|Hamilton is struggling, but still leads MLB in RBI. (Getty Images)|
In speaking with ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's "Galloway and Company," Ryan said the following:
" ... Some of his at-bats aren't very impressive from the standpoint that he doesn't work deep into the count, he's swinging at a lot of bad pitches, he just doesn't seem to be locked in at all. So what you're hoping is that his approach will change and he'll start giving quality at-bats because there's a lot of those at bats that he just gives away. One of the things I've always commented on is I can't ever say that I ever saw Henry [Hank] Aaron give an at-bat away. I think as a hitter, you have to go up there and you have to focus on the guy that you're facing and what he's been doing as far as the game's concerned and try to engage what your attempt to do as far as getting a hit off him."
This is the president of baseball operations talking about the best player on a first-place team. Also worth noting here: Hamilton is set to be a free agent after the season and, to this point, talks on a long-term contract extension haven't gone far.
On the year, Hamilton is hitting .293/.361/.599 with 28 homers and an MLB-best 80 RBI. Since June 2, however, Hamilton is only hitting .202 with a .689 OPS.
On one hand, this could be simply a case of taking what we see at face value. Hamilton is struggling and Ryan wants him to make adjustments to break out of the extended slump. Plus, is it really an insult to say someone isn't Hank Aaron?
On the other, this could be Ryan laying the groundwork to let Hamilton walk in the offseason. Time will tell. Hamilton did have an RBI double and a sacrifice fly Monday night, so maybe he can build on that.