Josh Hamilton in the dugout at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
The Los Angeles Angels are 17 games in to their 2013 season, so yeah, there's still a really long way to go. But so far, there's no way they can be happy with the investment they made in Josh Hamilton when they gave the former Texas Rangers slugger and former AL MVP a five-year deal worth $133 million.
In those 17 games, Hamilton has 12 — count 'em — 12 hits to go with 23 strikeouts. Opponents have even gone as far, on multiple occasions, as to intentionally walk Albert Pujols in the 3-hole to pitch to Hamilton in the cleanup spot, and so far he's yet to make anyone pay for the decision.
From the great, all-knowing Rangers information czar Jamey Newberg: In his final month as a Ranger, when Rangers fans turned on their hero, Hamilton hit .245. In June and July of last season, Hamilton hit .202.
Now, Hamilton is hitting .176 in his first near-month with the Angels and is right smack dab in the middle of a 1-for-21 slump. We keep saying Hamilton is bound to turn things around for himself at some point, and we'll still say that. He's too talented, but he's also got something going on mentally right now as his horrible approach at the plate has carried over from last season.
This is a guy who struck out an uncharacteristically high 162 times last season in 148 games. If he were to play 148 games this year, he'd be on pace to strike out 200 times this year, which is in the neighborhood of bad, not $26 million/year.