After last season’s improvement, new ownership, and the acquisition of Vladimir Guerrero, the Rangers are primed for a breakout season. At least, Josh Hamilton thinks so.
We've got so much talent it's crazy," he told the Abilne Reporter-News on Friday, when he spoke at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Victory Dinner at the Abilene Civic Center. "The key is staying healthy. ... If we can stay healthy as a team, we've got such a great lineup from 1-to-9, and then the pitching obviously stepped up big time last year with (new co-owner) Nolan Ryan coming in and (pitching coach) Mike Maddux. It was such a dramatic difference from '08 to '09, and even if we can improve just a little bit on that going into '10, it will be a great year."
lt won't be easy for Texas. Not only did they finish 10 games out of the division, they also are seeing rival Seattle open up their pocketbooks. The Mariners have so far acquired new ace Cliff Lee, outfielder Milton Bradley, and 1st basmen Casey Kotchman.
Hamilton only played in 89 games last season, hitting the D.L. multiple times. His .268 average with 10 home runs and 54 RBIs were just a fraction of what he accomplished in 2008. Last week, the slugger reached an agreement with the Rangers on a one year, $3.25 million dollar deal. He is expected to move to leftfield from center, to make room for Julio Borbon.
"I think they moved me to left – they haven't really told me," he told the Reporter-News. "We read it on the Internet. But I'm going to be somewhere in the outfield this year.
Hamilton will be entering his 4th season in the big leagues. He is a career .292 hitter with 62 home runs.
The Dallas Morning News and wire reports contributed to this report