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Washington says Hamilton will be back

MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Former Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton has not had a great first season with the Angels. He went into Wednesday's game hitting .219 with 16 home runs and 51 RBIs. His slugging percentage was .400, which is 131 points under his career average.

But Rangers manager Ron Washington said he expects Hamilton to come back strong next season and be worth the Angels' investment in the long run.

Full Game Coverage

ANAHEIM -- Former Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton has not had a great first season with the Angels. He went into Wednesday's game hitting .219 with 16 home runs and 51 RBIs. His slugging percentage was .400, which is 131 points under his career average.

But Rangers manager Ron Washington said he expects Hamilton to come back strong next season and be worth the Angels' investment in the long run.

Full Game Coverage

"Josh is adjusting to a new environment, but Josh is going to pay dividends to the Angels organization," Washington said before Wednesday's game. "This is his first time going through this much pressure, and he really cares. Now that he's gone through it, people are going to be very happy with Josh because he can play. He can take a game over. It's just a big adjustment for him."

After five years with the Rangers, Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels as a free agent last winter.

"Whatever he's going through here, we've seen it all in Texas," Washington said. "It's just a big adjustment and he cares. I think next year you'll see what Josh can really do. Now that he's gone through it, next year you'll see some real damage. They have a quality player here. Five tools, baby, five tools."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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