/.528 with 32 hits are pretty impressive.
Last week: 2
Stats: 28 doubles, no triples, 25 home runs, 84 RBI, .324/.384/.576
The other Cabrera is hitting well too.
Miguel had a 2-for-4 night against Toronto on July 27 after a lackluster series against Cleveland.
His nine homer July is his best of the season.
Last week: 1
Stats: 19 doubles, 5 triples, 22 home runs, 66 RBI, .368/.426/.627
The Reds have gotten hot and it looks like it will be difficult for McCutchen to lead his Pirates to a NL Central Championship.
Still, the Bucs should have a winning record this year (read that again if you have to) and might get a shot at the Wild Card game.
Having seen McCutchen hit .437/.505/.736 in July, I’m dying to see what he does down the stretch in August.
Tom Schreier writes a weekly column for TheFanManifesto.com,
Follow him on Twitter @tschreier3.