Josh Hamilton Making Progress, Will Join Rangers Soon


The Texas Rangers’ sluggers may finally be heating up, but that doesn’t mean adding another strong bat like Josh Hamilton isn’t a welcomed sight.

Josh Hamilton could appear in the major leagues next week or so, making his 2015 debut with the Rangers after departing to the division rival, Los Angeles Angels, for two seasons.

His journey back to Arlington hasn’t been easy, dealing with soreness and a recent setback. But Hamilton reached a bright spot Saturday when he swung the bat for the Rangers’ Double-A team, the Frisco Rough Riders.

The 2010 American league MVP went 4-for-5 with an RBI and four runs scored in Frisco. Hamilton spent nearly a week with Triple-A Round Rock before reporting to the Double-A affiliate.

He has now played in eight minor league games, batting .321, with three doubles, three RBI’s but no home runs.

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Rangers GM Jon Daniels told reporters he is in no hurry to get Hamilton back into the majors. Although the former five-time All-Star is making progress, Daniels patience makes a lot of sense.

Hamilton may just need the extra time to make sure he’s completely ready. There’s no need to rush things, and the Rangers certainly don’t want to overdo it.

It’s all about going out there and giving it everything you’ve got. If the Rangers can get Hamilton back to doing what he does best, it’s only going to help them. It’s highly unlikely the addition of his offense will hurt the team, after all, he’s Josh Hamilton.

It’s evident the declining stats Hamilton put up with the Halos the last two years are poorer than Rangers’ fans are accustomed to seeing from their former AL MVP. In those 240 games, he hit .255 with a .316 on-base percentage and a .426 slugging percentage. In five years with the Rangers, he hit .305 with a .363 on-base percentage and a .549 slugging percentage before leaving as a free agent.

Which Josh Hamilton fans will see in Arlington remains to be seen. Regardless of which one, it would mark an improvement to what’s been happening in LF thus far.

To have any success, he has to stay healthy and control his off-the-field issues. He has to find his timing with his swings to be a productive baseball player. He has to regain trust from the fans in Arlington that supported him so much before saying their goodbye’s.

Despite the flood of emotions of a player returning to Texas, I am thrilled to see Hamilton almost making his way back to Globe Life Park. I’m not going to judge his past, I’m not expecting him to return to his former level, I’m just glad he’s back here.

Hamilton may not be the player he once was. But he’s another piece to the puzzle that is prone to making good things happen. It may just be my optimism, but I’m sticking with it.

The team will continue to evaluate Hamilton in Frisco this week. He may be back in a Rangers uniform sooner than expected.

I am eager to see how Rangers fans react if, and when Hamilton makes his first appearance at the plate for his first at-bat back in the major leagues. Just know, I’ll be at the ball park when that day comes.

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