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July 25, 2012

Josh Hamilton discusses hitting struggles, Nolan Ryan's comments

Josh Hamilton had no issues with the comments made by Rangers team president and CEO Nolan Ryan, who said the star slugger had been giving away at-bats.

"It frustrates him, and I understand why it frustrates him," said Hamilton, wearing a Roy Hobbs jersey.

Hamilton is also frustrated with his lack of production at the plate. He has a .135 average with two home runs over his last 14 games, lowering his average to a season-low .290. On the Rangers' eight-game road trip following the All-Star break, Hamilton hit .156 with one home run, three RBIs and 14 strikeouts.

It hasn't been simply a post All-Star break slump, either.

Hamilton has a .161 average in July, and had a .223 average in June. He has never gone an entire month with a batting average below .200 in his career.

Does Hamilton agree that he's been giving away too many at-bats?

"I just feel out of sorts, mentally," Hamilton said. "It's the mental aspect of it more so than the physical aspect of it and that's where I think I am right now."

Hamilton showed his frustration on Tuesday night, throwing his helmet in the dugout after he drove in Elvis Andrus with a soft grounder to the right-side of the infield. Hamilton admitted that was uncharacteristic of him, although he has been known to display his frustration in the past.

Hamilton recalled a game in San Diego in which he went 0 for 3 against Greg Maddux in 2007, but has been able to hold his frustration inside in recent years.

"If you break something or throw something, it's not going to change the fact of what just happened and not going to make anything better," Hamilton said.

Hamilton went on to say he felt things were about to turn the other way for him. He had a strong start to the season, being named the American League's top player in April and May.

Hamilton has been watching tape of his swing from those first two months, and hasn't seen anything different mechanically. His pitch selection, though, could improve.

"It's pitch selection and being in a good spot, good hitting position to allow that pitch selection to happen," Hamilton said.

-- Drew Davison

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