Suffering another knee injury, one has to wonder if that’s the last fans have seen of Josh Hamilton in a baseball uniform. The Texas Rangers released him from his minor-league contract Friday.
His release comes after he injured his right knee during rehab. Hamilton was rehabbing his left knee after surgery, but now he will undergo surgery on his right knee. The outfielder will turn 36 in May and hasn’t played at the MLB level since 2015 due to all the knee troubles.
If this is indeed it for Hamilton, he posted one of the rockiest careers in baseball history. Coming into the league as a touted prospect at the No. 1 pick in the 1999 draft, injuries and drug addiction derailed his minor league career more than 15 years ago.
But then he got his life on track and became a star with the Texas Rangers at age 27 in 2008. He recorded one of the most memorable Home Run Derby rounds in the history of the event at Yankee Stadium that summer.
In 2010, he won the American League batting title with a .359 batting average and took home the AL MVP. Behind Hamilton, the Rangers advanced to the World Series in back-to-back years in 2010 and 2011.
But at the conclusion of the 2012 season, Hamilton signed a massive deal with the Los Angeles Angels and failed to fulfill expectations. He was practically run out of town three years later.
In 2015, he returned to the Rangers to hit .253 with 8 homers in 170 at-bats. In nine MLB seasons, Hamilton owns a .290 batting average, 200 home runs, 701 RBIs, 609 runs and 50 stolen bases.