Josh Hamilton has become a fantasy mainstay in many owners’ lineup over the years. The unadulterated power, the uncanny ability to get on base and the benefit of a hitter-friendly park (Rangers Ball Park) have all been the criteria surrounding Hamilton’s overall value.
But in 2013, Hamilton has traded away blue for red. He’s traded away the shining star of the Lone Star state for the golden sun of The Golden State and with the winds of change, comes an intriguing question:
Has Josh Hamilton reached his fantasy peak?
From a baseball standpoint, Angels Stadium is much more of a cavernous pit than Rangers Stadium—nearly the exact opposite of what Hamilton has enjoyed over the years. The pitcher friendly confines of Angels Stadium wreak havoc on the totals of power hitters.
Through his career, Hamilton has hit .260 with a .765 OPS at Angels Stadium—modest totals. But he has only knocked the ball out of the park five times—not so encouraging.
Another minor and slightly unrelated issue is Hamilton’s age and health.
Hamilton has become a soft injury liability over the past few years, and at 31, one has to begin worrying whether or not his risk is more heavily favored than his reward.
Finally, what about his surrounding cast. Mike Trout, Vernon Wells (for now) Albert Pujols and Mike Trumbo shape up what appears to be an all-star lineup. Does this mean Hamilton won’t have to hit for power so much?
There was a time when Josh Hamilton was a certified first-rounder in fantasy baseball, and perhaps you’ll still see him go that high, but I believe the winds of change are suggesting owners change their outlook on Josh Hamilton.
Josh Hamilton has elite talent and power and is one of the best in the game. But even his ability may not be enough to prevent a fantasy dip in 2013.
A pitcher friendly park, an over-crowded lineup and an aging body all point towards an obvious possible answer: Yes, Josh Hamilton may have reached his fantasy peak.
The good news is you’ll still be able to get first round talent in the second or even third round in 2013.