Even the uninitiated should know that Joshua Holt Hamilton is a very skilled baseball player. The former first overall pick of the Devil Rays hit his 18th home run of the season yesterday while his Rangers lost to the Angels. Hamilton has played in just 31 games this season and has just 138 plate appearances.

Don’t worry, I’ve got all the math right here to show you just how ridiculous that is:

  • Hamilton has hit one home run for every 7.67 plate appearances he’s had this season
  • Hamilton has averaged 0.58 home runs per game played
  • Hamilton is on pace to hit 86 home runs this season
  • No other player has ever hit this many home runs through his team’s first 34 games
  • Hamilton has more home runs than Albert Pujols, Jose Bautista, Alex Rodriguez and David Wright combined.
  • Hamilton has spent more than six-and-a-half minutes rounding the bases this season
  • Hamilton’s home runs have travelled 1.37 miles (or 2.2 km for us normal thinking folk)

In other words, Josh Hamilton is awesome.

Of course, the caveat with Hamilton is always his health. The way he plays combined with a seemingly glass-like body, pretty much guarantees that he will spend part of every season on the DL. If he could stay consistently healthy, he would probably be considered the best player in baseball, not that he isn’t in the conversation anyway.

As we all know, Hamilton is a free agent at season’s end and as of now, he and the Rangers have yet to get an extension done. Given the amount of money they have tied up in other players and the organizational depth they posses, re-signing Hamilton is not a necessity for the Rangers to be competitive going forward. Considering his age and faulty track record of health, the Rangers could be excused for letting him walk even if he continues to post historic numbers.

If Hamilton plays 130 or more games and slugs 40 home runs while getting on base close to 40% of the time, he’ll likely have a second MVP trophy on his mantle. I imagine some team will be willing to break the bank with an eight-year deal in the $200-million range and if I were the GM of the Rangers, I’d bow out of that conversation early. Hell, he may approach that even if he doesn’t achieve those lofty end-of-season numbers.

Still, Hamilton is doing things to the baseball right now that have only been seen a few times in the game’s history. Barry Bonds’ entire 2001 season, Sammy Sosa’s June in 1998, Jose Bautista’s 2010 season and Hamilton’s start in 2012 all fall under the ‘barely believable’ category. Hamilton and the sheer talent of the rest of the roster make the Rangers the best team in baseball to watch right now.

And the rest:

Today in horrible news: Nationals’ catcher Wilson Ramos appears to be done for the year after tearing his ACL during a game last night [Amanda Comak, Washington Times]. The Nationals, more than any other team, have been pounded by injuries to their lineup this season. Ramos joins Jayson Werth, Michael Morse, Drew Storen, Mark DeRosa and Brad Lidge on the DL.

Today in even more horrible news: Reds third baseman and confirmed deity Scott Rolen has been placed on the DL with a left shoulder strain [Mark Sheldon, MLB.com]. The injury has been a recurring problem for Rolen throughout his career and although he’s not expected to miss much time, one has to wonder how much longer we’ll see Rolen vacuuming up ground balls at the hot corner. His comments after the injury was announced aren’t encouraging. WARNING: Content of video may induce tears, sobbing, fist-pounding, questioning of faith, or all of the above.

The A’s have placed Yoenis Cespedes on the DL with a hand injury [Antonio Gonzalez, AP]. Now there is literally no reason to watch the A’s.

Cardinals grizzled ace Chris Carpenter could begin a throwing program by mid-June [B.J. Rains, FOX Sports Midwest]. It’s expected that the program will take about five weeks for Carpenter to complete, providing he suffers no setbacks, so that would peg his return in late July. Somehow I’m not entirely confident in things going that smoothly.

The Braves are officially 3.14159265358979% better [David O’Brien, Twitter].

The Royals are 0.0% better [Bob Dutton, Twitter].

Given that it has relevance to this week’s #PropHate ‘bet’ between Parkes, Stoeten and Drew, I thought it important to link to this look at just how dumb it is to bunt and just how often Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly does it [Jay Jaffe, Baseball Prospectus].

The Baltimore OriLOLes made a very unfunny and perhaps…intelligent (?) move by acquiring underrated prospect Mike Belfiore from the Diamondbacks for washout corner infield prospect Josh Bell [Marc Hulet, FanGraphs].

Mr. Two True Outcomes, Colby Lewis [Jack Moore, FanGraphs].

Brandon Phillips has more swag than you [Scott Lewis, Getting Blanked].

Is it 2008, or is David Wright back to being one of the best hitters in baseball? [Me!, Getting Blanked].

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