If the 2012 season had come to an end in the middle of May, Josh Hamilton would have ran away with the American League MVP award.
For that matter, he probably could have campaigned to be the president of the United States, and people would have gone along with it. Because, honestly, who wouldn't feel comfortable with a guy hitting .402 with 18 homers and 44 RBI in just 32 games leading the free world?
As is (and always will be) the case in life, the good times didn't last forever. Hamilton started slumping in the middle of May and kept on slumping straight through the end of July. The month of July was particularly rough, in fact, as Hamilton hit under .200 with just 11 RBI in 22 games.
In the process, he all but dropped off the radar of the AL MVP race. He could only dream of doing enough to catch up with Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera and the other front-runners.
A couple weeks into August, we now know that rumors of Hamilton's demise were greatly exaggerated.
Hamilton has caught fire again and in doing so has made the Rangers look like the unstoppable force they were in April and early May. How long this is going to last is anybody's guess, but for the time being, Hamilton is definitely an MVP candidate once again.
For the first time in a long time, he's back in the top five of my weekly AL MVP rankings. Scroll ahead to see where Hamilton ranks.
Note: All stats come courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.