Josh Holt Hamilton’s career is a feel good story waiting for a screenwriter to happen. Born on May 21, 1981 in Raleigh, North Carolina, Josh was a high school phenom with a “cannot miss” label.
The rangy centerfielder received high scouting grades and was the top draft in the 1999 draft accepting a record $3.96 million signing bonus from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In August, the Rays assigned Josh to the Class A Hudson Valley Penn League where he led the Renegades to the NY-Penn League title while hitting .429 with 2 homers and 8 RBI’s in the postseason.
In 2000, Hamilton played with the Charleston River Dogs of the South Atlantic League. He was the co-MVP along with J.R. House and was named Minor League Player of The Year by USA Today.
After beginning 2001 as the top minor league prospect, Hamilton’s life and career began to unravel. A family car accident, too much money and a series of injuries led Hamilton down a treacherous path of alcohol and drugs. During Spring Training 2004, Hamilton tested positive for drugs and was immediately suspended.
Hamilton beat his habit, changed his lifestyle and made the Cincinnati Reds in 2007. After being traded to the Rangers for the 2008 season, Hamilton became a three time All Star. In 2010, he was shifted from centerfield to leftfield and is in the midst of his best season ever. His 31 homeruns, 97 RBI’s and .361 batting average in mid-September marks a remarkable comeback. It looks like Josh Hamilton’s destiny is finally being fulfilled.
JOSH HAMILTON CAREER STATS