Pros and cons of Josh Hamilton

Updated: January 8, 2008, 12:32 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
I'd be the first to admit I'm a bit conservative in fantasy drafts, especially when it comes to baseball. There is so much talent in a mixed-league draft, always someone good to take no matter the round, why take too many chances with rookies or high-upside players until very late? This is why I'll end up selecting Greg Maddux a few rounds after I ignore Oliver Perez, let others deal with Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller and Justin Upton, and why I will likely go to the well for Jorge Posada for about the ninth straight season. I know, within reason, what I'm getting.

In the case of Josh Hamilton, I don't know what I'm getting.

Hamilton is in his own section, really, because his 2007 success was uncharted territory, and nobody knows what to expect. Oh, the Texas Rangers think they know, having traded a top pitching prospect a few weeks back to get this once-troubled former No. 1 draft pick. Lots of players were No. 1 picks, but this guy was the overall top pick once upon a time, brimming with talent before wasting a few years with well-documented drug and alcohol problems. A year ago I scoffed when the Cincinnati Reds acquired him via the Rule 5 draft. What chance would there be of that working out?