Josh Hamilton’s battle with drug addiction and subsequent rise from the depths of hell has been extremely well documented. And since I’ve never been addicted to drugs, I probably don’t have much to add on that front.
But I do know this: There is probably no baseball player that I, as a fan, feel better about seeing succeed. It’s certainly nice to see a guy get his act together and fulfill the potential everyone saw when he was the first overall pick in the 1999 MLB draft.
As you know, he made his Major League debut last year with the Reds, a mere eight years after being drafted. He had a nice little season and it was a great story.
Now look at him. He is a MANIMAL. He went to the Rangers in the offseason, and after Monday night is hitting .331 with 16 home runs and 65 RBI. Yes, 65 RBI. Some talking heads have even been throwing out the words “Triple Crown candidate.” And know, they weren’t talking about Big Brown.
It all just kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it? How good could this guy really have been if he’d progressed to the Majors like a normal prospect, instead of making his debut at 26? Maybe he would’ve come up when he was 21 or something and made an immediate impact. Would he have put up A-Rod numbers in the long-run? There’s certainly nothing to suggest he wouldn’t have.
Not that he’s old or anything. But man, the guy can rake. Good for him.