Tampa Bay Rays 1st Round Draft Pick – Josh Hamilton
Now, we just featured Josh Hamilton on our top three draft busts article (which can be found below) but there’s no doubt that he was the third-most productive player to be drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the first round.
Hamilton is one component in the outfield of the future everyone expected from the Tampa Bay Rays. Combined with Rocco Baldelli and Carl Crawford, Hamilton was supposed to round out one of the greatest outfields ever assembled.
We just covered Baldelli’s unfortunate turn of events, Hamilton’s is a whole different story, but nonetheless unfortunate. Since we just nailed all that down in the previous article, I’ll let you read that there.
Suffice it to say, Hamilton never played a game for the Rays. He resurfaced with the Cincinnati Reds and hit 19 homers in just 90 games. He was traded to the Texas Rangers prior to 2008 where he made the All-Star team and had one of the most memorable rounds of home run derby in the history of the event.
At the age of 27, Hamilton crushed 32 homers, 35 doubles, and drove in a league-leading 130 runs while slashing .304/.371/.530.
Hamilton made five consecutive All-Star games between 2008-2012 for the Rangers. Heading into the 2013 season, Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels. Injuries would ravage his career from that point forth.
By February of 2017, Hamilton had totaled 11 knee surgeries. He would play his final game in 2015 with the Texas Rangers. He finished a career that was abbreviated on both ends with 200 homers and a .290 batting average.