By Justin McCahren
This just in: Josh Hamilton can hit. The Texas Rangers slugger carved his name into baseball history yet again Tuesday night. Hamilton became the 16th player in big league history to hit four home runs in one game. Hamilton went 5-5 with four two-run homers, raising his league leading batting average to .406.
After a tumultuous offseason that included an unfortunate relapse for the recovering alcoholic, skeptics began to wonder. Was Hamilton finally succombing to his demons? Not a chance. Hamilton has been locked in so far in 2012. He currently holds not only the American League lead, but leads the entire MLB in average, home runs and runs batted in.
The Orioles witnessed first hand just how locked-in Hamilton is. He is literally on everything, he is one of the largest power zones in all of baseball. His plate coverage is second to none, and currently a triple crown is a legitimate topic. The holy grail of baseball hitting feats, the triple crown hasn’t been achieved since 1967. That year, Carl Yastrzemski of Boston hit .326, with 44 homers and 121 RBI. Hamilton’s current pace is astounding. Though there is a long way to go this year, he is already 4 home runs and 11 runs batted in clear of the competition.
Maintaining his current pace is obviously an impossible task. Josh will have to remain healthy and focused. Yet when you see Hamilton hit, from the cage, to batting practice and then to the batters box, the crack of his bat just sounds differently than every one else. In fact, it’s not a crack at all, it’s a Paul Bunyan thump. If anyone is capable of achieving a triple crown, it’s the Texas slugger. Hamilton’s chase could end up being one of baseballs most intriguing story lines in 2012. Stay tuned.