Josh Hamilton's Comeback Reaches a Pinnacle, Wins MVP

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Josh Hamilton's Comeback Reaches a Pinnacle, Wins MVP
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My preseason American League MVP pick: Evan Longoria

2010 American League MVP: Josh Hamilton

As we all know, Texas Rangers’ OF Josh Hamilton has been through a lot in his life. His past troubles have been well documented. He has probably been through more in the past 10 years than most people have experienced in a lifetime.

 

Hamilton brought home the MVP award

So when Hamilton got the call on Tuesday telling him that he had won the American League MVP award, I would imagine he felt all the hard work he put into making a comeback was well worth it.

Hamilton received 22 out of 28 first-place votes to become the fifth Ranger to win the AL MVP award. Detroit Tigers’ 1B Miguel Cabrera finished second and New York Yankees’ 2B Robinson Cano finished third.

The key for Hamilton going into any season is health. In 2009, Hamilton only played in 89 games for the Rangers and really fell off from his monster 2008 season (.304/.371/.530 with 32 HR’s in 156 games).

For the most part, Hamilton was healthy in 2010 and boy did he put up some serious numbers. Hamilton led the AL in hitting (.359), Slugging (.633), Runs Created (123), WAR (8.0), and OPS (1.044). He also finished second in OBP (.411), fourth in total bases (328) and fifth in HR’s (32).

One of the reasons for Hamilton’s monster season was the way he abused right-handed pitching. Against righties, Hamilton hit .381/.430/.682 with 24 HR’s in 400 PA’s. Those are Baseball Stars numbers after you powered up your team.

Not only did Hamilton have a spectacular season at the plate, but he did on both sides of the ball as well. His defense was equally impressive in 2010.

Hamilton posted a 7.9 total UZR playing all three outfield positions for the Rangers in 2010. His 7.9 UZR was good for 12th amongst all outfielder in 2010.

The only question that remains with Hamilton now is will the Rangers commit to him long term? Hamilton is still only 29 and will be a free agent after the 2012 season. Do the Rangers buy out his remaining arbitration years and commit to him past the 2012 season?

I personally think the Rangers are going to wait as long as they can. And I say that not because of his past issues but because of his injury history.

I think Hamilton will have to prove he can stay healthy for a couple of years in a row before the Rangers start talking contract with him. It’s hard to commit to a guy long term who has only played over 100 games twice in his career.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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