Rangers May Have Won With Healthy Hamilton
Josh Hamilton drove in 76 fewer runs in 2009.
The Texas Rangers finished ten games behind the California Angels in the AL West in 2009. If Josh Hamilton had been healthy all season the Rangers may have won the division but with him missing 73 games they just didn’t have the firepower to take the division.
Took 14 More At Bats Per Homer in 2009
Hamilton hit 32 homers and drove in 130 runs in 2008 but hit only 10 homers and drove in 54 last season. He hit a home run every 19 at bats in 2008 but hit one every 33 at bats in 2009.
Rangers Pitching Better Than Batting
Last season the Rangers were seventh in the AL in ERA with a 4.38 mark and opponents hit for the fourth lowest batting average against the Rangers with a .260 batting average. Only the Mariners, Yankees and Rays held opponents to a lower batting average.
Seventh in Runs Scored
The Rangers were second behind the Yankees in homers with 224 to the 244 of the Yankees. Yet they were seventh in runs scored with 784 runs compared to the 915 by the Yankees who led the AL in runs scored.
Their .260 batting average was only better than the Royals at .259 and the White Sox and Mariners who hit .258. Their .320 on base percentage was better than only the Royals at .318 and the Mariners at .314.
The Rangers have in the past been more of a hitting team than a pitching team but turned the tables this year with the pitchers having better stats than the hitters.
Hamilton Had 76 Fewer RBI’s in 2009
A lot of that can be attributed to Hamilton batting only 336 times after batting 624 times in 2008. The 22 fewer homers and 76 fewer RBI’s by Hamilton in 2009 were a huge factor in the Rangers not being able to make a bid to win the AL West. It didn’t help the Rangers that Andruw Jones slumped badly in the second half of the season and hit very few homers in the last half of the season.
Hamilton’s percentage numbers dropped off last year with his batting average dropping 36 points, his on base percentage dropping 56 points and his slugging percentage falling by 104 points and his OPS dropping by 159 points.
Will be 29 in May
His chance of ever entering the Baseball Hall of Fame are extremely slim with him having his 29th birthday next May and only having three major league seasons.
The Rangers are hoping last season was not an indication that Hamilton is becoming injury prone because they need a healthy Hamilton if they expect to contend for the AL West title in 2009.
Hamilton, Volquez Battled Injuries in 2009
Hamilton and Edinson Volquez had great seasons in 2008 after being traded for each other in December of 2007 but both players missed a lot of time due to injuries in 2009 with Volquez falling from 17-6 record for Reds in 2008 but only had a 4-2 record in 2009 while starting only nine games.
It will be interesting to see if both players can rebound in 2010 and post numbers closer to what they posted during the 2008 season.
Volquez earned only $440,000 in 2009 which is only about $40,000 more than the major league minimum while Hamilton earned $555,000 in 2010.