By Josh Kramer
Matt Kemp has been the story of the 2012 MLB season thus far. Rightfully so. Other storylines have revolved around the Pujols/Angels struggles, Humber’s perfection, and the “Dream Weaver’s” recent no-hitter. But there is a certain someone who has been lurking in the shadows that has been pretty solid in his own right. I will give you a hint. He plays center field for the Texas Rangers and is probably just as well-known for his off the field issues as his on the field triumphs. If you do not know who I am talking about, well I am sorry.
The often troubled 30-year-old from Raleigh is having the best season of his career. He has turned his alcohol relapse at the beginning of February into a distant memory. And yes I realize that he took home the AL MVP Award in 2010. The guy is playing out of this world at the moment. Kemp may be having an amazing year so far, but he currently is currently leading two of the three triple crown categories in his League. So is Josh Hamilton.
Also, Hamilton’s Rangers are currently just a half game back of Tampa Bay for claim to the best record in the American League. Want to know why? Two words. Josh Hamilton. Sure the pitching has been great, which is always a key to success, but the hitting for the team out of Arlington has been sensational. The brunt of the offensive success has revolved around Hamilton’s bat.
You think the Cincinnati Reds are kicking themselves for what they did on December 21, 2007? Imagine a lineup featuring the likes of Joey Votto and Josh Hamilton. Things could have been scary at Great American Ball Park for a long time. But the past is the past. Josh Hamilton and the Rangers are the present.
The even more astonishing fact about Hamilton in 2012 is that he isn’t just crushing the ball, he is also fielding at a gold glove caliber level. Hamilton currently has zero errors on the season. Many lately have been calling Bryce Harper a five-tool player. A guy who can do it all. Well Harper will be an All-Star for years to come. But outside of Matt Kemp at the moment (sorry Albert), no guy embodies the term five-tool better than Josh Hamilton.
So feel free to bestow absurd amounts of praise on Matt Kemp. The guy is fully deserving. But do not forget to give Josh Hamilton some love to.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.