Josh Hamilton provided the Texas Rangers’ only offense on Monday night when he parked a seventh inning Brayan Villareal offering in the left field seats for a two-run home run, but as far as this month has gone for the MLB’s leading vote-getter for the All-Star Game, such a display of power can hardly be taken as a sign that Hamilton has emerged on the other side of his slump.
After winning AL Player of the Month honors for both April and May, Hamilton has hit a severe rough patch since the calendar last turned. He is currently hitting just .197 for June, with two home runs and--perhaps the most surprising of all--just nine RBIs. Hamilton admitted recently that he has struggled with his confidence at the plate since the slump began.
“Sometimes it does happen,” Hamilton said before Monday’s loss, per the Dallas Morning News. “Ninety percent of hitting is mental. You have to have confidence when you go up there, but when things aren’t going well, it’s hard to have that confidence. It’s human nature to start over-thinking and then it snowballs very quickly.”
Manager Ron Washington meanwhile, won’t delude himself into thinking that any quick fix will bring Hamilton’s slump to an end, and instead believes Hamilton will have to grind through the rough stretch. That said, he believes that if anyone is capable of turning things around quickly, it’s Hamilton.
“You’ve got to fight it with everything you’ve got,” Wash said. “It overtakes every athlete at some point. There is no magic word or magic way out, but Hamilton finds a way out. Other guys, when that happens, a lot of them are done for the year.”