LA Angels News

2014 Player Preview: Josh Hamilton


Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The holidays are over, the December credit card bills are arriving in the mail, and approximately 64% of all New Year’s resolutions have already been broken. The Winter Meetings have come and gone with Robinson Cano ending up the big winner in this year’s free agency sweepstakes.

And now the baseball world waits to see where Masahiro Tanaka will sign.

But the real burning question in the back of every Angels’ fan’s head is will Josh Hamilton get his groove back? Will he bring his A-Game? Will he have thoroughly recovered from his aforementioned alien abduction?

From what I’ve read, the consensus seems to be yes. Joe Lemire over at SI predicted that Hamilton would have a 30- homer season in 2014. And Alden Gonzalez recently quoted Don Baylor as saying, “I think [Hamilton]’s gonna have a monster year. I really do.”

I think I speak for every Angels’ fan when I say, I sure hope they’re right.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

To put it mildly, last season was an “off” season for Hamilton. But there’s no reason to believe he will repeat his dismal performance. He’s had a full season and an offseason to adjust to his new digs in Anaheim. He’s got a new hitting coach in Baylor to get him swinging (and hitting) for the fences. He’s got fewer outfielders to compete with, and will be a mainstay in left field. And he’s got a great line-up surrounding him; the additions of David Freese and Raul Ibanez to an already stacked line-up will make it harder for opposing teams to pitch around Hamilton when he does heat up.

It looks to be a good year to be an Angels’ fan.