12/21/2007 6:52 PM ET
Rangers acquire OF Josh Hamilton from Cincinnati in exchange for RHP Edinson Volquez and LHP Danny Herrera
Arlington, Texas -- The Texas Rangers announced today that the club has acquired outfielder Josh Hamilton from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for right-handed pitcher Edinson Volquez and left-handed pitcher Danny Herrera. Hamilton completed a physical examination today.
"It's an exciting day for the Rangers family," General Manager Jon Daniels said. "The addition of Josh Hamilton gives us another youthful, charismatic and impactful player to build around. We expect Josh will be a critical part of a bright Rangers future."
Hamilton, 26, hit .292 with 19 home runs and 47 RBI in his rookie season in 2007. He hit 19 home runs in just 298 at-bats this past season, as his ratio of a home run every 15.68 at-bats was the 10th-highest figure among Major League players with at least 290 at-bats. Hamilton had the 2nd-highest slugging percentage (.554) among all National League rookies last season, trailing only N.L. Rookie of the Year Ryan Braun. Hamilton's slugging figure was higher than that of any Texas batter in 2007.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound left-handed batter also ranked among N.L. rookie leaders in home runs (4th), walks (5th, 33), on-base percentage (5th, .368), extra-base hits (7th, 38), total bases (8th, 165), and runs (8th, 52) in 2007. Hamilton led both the Reds and all N.L. rookies with 7 outfield assists, a figure which ranked 2nd among all big league rookies despite appearing in just over half his team's games. He endured a pair of disabled list stints, once with gastroenteritis and once with a sprained right wrist, and also missed the final 17 games of the season with a strained right hamstring and a sore right wrist. He received 151,245 write-in votes for the All-Star Game, the most of any player in the National League.
Hamilton was acquired by Cincinnati in a Dec. 7, 2006 trade with the Chicago Cubs shortly after the Cubs had selected him in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft. Prior to making his Major League debut in 2007, Hamilton had appeared in just 98 professional games over the previous 6 years combined due to injuries and an MLB suspension. The first overall selection in the 1999 June draft, Hamilton was the recipient of numerous awards in his Minor League career and was ranked as the top prospect in several categories by Baseball America in 2000 and 2001. Following his senior season at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1999, Hamilton was named USA Baseball's Amateur Player of the Year and Baseball America's High School Player of the Year. He is one of just 22 high school players in the 43-year history of the amateur draft to be selected with the first overall pick. Others on that list of 22 high school players include Ken Griffey Jr., Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, and Joe Mauer.
Hamilton played primarily center field in his rookie campaign, appearing in 71 games with 64 starts in center. He also had 9 starts in right and 2 starts in left field. His first career start on April 10 at Arizona produced his first career hit, a 2-run homer off Edgar Gonzalez. He made the Opening Day roster for Cincinnati after batting .403 and hitting safely in 21 of 25 games in Spring Training.
Volquez went 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA (17 ER/34.0 IP) in 6 games/starts as a September call-up for Texas last season. He spent most of the year at the top three levels of the Rangers farm system, combining to go 14-6, 3.67 (59 ER/144.2 IP) in 26 games/starts. Originally signed by Texas as a non-drafted free agent on Oct. 29, 2001, Volquez will be entering his 7th professional season in 2008.
Herrera has gone 11-5 with a 2.59 ERA over his first 2 professional seasons, mostly pitching in relief. He split last season with Bakersfield and Frisco, going 2-0, 3.27 in 7 games/one start in the California League and 5-2, 3.78 in 34 relief appearances in the Texas League.