Josh Hamilton was supposed to help the Angels get back to the playoffs. He was supposed to join Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to form one of the most dangerous and electrifying lineups the game has ever seen.
But it simply hasn't happened.
And Angels fans are starting to get frustrated.
Other than Hamilton's inability to hit left-handed pitching this season, the biggest disappointment in his game has certainly been in the power department.
Through 64 games (245 at-bats), Hamilton is slugging just .392 with nine home runs. In 2011 and 2012, Hamilton posted slugging percentages of .536 and .577 respectively.
A decrease in slugging percentage typically signifies a decline in extra-base hits (especially home runs).
According to Mike Podhorzer of FanGraphs.com, Hamilton's average home run plus fly ball distance for the first 40 games of the season stood at 268 feet. In a rather surprising comparison, his distances since 2007 typically averaged between 290-300 feet.
What does this mean?
Josh Hamilton is simply not hitting the ball as hard as he used to.
Hamilton's home run/fly ball ratio is down this season. Last year, he hit a home run on 25.6 percent of his fly balls. This season, only 11.4 percent of the balls he hits in the air make it over the outfield fence.
Because there are two sides to every debate, we are left wondering whether Josh Hamilton has actually lost power or is just in a prolonged home run slump?
Because the slugger's ground ball/fly ball ratios have essentially been the same over the past two years (0.92 and 0.99), a realistic argument can be made that Josh Hamilton no longer possesses the same home run ability he once had in Texas.
In addition, his line drive percentage this season is also very comparable to that of 2012 (20.1 percent).
If Hamilton is hitting roughly the same percentage of ground balls, fly balls and line drives as he did last year (when he hit 43 home runs), what explains his nine home runs through 64 games in Anaheim?
Comment below with your take on why Hamilton is struggling to hit for power this season.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!