Rewind: Josh Hamilton's top moments with Rangers

One more look back before Josh Hamilton makes his first appearance at Rangers Ballpark as a member of the Los Angeles Angels:

April 1, 2008: First HR with Rangers

In his seconnd game with the Rangers after coming over in a trade with the Reds, Hamilton hit a go-ahead, two-run home run off then-Mariners closer J.J. Putz in the ninth inning.

July 9, 2008: Walk-off HR vs Angels

Against the team he would sign with four and a half years later, Hamilton hit a walk-off home run against Angels closer K-Rod. It was his first career walk-off home run.

July 14, 2008: Home Run Derby

To many people, this put Hamilton on the map. At Yankee Stadium in 2008, Hamilton hit 28 home runs in the first round alone, more than three times the next-closest player. It stands as one of, if not the greatest performance in Derby history, though he did not actually win the event.

Aug. 13, 2010: Comeback over Red Sox

Hamilton homered in the fifth inning, made a Web Gem-worthy catch in the sixth and overall went 4-for-5 with four runs scored in the win, helping the Rangers complete a thrilling comeback, 10-9 over the Red Sox in extra innings.

Oct. 15, 2010: HR off CC Sabathia in ALCS

In Game 1 of the 2010 ALCS, CC Sabathia and the Yankees came to town. In a moment of foreshadowing of what would come later in the series, Hamilton put the Rangers up 3-0 with a line drive home run before Sabathia had recorded a single out.

Oct. 19, 2010: Two-HR Game vs Yankees in ALCS

Hamilton was at the forefront of the Rangers first appearance in the ALCS. He would go on to win the ALCS MVP, hitting .350 with an OPS over 1.500 in the series, including the two-homer performance in Game 4.

Nov. 23, 2010: Awarded AL MVP

Hamilton capped off his remarkable comeback from drugs and alcohol with the 2010 AL MVP award, becoming the first Rangers player since A-Rod in 2003 to do so. Hamilton won the award despite missing almost all of September, thanks to 32 HR, 100 RBIs and a .359 batting average.

Oct. 27, 2011: HR vs Cardinals in Game 6 of World Series

The Rangers coughed up a two-run lead in the ninth, but Hamilton answered the bell, hitting a two-run home run to give the Rangers the lead – again. It was his first home run in over a month, and left the Rangers just three outs from their first World Series victory.

May 8, 2012: Four Home Runs In One Game

Not only did Hamilton hit four home runs in a single game, he added a double for good measure, going 5-for-5 with eight RBIs. He was the sixth player in AL history to accomplish the feat, and the first since Carlos Delgado in 2003.

May 26, 2012: Walk-off HR vs Blue Jays

The Blue Jays took a 7-5 lead into the 13th inning. Hamilton was in such bad shape that he apparently received IV fluids and oxygen after the game. But that didn’t stop him, as after the lead was cut to 7-6, Hamilton launched a two-run homer to give the Rangers yet another dramatic win.

Hamilton's extended 'slump'

Hamilton may have been rewarded with one of the richest contracts ever given to an outfielder this offseason, but his recent performance is hardly without concerns. After hitting .368 with 21 home runs through May of last season, Hamilton has hit .240 since. When you add up the following factors, it’s a troubling situation:

  • There’s been no change in how often he’s swinging from when he was successful – 57.4% through May, 56.9% since.

  • He’s not chasing pitches out of the zone more often, in fact, he’s doing it less – 43.8% before, 41.8% since.

  • HOWEVER...he is striking out much more frequently – 18.8% through May, 29.1% since.

  • And he is swinging-and-missing more often – 32.1% to 37.9%.

  • And he’s putting the ball in play far less often – 36.8% to 27.3%.

  • He’s hitting home runs far less frequently.

    In other words, he’s the same swing-happy, aggressive hitter he’s always been -- even when successful -- he’s just making contact far less often when he does swing, and doing less damage when he does make contact. Below is a heat map showing Hamilton’s swings during all of last season. Hamilton is just 1-for-12 through his first three games this season, including six strikeouts in 15 plate appearances.