Josh Hamilton welcomes Yu Darvish

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It seems that from the moment the Texas Rangers posted a $51.7 million bid to negotiate with Yu Darvish that Josh Hamilton has been involved in the recruiting process.

He appeared on a video that played at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington when Darvish and his father, Farsad, came to tour the facility in January. And he was there at Darvish's introductory news conference at the ballpark a few days after the contract signing was announced.

So Hamilton greeted Darvish on Thursday and was asked Friday about the media scene surrounding the 25-year-old Japanese pitcher.

"I think it’s awesome," Hamilton said. "Just watching him the last couple of days -- he’s got a translator, but he’s approaching people. He's going to them. He's makking the effort we wanted to see him make."

Hamilton said all of the Japanese players he's been around with since coming to the Rangers prior to the 2008 season have done a great job of trying to learn English and fit in with the team. He sees the same things already from Darvish.

"I haven't seen him throw yet," Hamilton said. "I’m sure that will happen soon. I’m excited about it, ready to go up and take some hacks against him. We'll see which of the seven pitches I might have a chance to hit."