Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How good does Josh Hamilton make the Los Angeles Angels?



In 2012, the Angels thought they had put together a team capable of making a World Series run. They were unable to overcome their slow start, ultimately finishing just outside the playoff race. Instead of staying pat, they opted to instead build up their lineup even more. The key acquisition, Josh Hamilton, might be just what they need to complete their roster.

Albert Pujols was the big pickup a season ago, and for the most part he provided a pretty solid first season for the Angels. The biggest surprise by far though was the emergence of Mike Trout. Everyone knew that he was one of the top prospects in baseball, but few figured that he would be their MVP candidate and one of the most used players in daily fantasy sports.

To provide protection in the lineup, the Angels went out to find a solid left-handed bat. Hamilton will fit nicely into an already powerful lineup and can provide value right away. Not only is he a valuable bat, but he will no longer be forced to play centerfield like he did with the Rangers. Trout will handle those duties, while Hamilton moves to a corner position.

Some are slightly concerned with Hamilton’s drop in production in the final months a season ago, but ironically, the reason for the dip was a different kind of dip. Hamilton later explained that he started weaning himself off of chewing tobacco at the end of last season, and many of his struggles were due to those side effects. Now that he has had a few months to get his body back to normal, he should be able to jump right back in and produce.

The Angels are built to win now, and Hamilton is just the latest signing that proves that. If he can produce the next few seasons at the same level as he has been, Los Angeles could have the best top of the lineup in baseball.


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