Josh Hamilton, the number one overall pick in the 1999 Amateur Draft, heads to Arlington with a chance to play everyday for the Texas Rangers.
(Check out this Keith Law article if you have an insider account for an extremely detailed breakdown and scouting reports on all the players in the deal.)
Herrera is a non-factor in the deal, essentially playing the role of Eddie Gaedel. He measures in at only 5’6″ and has what would be dominant stuff in Club Baseball. His ceiling is as a lefty novelty act out of the bullpen from time to time.
Volquez has a chance to be a big-time factor at some point in his career, although expecting this to occur in 2008, as Reds GM Wayne Krivsky has already stated he does, is probably a bit foolish. Volquez has a great fastball/change-up combo, but lacks fastball command, general control, and a better third pitch. His numbers have demonstrated these issues, as he has walked 42 in a 80 career Major League innings and sports a Minor League walk rate of 3.50 per 9. He’s a decent prospect, and earlier in his career had been compared to Pedro Martinez, but there is a very high chance that the light never goes on for Edinson.
Heading to the Rangers is, by far, the best and most talented player in the deal, Josh Hamilton. After battling through drug addiction and repeated injuries, Hamilton is still a fantastic talent with a great chance to turn himself into a fantastic player. His issue is risk, and this is the only reason the Rangers got him so cheap. However, this does not make the fact the Reds were willing to give up Hamilton for such a meager return acceptable.
Hamilton will likely be the best player on the Rangers this season, and at a cheap rate. A legitimate defensive centerfielder with a shotgun for a right arm (many scouts felt he could have dominated from the mound as well as in the field) and power to spare, he turns 27 in May. Hamilton struggled in very limited at-bats against lefties this past season, but considering his overall talents with the bat and the fact he was coming off years away from the game, multiple physical ailments, and made the jump to the Majors from low-A ball in 2006 after being selected in the Rule 5 Draft, it’s likely he will learn to hit lefties enough to avoid needing a platoon partner.
Josh Hamilton is an incredible talent who has apparently turned his life around. Heading to Texas could be just what he needs, where he will have a chance to play everyday and prove himself. Here’s hoping he keeps things together and becomes the player scouts said he would be when he was chosen ahead of Josh Beckett back in 1999.
I, for one, have a good feeling about the guy, and score this as a major coup for the Rangers, as well as for The Next Natural.