Key Stats: The value of Josh Hamilton is tied pretty close with the health of his teammate Ian Kinsler. Hamilton had 130 RBI last year, but that total actually would have been higher if Kinsler hadn’t missed the final 6 weeks of the season. The months of August and September were by far the worst run producing months of the season for Hamilton as he drove in more in April alone than those two months combined.
Skeptics Say: It’s only been one great year. With most of the other players being drafted around this point there is a larger body of work to look at and feel comfortable about.
Peer Comparison: With a late first round or early second round selection, a team will look at two players on the board: Mark Teixeira and Hamilton. While deciding which player to select won’t hurt your season as much as selecting Carlos Zambrano over Zack Greinke 12 rounds later, there is an advantage with taking Hamilton ahead of Teixeira. As the post on Teixeira mentioned yesterday he really struggles out of the gate. Hamilton on the other hand, was leading baseball in RBI and had a .333 average in the month of April last season.
In addition, Hamilton has less questions in the lineup around him than Teixeira does. If Kinsler is the engine for Hamilton’s fantasy success, then Alex Rodriguez is the same for Teixeira. Even after April who knows if A-Rod can be himself. On the other side, if the stats from the spring are any indication Kinsler if fully healed and ready for another big season.
You can never anticipate the opportunities that might be available down the road in a season. If in a position where you are forced to sell Teixeira or Hamilton in April, why not insure yourself the better stats of Hamilton at that time.
Lineup Outlook: The Rangers are the most intriguing team to watch in fantasy baseball. In a league as deep as a ten-team mixed league the Rangers have a realistic shot of getting all nine of their hitters in the lineup on a fantasy team. Hamilton is hitting in the middle of that juggernaut somewhere, so his cumulative numbers will be terrific.
What They’re Saying: MLB.com: #4 Outfielder and #12 Overall; CBS Sportsline: #2 Outfielder and #6 Overall; Mock Draft Central ADP: #10 Overall; Fox Sports: #7 Outfielder; ESPN: #5 Outfielder; Yahoo: #3 Outfielder and #8 Overall
Projection: Hamilton will finish with more RBI than any hitter in baseball.
111R 35 HR 141 RBI .295 AVG .914 OPS
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