Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Zero-Year Cards, Part 4

1999 Topps Traded #T66 Josh Hamilton RC (Devil Rays)
We all know the story. Former can't-miss #1 prospect battles alcohol and drug addictions, which eventually leads to a year-long ban from baseball. He cleans himself up and takes the baseball world by storm almost a decade after being drafted.

Looking at the back of this card, it's easy to see why he was the #1 overall pick in 1999. It's amazing to look at the numbers that these future stars put up in high school. As a junior, Hamilton hit .636 with 12 homers and 56 RBI's, along with a 1.272 slugging percentage. In 29 games. 
Hamilton had a bit of an off-year as a senior, though. In 26 games, Hamilton did belt 13 homers and improved upon his slugging percentage (1.291).
But his RBI total dropped to just 36 and his batting average plummeted to a lowly .514.

I've got 39 cards of Hamilton as a Devil Ray, and he never played a single game for them in his career. That's got to be some sort of record.

It's hard to imagine what Hamilton would've done with at least five extra prime years in the majors, as he'd probably have reached the majors in around 2002 (if not earlier) had his career kept on track. One can only wonder.

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