Why Josh Hamilton will be AL MVP

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Why Josh Hamilton will be AL MVP
There may be a month to go in the baseball season but there are some names that pop out when we think of possible MVP candidates. In the American League, no name stands out more than Josh Hamilton. Hamilton is the one of, if not the biggest reason why the Texas Rangers are having perhaps their best season in franchise history. He’s led the Rangers to the top of the AL West standings and it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere except the post-season.
Granted there are several reasons why the Rangers are playing so well including their dominant pitching and a solid addition of Vladimir Guerrero as the designated hitter. Guerrero is among the top five in RBIs in the AL and is proving that the Angels may have made a mistake in not resigning him.
Back to Hamilton, the MVP award just sums up his season perfectly; he is the most valuable player to his team. No one fits that billing more than Hamilton. The Rangers feed off of him and their success has proven to be dependent on how Hamilton performs. The Rangers are 22-8 in games when Hamilton hits a home run, 34-13 when he has at least two hits and 16-4 when he has at least two RBIs. The numbers don’t lie; his performance can lead to a Rangers win or loss. That’s why the Rangers are primed for their first play-off berth since 1999, the last time they won the division title.
If that’s not convincing enough, try this. In the Rangers’ four-game losing streak in August, being swept by Tampa Bay and losing their first game at Baltimore, Hamilton batted 1-for-14 with one RBI. Since that losing streak, Hamilton has gone 10-for-27 with four home runs and 11 RBIs as the Rangers won five of those six games.
Hamilton has the highest batting average in the majors at .354. He also has hit 30 home runs and has driven in 92 RBIs. He also has a .406 on-base percentage and a .631 slugging percentage. All those numbers don’t mean anything to Hamilton though as his focus is ensuring the Rangers keep their stranglehold on their division.
"If I focus on what it takes for the team to win, I feel my numbers are going to improve," Hamilton said. "If I'm driving in runs, it means I'm helping the team win. It carries over to defence. If I'm not hitting well, I can still do something in the field to help the team win."
Not only do the Rangers have the biggest lead in baseball over their division, but they look like they can be World Series contenders. Hamilton has helped this once-bankrupt franchise overcome their off-field issues and has the Rangers playing their best baseball ever.
Hamilton has to be the wise man’s pick for MVP. He means so much to his team and has everyone believing in the under-achieving franchise. Now his sights are set for the team to finish strong heading into October. They are showing no signs of slowing down and aren’t being threatened by their divisional rivals.
The only thing that Rangers fans have to worry about is that Hamilton is a free agent at the end of the season and with his MVP-like season he is in for a big pay day. His base salary is at $3.25 million this season and will receive a huge raise whether it’s in Texas or elsewhere.
New team owner Nolan Ryan has said that his priority will be to re-sign Hamilton even in the Rangers' difficult financial state. It will be a tough off-season for Ryan as he’ll also look to resign Cliff Lee and will have to decide if he’ll pick up the option year on Guerrero’s contract. If The Rangers cannot win it all this year, then their window of opportunity may close fast. That’s why it’s so important for Hamilton to continue his amazing play and lead the Rangers to their first championship while they still have him.



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