Originally Posted by DSpivack
The better comparison to me would perhaps be Bryce Harper. Hamilton was once a big time prospect, but was he ever the undisputed #1? Hamilton also had substance abuse problems, and returned from those. He stikes me as having an abrasive personality, but I wish him no ill will.
As for the second paragraph, I don't think James doesn't exude a great deal of effort (double negative, sorry). He might just make it look that easy because of his unique combination of size, strength, and athleticism. Hamilton seems one of the more gifted players in MLB, but not unusually so. He's not even the second best hitter on his team.
He was selected first overall by Tampa Bay in 1999 and was named Minor League Player of the Year in 2000, so he was on track to be before drug problems delayed his ascent. As to your second point, that's why I included the word apparently,
as James (and Hamilton) often appear to be putting forth less effort than they actually are, because of their superior abilities.
I agree that Trout and Pujols are better hitters, but I don't know that their presence in any way diminishes Hamilton's standing in Major League Baseball. He would be the best hitter on any other team he played for, save for the Detroit Tigers or the Los Angeles Dodgers. I actually think Justin Upton could be a better player if he can ever put together a full season of baseball played at a high level. He certainly has the tools.