Josh Hamilton Adds to Angels’ Big-Money Mess

By on September 22, 2013

Josh HamiltonWhen the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million contract during the offseason, it meant that in the last two years, they had tied up over half a billion dollars in four players – Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson. But midwayue, ahead of only the Houston Astros, whose entire payroll was equivalent to what the Angels are paying Hamilton for 2013. And in 2013, Hamilton might be perhaps the biggest disappointment in fantasy baseball, especially given where many  with Pujols, Weaver, and, to a lesser degree, Wilson, also frustrating fantasy sports league owners.

Josh Hamilton, OF

While Hamilton hit a career-high 43 homers in 2012, he also had a career-high in strikeouts with 162 and hit .259 in the second half. And he was leaving a hitters park in Texas for more pitcher-friendly Anaheim.  But nobody expected Hamilton’s numbers in 2012. He is going to finish the year with a .250 batting average, the lowest of his career. He has 21 homers and 78 RBI for the year, with just a .307 on base percentage, .434 slugging percentage, and .741 OPS. When Hamilton won the American League MVP award in 2010, his slugging percentage alone was .633, which pleased those who had him in a fantasy sports league.

After leaving Texas, Hamilton has hit better on the road (.785 OPS) than in in his new home (.690 OPS). Hamilton has been particularly bad against lefthanded pitchers with an OPS of .401. Hamilton’s five year, $125 million deal with the Angels is not paying off so far.

Albert Pujols, 1B  

Pujols’ .258 batting average with 17 homers and 64 RBI in the 99 games he played for the year were the worst numbers of his career. Of course, he was injured for a good portion of the year, but he still has to be considered a disappointment. He got off to a poor start in 2012 when he first joined the Angels, but managed to finish with 30 homers, 105 RBI and a .285 batting average.  But this season, Pujols has been battling plantar fasciitis as well as a sore knee after offseason knee surgery, which has resulted in him needing to DH in almost half the games he did play.  He has not played since July, which makes his $260+ million contract with the Angels look like all the more like an unwise investment for the Angels.

Jered Weaver, SP

Weaver had to leave his second start of 2013 after breaking his left (non-pitching) elbow.  After returning in late May, he ended up with an 11-8 record, and a 3.27 ERA and a 1.140 WHIP. In 2012, Weaver won a career-high 20 games and led MLB with a 1.018 WHIP, but his K/9 fell to 6.8. Weaver in 2013 was a decent pitcher, but not the ace that many fantasy baseball players expected when drafting him.

C.J. Wilson, SP

After finishing sixth in Cy Young voting with Texas in 2011, Wilson had an unimpressive 3.83 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in his first season in Anaheim in 2012. After eight starts in 2013, Wilson’s ERA was 3.88 and his WHIP was up to 1.54, with help from a 5.2 BB/9. Wilson did have an 8.7 K/9. But of all the Angels’ big-money pitchers, he did end up having the best season. He finished the season with a 17-7 record, with a 3.39 ERA. However, his WHIP was 1.34.

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