Josh Hamilton Red Sox Rumors: 5 Reasons He's a Dream Fit for Fenway Park
As one of the top names on the free-agent market this offseason, Josh Hamilton is garnering attention from plenty of suitors looking to insert his powerful bat into their lineup.
One organization that looks to have the tools necessary to pull of such a move is the Boston Red Sox, and according to Jon Heyman of CBSsports.com, they do appear to be players in the Hamilton sweepstakes.
While such a move would make sense in many ways, the Red Sox have been quick to point out that the whirlwind of speculation about the connection might be a bit overblown and that nothing is in any way imminent (h/t Rob Bradford, WEEI.com).
Should Hamilton find his way, he'll be set up for big things as he moves into the next phase of his career, and Fenway would provide the perfect atmosphere for him to further his chances of creating a lasting legacy.
After getting unbelievably active during the month of August and ridding themselves of the contracts of Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto, there's not a whole lot left in the way of tradeable players for the Boston Red Sox.
The void left by these stars gives the team a big need for some added power in the lineup, and though Carl Crawford only spent 31 games in the lineup in 2012, Boston no doubt needs to replace an outfielder.
The Red Sox will certainly pursue pitching this offseason, but with nearly $250 million off the books in the midst of their blockbuster trade they'll have plenty of funds to add Hamilton if they so choose.
Need for Power in Lineup
As mentioned, Carl Crawford's absence for much of the season took a big cut out of the Red Sox's lineup in 2012, and when you combine his departure with the loss of Adrian Gonzalez, they'll need more than David Ortiz to propel the offense.
Gonzalez hit 15 home runs and drove in 86 runs while with the Sox this past season, and with slugger David Ortiz locked into a new deal, Hamilton would give Boston a strong one-two punch in the middle of the lineup.
A short outfield fence is an asset for any player that sets foot in the batter's box, but when you're a lefty who has the ability to pull the ball like Josh Hamilton, Fenway's right field fence can become a huge advantage.
Hamilton has hit the majority of his 161 career home runs to center field (92), but after that he's gone deep most to right field, sending 53 home runs in that direction.
The pesky pole in Boston is the shortest outfield mark in all of baseball, measuring at only 302 feet, and is certainly something that Hamilton could exploit if given enough at-bats.
The Green Monster
While Hamilton's home run power rarely heads to the opposite field, with just 16 long balls going over the left field wall, that doesn't in any way mean he's strictly a pull hitter.
He's racked up 172 career doubles during his career, with the majority of them finding their way to left and center field.
The expansive confines in center field combined with the green monster's double-friendly stature are something that could lead to Hamilton leading the league in two-baggers in 2013 should he end up in a Boston uniform.
Josh Hamilton may have only played in 21 games at Fenway Park during his career, but his stat line definitely shows that he's comfortable in Boston.
He's batted .386 against the Red Sox in those games, notching a 1.092 OPS, and while he's only hit four home runs at Fenway, he's driven in 27 runs and added eight doubles and two triples.
It's not the only AL East ballpark he's thrived in, as he's a .370 hitter in Camden Yards, the site of his four-home run outburst this past season.