Is Hamilton's Angels Tenure Straight Out of Hell?

THROWING THE BAT: When your swing is so terrible that it becomes your only option. - Layne Murdoch

If he doesn't pick things up, not only is this team in a world of hurt, but this will absolutely wind up as one of the worst, if not THE worst, contracts in baseball history.

So the headline may be a reach. At least, I hope.

This is a very scary thing to think about. I particularly remember back in spring training, Mike Scioscia was interviewed about trying to tame Josh Hamilton's free-swinging ways of the season prior, in which he fanned a career-high 162 times. His response? "You wouldn't tell Babe Ruth how to do his job, would you?"

Maybe someone should've pulled Sosh aside, or at least forced Hamilton to take those "take" signs more seriously. Because as it stands a quarter of the way through this season, Josh Hamilton is looking like one of the largest wastes of $133 million ever.

It's no secret, the horrific start Hamilton's off to. Optimists will say that he's starting to shake it off; over the past week, Hamilton sports a .273/.333/.682 line with six hits, two of them home runs. Pessimists will point out that his overall numbers are still atrocious; a .214/.266/.364 line with 44 strikeouts already, and 122 games to go.

Really, there's only one way to look at this.

Before the season, I had official projections I'd estimated for each player projected to be on the Angels roster. Hamilton's projections were something moderately handsome: a slash line of .296/.361/.515, 89 R, 174 H, 36 2B, 3 3B, 29 HR, 102 RBI, 59 BB, 126 K, 4 HBP, 11 GIDP and 6 SF (just to keep it to stats that directly impact his slash line). It's not that Hamilton can't reach that now; Pujols started almost as bad last season and still ended up hitting .285 with 30 bombs and 105 RBI. But for Hamilton to reach those numbers, here's what he would have to do in the 104 games I have projected for him still to play:

434 AB, 74 R, 141 H, 30 2B, 2 3B, 24 HR, 90 RBI, 50 BB, 82 K, 1 HBP, 8 GIDP, 3 SF, .325/.393/.569

Basically? He has to be Mike Trout for the next 104 games he plays in order to just reach what I projected he'd do--let alone what his career averages are, or even more, what he ought to be playing like for a $133 million contract. (By comparison, the slash line Hamilton would have to post would literally be 99.7% of Mike Trout's 2012 slash line, so yes, I made that comparison literally).

Of course, knowing that it's improbable that Hamilton does that over his next 104 games, let's take a look at the real horror here: what he's on pace to do this season.

Again using my initial projections as a baseline, I took Hamilton's current stats and extracted them from my projected totals. Then, I paced out how his season will look over the next 104 games if he continues his actual path (as opposed to how he'd do if he was on my projected path) and averaged the two together. What I got is truly ridiculous--half the stats he'd post are literally worse than Vernon Wells' 2011 season.

Across 143 total games this season, Josh Hamilton's 2013 season would look like THIS:

611 AB, 69 R, 139 H, 25 2B, 5 3B, 21 HR, 64 RBI, 7 SB, 1 CS, 42 BB, 165 K, 11 HBP, 14 GIDP, 11 SF, .227/.284/.388

Really, it's sickening. He's better than this--MUCH, MUCH better than this. I don't know whether it's Scioscia and our coaches not giving him the right tips and advice, or if it's the pressure of his contract, or the different environment, or some new health complication, or WHAT. All I know is it's sad. Very sad. Like, literally, makes my heart ache for him.

He's a better ballplayer than this...but is he going to start playing like it?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Halos Heaven

You must be a member of Halos Heaven to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Halos Heaven. You should read them.

Join Halos Heaven

You must be a member of Halos Heaven to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Halos Heaven. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker