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Can't get one by Hamilton

Updated: July 17, 2010, 2:21 PM ET
By Buster Olney

Josh Hamilton hit .454 in June and went into Friday's game in Boston hitting .400 in July, seemingly extraordinary acts for a player who has never hit higher than .312 over the course of any full season, whether in the minors or the majors.

Jon Daniels, the Rangers' general manager, chatted about Hamilton's two-month burst of offense -- which has coincided with Texas' climb to a sturdy lead in the AL West standings -- and what was clear was that nothing that the slugger does really surprises Daniels. Because of Hamilton's talent, and because of how he applies himself.

When Hamilton corners pitchers this summer in the ball-strike count, forcing them to throw the ball over the plate to him, he is just not missing. Think about these numbers: There have been 46 plate appearances this year in which he has gotten ahead in the count with two balls and no strikes; among those, he has drawn 11 walks. In the other 35 plate appearances, Hamilton has 19 hits, hitting .543 -- the highest batting average in the majors of all hitters after a 2-0 count, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Among those 19 hits, he has three doubles, a triple and four homers for an OPS of 1.681.

After he's gotten ahead in the count three balls and one strike, he's 7-for-16 with two homers.

He's just not missing.

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