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Benihana
06-02-2013, 05:42 PM
So here is a hypothetical:

What if the Reds are able to re-sign Choo, yet Ludwick's contract is relatively untradeable.

Would you consider moving Billy Hamilton back to SS? 2B?

With Choo in CF for 2013 and 2014, and Jesse Winker potentially being ready around 2015, is there room for Hamilton? Would he be able to help the big league club more as a SS or 2B? What would this do to Hamilton's development?

There are zero middle infield prospects currently in the minor leagues. Zack Cozart is probably the biggest weakness in the everyday starting lineup. If Hamilton can't play SS, but he can play 2B, is it worth revisiting the idea of Phillips playing SS beginning next year?

I'm not saying I'm advocating this move at all- my answer is likely that Hamilton should stay in CF, but thought it might be worth having a hypothetical discussion.

mth123
06-02-2013, 05:47 PM
No on Phillips to SS. I was wondering myself if using Hamilton in a Chone Figgins role with starts in LF, SS, CF and once in a while at 2B or 3B might not be a good way to use him this year if he starts hitting. Not sure he has much time at 2B though. He needs to hit first.

dougdirt
06-02-2013, 05:58 PM
No to moving Phillips and no to moving Hamilton. If the Reds can get Choo back, it wouldn't be the worst thing to just let Hamilton go back to AAA for a year until that Ludwick contract is up.

HokieRed
06-02-2013, 06:03 PM
No to moving Phillips and no to moving Hamilton. If the Reds can get Choo back, it wouldn't be the worst thing to just let Hamilton go back to AAA for a year until that Ludwick contract is up.

Agree totally on Phillips. On Hamilton, is this because he'd just be sub-average in the field at SS? Just asking for your judgment.

dougdirt
06-02-2013, 06:55 PM
Agree totally on Phillips. On Hamilton, is this because he'd just be sub-average in the field at SS? Just asking for your judgment.

Hamilton can be a special defender in center. Leave him there. They didn't make the move to center only to ship him somewhere else in a few months.

AtomicDumpling
06-02-2013, 08:51 PM
When they moved Hamilton to centerfield it was because they wanted to plug a huge weakness in CF (Stubbs). They didn't know at the time that they would later be able to plug that weakness by bringing in Choo. Now that they have an All Star centerfielder in Choo perhaps in retrospect it would have been better to leave Hamilton at shortstop a while longer to see if he could develop into a good one. Ultimately it probably won't matter because Choo is likely not going to be here next year, and even if he does re-sign he will probably be moved to left field.

Hamilton's success or failure as a major league player will be determined solely by his ability to get on base at a high rate. His defense will be at least adequate in centerfield and probably much better than that. The defense and the stolen bases are a given with Hamilton, the question is will he be an out machine or a legitimate offensive asset.

kpresidente
06-02-2013, 09:18 PM
I don't think you plan two years ahead around a 19-year old in single-A. I don't even know that you plan around Ryan Ludwick, a guy whose had two good years in his career. If Choo comes back, then Hamilton stays in AAA, ready to come up if Ludwick doesn't pan out, or ready to replace him in 2015, with Choo taking over LF. If Winker ends up in that mix, deal with it then. Maybe you swap him for a good SS. Beats playing musical chairs.

corkedbat
06-02-2013, 09:55 PM
If Billy were to prove himself ready and kick down the door, I'd put him in CF move Choo to LF and have possibly the best defensive OF in baseball (not too shabby on offense either). I'd have not problem making Ludwick my fourth OFer, top RH bat on the bench and DH in interleague games for one year. I also consider trading him at the deadline next year if he's playing well.

IslandRed
06-04-2013, 07:18 PM
Second to what corkedbat said.

As an organization, the Jocketty-era Reds have made good defense a priority. Playing Choo in center field has been a rare exception, albeit a defensible one under the circumstances, but it's an exception nonetheless and I suspect Walt would be thrilled to keep his bat but move his glove to a corner at the first good opportunity.


When they moved Hamilton to centerfield it was because they wanted to plug a huge weakness in CF (Stubbs). They didn't know at the time that they would later be able to plug that weakness by bringing in Choo. Now that they have an All Star centerfielder in Choo perhaps in retrospect it would have been better to leave Hamilton at shortstop a while longer to see if he could develop into a good one.

The Reds didn't announce Hamilton's move to center field until after the season, and the Choo trade was in December. They could have easily and painlessly reversed course if they'd wanted to, but they didn't, which tells me they'd already seen enough to make up their minds about the long-term shortstop thing.

The rest of your post, agreed.

texasdave
06-04-2013, 08:09 PM
Billy Hamilton's game-winning inside-the-parker from last night.

http://www.milb.com/multimedia/vpp.jsp?content_id=27719191&sid=milb

Benihana
06-07-2013, 02:35 AM
Anyone rethinking this at all after the Ervin pick?

Ervin's value is as a CF. He is likely only 2-3 years away from the bigs as a polished first round college hitter. If Choo is re-signed, Hamilton could be traded or moved. We have a complete dearth of middle infielders in the system. Zack Cozart is the weak link in the lineup, and the aging Brandon Phillips has no heir apparent.

Im still not necessarily advocating it- Just food for thought.

Boro_BG_Red
06-07-2013, 03:25 AM
Thats a good question. Ervin better stay in center, as it seems his bat probably isn't as valuable in a corner spot. If he stays in center and pops 15-20 hrs a year, you can't turn that down in CF. I would say to keep Hamilton in center for good and react as necessary when Ervin and/or Winker are ready. It will be close to the end of Bruce's contract by then anyway.

757690
06-07-2013, 05:24 AM
Anyone rethinking this at all after the Ervin pick?

Ervin's value is as a CF. He is likely only 2-3 years away from the bigs as a polished first round college hitter. If Choo is re-signed, Hamilton could be traded or moved. We have a complete dearth of middle infielders in the system. Zack Cozart is the weak link in the lineup, and the aging Brandon Phillips has no heir apparent.

Im still not necessarily advocating it- Just food for thought.

Like with Alonso and Grandal, I don't think this pick has much to do or any influence on the MLB roster. Best Player Availble.

However, if I am reading anything into this, it's that the Reds don't expect to re-sign Choo.

mdccclxix
06-07-2013, 10:45 AM
Anyone rethinking this at all after the Ervin pick?

Ervin's value is as a CF. He is likely only 2-3 years away from the bigs as a polished first round college hitter. If Choo is re-signed, Hamilton could be traded or moved. We have a complete dearth of middle infielders in the system. Zack Cozart is the weak link in the lineup, and the aging Brandon Phillips has no heir apparent.

Im still not necessarily advocating it- Just food for thought.

Just for reference, Phillips and Bruce are signed on for 2017. That's a mile off still.

If they are enamored with Choo enough to spot him 5-100, then that would be bad for Billy. However, if Choo is gone then I can see Ervin - Hamilton - Bruce in the OF, with Bruce even moving to LF if he slows down and/or signs a lifetime Red type contract.

That would be a great defensive outfield in 3 years. Add 4th outfielder with power to supplement and it would be just fine offensively as well.

Of course, if Hamilton himself becomes a 4th or 5th outfielder, then we could be seeing a whole other alignment, one that could really still fit Choo in LF.

We've seen that a 4th OF will get some at bats, so Hamilton and Ervin will be keys.

reds44
06-07-2013, 10:55 AM
Choo isn't going to be back.

Benihana
06-07-2013, 11:01 AM
Just for reference, Phillips and Bruce are signed on for 2017. That's a mile off still.

If they are enamored with Choo enough to spot him 5-100, then that would be bad for Billy. However, if Choo is gone then I can see Ervin - Hamilton - Bruce in the OF, with Bruce even moving to LF if he slows down and/or signs a lifetime Red type contract.

That would be a great defensive outfield in 3 years. Add 4th outfielder with power to supplement and it would be just fine offensively as well.

Of course, if Hamilton himself becomes a 4th or 5th outfielder, then we could be seeing a whole other alignment, one that could really still fit Choo in LF.

We've seen that a 4th OF will get some at bats, so Hamilton and Ervin will be keys.

No one said anything about Bruce- he is entrenched in RF for the next five years.

Phillips however may need to move off of 2B as he winds down his career in a few years (2B is much more physically demanding for a 35 year old than RF is for a 30 year old.) Beyond that, much of Ervin's value is based off of his ability to stick in CF. if hes not playing CF for the Reds in a few years, the Reds overdrafted him. Likewise, if Hamilton isn't the starting CF by this time next year, the Reds are better off cashing in on his prospect value and trading him now. If he ends up as a 4th OF, the Reds will have played this wrong.

Also don't forget about Jesse Winker in all of this. The best OF bat in the system since Bruce.

mdccclxix
06-07-2013, 11:39 AM
No one said anything about Bruce- he is entrenched in RF for the next five years.

Phillips however
may need to move off of 2B as he winds down his career in a few years (2B is much more physically demanding for a 35 year old than RF is for a 30 year old.) Beyond that, much of Ervin's value is based off of his ability to stick in CF. if hes not playing CF for the Reds in a few years, the Reds overdrafted him. Likewise, if Hamilton isn't the starting CF by this time next year, the Reds are better off cashing in on his prospect value and trading him now. If he ends up as a 4th OF, the Reds will have played this wrong.

Oh, I think I must've read someone mention Bruce in the Ervin thread, sorry.

A couple of things though. I don't think Brandon will move off 2b. Where would he go? 3b? I don't doubt he could do it, or that he would try, but I just don't see the Reds doing that. Phillips stays in top shape, he may lose 1/2 a step, but he'll be at 2b.

Hamilton's prospect status probably has a lot more lead than most since he has a lot of size and strength questions to answer at the MLB level. His start this year hasn't helped him. IMO, the day of reckoning at the MLB level for Hamilton will come sooner than the development or decision on Ervin in CF or RF. I think the Reds would be inclined to find out if Hamilton can play CF and lead off in 2014 and beyond, even if he's struggling. And if he's struggling, who would trade for him?

Your hypothetical Hamilton trade is in a tough and immediate spot created only by the idea that Ervin might be better in CF. It would be a bold move for sure, and one dependent on trading a top 25 player who is actually moving forward well enough. It's just an impossible question to answer. And I'm withholding the fact that many have said that he'd be a good RF 20/20 guy (which is where I think possibly moving Bruce to LF came to mind.) Heck, Ervin himself might be the 4th outfielder when he comes up.

There are just so many possibilities at this point, I think holding on to your best talent makes most sense. I'm not worried about Phillips replacement, but finding a SS would be nice in next year's draft or maybe internationally this year. Quite a lot of other teams were diving for SS's last night too.

mdccclxix
06-07-2013, 11:47 AM
You mentioned Winker too. I could see

2014: Ludwick - Hamilton/Heisey/FA stopgap - Bruce
2015: Ludwick - Hamilton/Heisey - Bruce
2016: FA stopgap/Winker/Ervin - Hamilton/Ervin - Bruce/Ervin
2017: Winker/Ervin - Hamilton/Ervin - Bruce/Ervin
2018+: Winker - Hamilton - Ervin

If Ervin outplays Winker or Hamilton you might see him win a job outright and / or they resign Bruce to a lifer contract. But the projected depth above, not including other role players or stars to emerge, is worth considering keeping instead of trading prospect for prospect this year.

mdccclxix
06-07-2013, 11:57 AM
We've seen, if you have wheels and can pick it in CF, the Reds will give a long look at you. That's another reason I'd be surprise if Hamilton isn't given a good 1-2 year shot in CF in Cincinnati.

Benihana
06-08-2013, 01:10 AM
5th Round pick Cory Thompson seems like Billy Hamilton redux. A little less speed and a little better arm, but still. In another organization, Thompson would probably be in line for a move to CF. But with Hamilton, Ervin, Arias and Reynoso already in the system, that probably doesn't make sense.