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LA Times: Josh Hamilton's season-long slump has the Angels concerned


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Is this a down year that the five-time All-Star will bounce back from? Or is this as good as it's going to get for Hamilton, who often looks overmatched at the plate?

CLEVELAND — At least with Albert Pujols the Angels can point to the excruciating pain he felt in his left heel, which finally gave out on July 26, and a sore right knee as tangible reasons for his career-low average and on-base and slugging percentages.SBPL83s0Xco

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"It's a typical pitching pattern that gets him out — left-handed breaking balls down and away, right-handed changeups down and away," one major league scout said. "There's just not a whole lot of adjustments going on."

 

 

And that's why there won't be any improvement. No adjustments, just the same hack approach at the plate.

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i'd say his body of work should give every reason to expect him to rebound, but i do get concerned with the way he offhandedly dismissed the idea of adjustments. his problem is that he is not making pitchers throw strikes to him.

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Of course it's purely speculative and I could be totally off base, but I think that it could be a combo of any one of the following.

 

1. Arrogance - he's Josh Hamilton.  The world will adjust to him.

2. He doesn't give a squat - He got his money

3. He stopped taking PEDs

4. The years of abuse to his body has had a significant effect on him.  Perhaps related to his vision or his ability to process. 

5. He's pressing - for all the talk about how his perspective is different because of what he went thru and that struggles as trivial as this will not affect him, it has and he's having a hard time dealing with it. 

6. He's been figured out - I think the least likely possibility.  He's been around too long for this to happen so suddenly. 

7. His swing mechanics are off and the halos have been pretty poor at figuring out how to fix it. 

 

One thing for sure, is that his contact rate has dropped dramatically from 2010.  In particular on balls out of the zone. 

 

If I were to try and pick the most likely, I would bet on something related to his vision. 

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Of the above list, #4 seems feasible, and #7 is pretty much a dead certainty. Looking at how he is flailing at the ball and seeing that many of his swings aren't hard, I don't buy the pressing theory. He looks completely fooled at the plate. The scout pretty much nailed it. If it is vision, it would flabbergast me that the Angels have let this much of the season pass without at least checking that out.

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