Garrett Hampson came into this year with a golden opportunity: he was being given the chance to compete for the second base job left vacant by DJ LeMahieu’s departure. He started six of the first eight games of the season at second base but managed only a single hit in all those games combined.
Things got only marginally better from there as Hampson hobbled to a dreadful .194/.224/.269 with one homer and one steal before getting sent down to AAA Albuquerque. There he picked it up enough that he got called back up again, only to continue stinking, getting sent down, etc.
Then somewhere around the end of August, things clicked for the 24-year old and he started hitting. He’s boosted his slash line from .208/.265/.317 on August 27 to a respectable .247/.302/.385 to end the season.
He hit a solid .318/.368/.534 with five homers and nine stolen bases in this last month. If he plays at that level all season, Hampson is an MVP candidate. If he plays like he did the rest of the year, he’ll keep doing the I-25 shuffle indefinitely.
The real Hampson is undoubtedly somewhere in the middle, but that covers a lot of territory. At the very least, this September has bought him the chance to prove that he belongs as a regular in 2020.