What Do You Get the Man Who Has $150 Million?? Health! By Kyle Elfrink
According to the accounting over at Baseball-Reference.com, Joshua Holt Hamilton, has already banked over $60 million. He's locked in for another $90 million (!) over the next three seasons.
According to the accounting over at BaseballProspectus.com, Joshua Holt Hamilton, has piled up over 70 entries in their injury catalog.
According to the accounting here at the offices of Kyle, Elf, & Rink Associates, Joshua Holt Hamilton, is barely worth your time in fantasy baseball for 2015.
Harsh?! Reality can be that way sometimes.
Earlier in the week came news that the Angels' highly-profitable outfielder would miss close to two months because of surgery to repair an AC joint in his shoulder. Anyone who suffered through a Hamilton at-bat a season ago, knew that he needed to get the thing fixed. His bat was slow, his contact was as soft as puffy, white clouds, and his slugging percentage cratered ... a career-worst mark of .414! Oh, and how he loved to chase sliders. It was akin to watching Romeo run around at a brothel.
There is so much to chew on here. First, why did the franchise and the player wait this long to get things fixed? The shoulder was barking throughout 2014. When things came crashing down after an October flame-out against Kansas City, Hamilton should have immediately headed to the knife man. Instead, he rested and prayed to the baseball gods. Then as soon as he starts prepping for the upcoming year, he concludes he's not feeling too great. To cut to the chase ... this exemplifies a terrible job of protecting your assets.
The good news for the fantasy owner is that you are not team owner, Arte Moreno. You aren't stuck with Hamilton. You aren't 'paying' Hamilton. And, you can easily avoid having to draft him on your team this year.
To channel Nancy Reagan, JUST ... SAY ... NO.
On the off chance that Hamilton beats the timetable and gets some action in the spring, would you really want this version of the former-MVP? He'll turn 34 in May. He's been a mess in the box since he got to the West Coast, averaging one home run for every 30 at-bats (his career mark before arriving in Anaheim was one shot for every 18 at-bats).
The numbers don't brake there ... take your pick ...
· A K% of under 20% pre-LA; A K% beyond 26% with the Angels
· A BB% near 8.5% pre-LA; A BB% of 7.8% with the Angels
· An XBH% near 11.5% pre-LA; a XBH% of 8.8% with the Angels
If you find yourself now arguing, "But, Kyle, he was injured in his two seasons with the Angels," then, might I propose you invest in a years' subscription to Luminosity because your memory sucks! He's injured all the time! There is no such thing as a healthy Josh Hamilton. You would be better served to pick up the search for Amelia Earhart.
Sure, the shoulder may get repaired, but that only means another part of the body will produce fantasy aches later in the season. Just look at the laundry list of problems that have cropped up on Hamilton in less than two calendar years in Anaheim ... shoulder, ribcage, thigh, finger, knee, thumb, lower leg, ankle, wrist, sinus infection, lower back. All in less than 24 months! The NFL has fewer problems!
We're looking at player who, to me, cannot be listed as a top 65 outfielder for this season (our Fantistics.com update currently has him sliding down to #56 at the position). In other words, you're talking about a guy who comes off after the 20th-round in a 12-team league. Even then, you better have a 'Hamilton Spot' (aka, a 'DL slot') on your roster. If you don't, you're only carrying dead weight that is keeping you from earning numbers in the here and now.
By the way, don't ever underestimate the value of the 'here and now.' It's remarkable to me how each season, we come across thousands of fantasy owners who are holding onto a guy in the minors, a decent talent who will be on the DL for the next month, or a pitcher who is set to return from a major arm surgery at the mid-point of the year. There can be some exceptions, but I would wager that in 80% of these situations, it's time to move on and grab someone who can help you in the here and now.
This year, Hamilton will offer a classic case of this neurosis. I know that he'll be drafted in your league. And, he'll probably even pull off a months' worth of good games. That leaves us with five months of injuries and ugly stats.
If you are taking a look at a 6th outfielder on draft day, I would be much more interested in (deep breath) ... Dexter Fowler, Yasmany Tomas, Desmond Jennings, Michael Bourn, Marlon Byrd, Angel Pagan, and Arismendy Alcantara. And, on and on.
Let's understand that this argument stands no matter when Hamilton returns from this shoulder surgery. We will still have an injury-prone player ... in his mid-30s ... coming off of two bad seasons ... who has lost his pop ... and, can't run. It's just too much for Hamilton to overcome.
You can hear Kyle each weeknight on 'The SiriusXM Fantasy Drive' from 7-10 ET, Sirius 210, XM 87.
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