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Stingray
03-23-2007, 12:23 AM
I was at the Reds-Yankees game today. Afterwards I read through the game thread and didn't think it reflected what a strong game Hamilton played(1 for 4 doesn't sound that impressive). He had a walk, did look bad on 2 high fastballs for his SO, but, in adition to his single on a sharply hit groundball, he hit one deep near the wall against a strong wind. And in his last AB, in the 8th inning, he hit a screamer down the right field line which I'm quite sure hit the bag(it happened so fast it may have gone off the 1st baseman's glove) and bounced right to the 2nd baseman for a FC, driving in a run. Except for extreme bad luck it would have been at least a double and put the Reds in the lead. It was hit as hard as any ball in the game with the exception of A-Rod's HR which was absolutely killed. He also looked good in the outfield again and made a good throw to third although it didn't get the runner.

It was a great game. I only hope Hamilton didn't hurt his wrist badly.

TOBTTReds
03-23-2007, 12:31 AM
As much as everyone is very impressed with hambone's AB's, there is only so much Ham-love to be given. I think we all met our quota a long time ago and are waiting for 3 bombs in a game to re-ignite the Ham-love wagon.

Stingray
03-23-2007, 12:40 AM
Unless he tails off severely in the last few ST games, I think he's earned at least 6-8 straight starts when the season opens although I'd wait until game 2 to start him.

TOBTTReds
03-23-2007, 12:56 AM
Unless he tails off severely in the last few ST games, I think he's earned at least 6-8 straight starts when the season opens although I'd wait until game 2 to start him.

If Griffey is not in, I say throw him in the fire if JN is confident he can handle it. If not, then I agree with waiting til Wed night.

Wheelhouse
03-23-2007, 02:51 AM
Heh. 1 for 4 and people are bummed. If Hamilton hits .250 with 10 bombs and plays sterling defense as the 5th outfielder his first year back, I'll take it. The kid's got a huge future and keeping him on the roster without hurting the team is the goal this year, I'd think. Anything more is gravy.

jojo
03-23-2007, 07:59 AM
Heh. 1 for 4 and people are bummed. If Hamilton hits .250 with 10 bombs and plays sterling defense as the 5th outfielder his first year back, I'll take it. The kid's got a huge future and keeping him on the roster without hurting the team is the goal this year, I'd think. Anything more is gravy.

Yep....that about sums it up....

icehole3
03-23-2007, 08:09 AM
I agree, expecting anything more than that would be just unreasonable. The kid deserves at least a whole year of seasoning before any expectations are made of him. He's a good rule 5 pickup and should be counted on defensively only.

Triples
03-23-2007, 09:37 AM
I agree, expecting anything more than that would be just unreasonable. The kid deserves at least a whole year of seasoning before any expectations are made of him. He's a good rule 5 pickup and should be counted on defensively only.

I too hope they will give Hamilton a chance to get some seasoning before creating to high of expectations. Not only would that likely be more beneficial to the Reds in the long run but it would also it seems help Hamilton chase away his demons once and for all. The fifth outfielder's spot seems like a perfect place for him. (not to mention it gives the club another left handed bat off the bench which might allow for them to only keep 2 catchers). Unfortunately, baseball is an inpatient business...especially at the major league level.

bucksfan2
03-23-2007, 09:50 AM
I think Hamilton has proven this spring that his value is more than a 5th outfielder. From reports it seems as if his baseball instincts are still intact in the field and is a plus defender. It also seems as if he has strike zone knowledge, plate coverage, and also bat speed which are very important to hitting. You can say it is a small sample size but when you look at it he hits a lot of hard balls. When your going good they fall in for hits, when not they find their way in to the defender's glove. In Hamilton's case the way he is hitting the ball is more impressive than his average.

This spring he has not only proven that he deserves a spot on this team but he also deserves some playing time. Time will tell what he does at the big league level this year but I think he should get as many at bats as possible.

Redhook
03-23-2007, 10:07 AM
I think Hamilton has proven this spring that his value is more than a 5th outfielder. From reports it seems as if his baseball instincts are still intact in the field and is a plus defender. It also seems as if he has strike zone knowledge, plate coverage, and also bat speed which are very important to hitting. You can say it is a small sample size but when you look at it he hits a lot of hard balls. When your going good they fall in for hits, when not they find their way in to the defender's glove. In Hamilton's case the way he is hitting the ball is more impressive than his average.

This spring he has not only proven that he deserves a spot on this team but he also deserves some playing time. Time will tell what he does at the big league level this year but I think he should get as many at bats as possible.

I agree. Ride the hot hand. If I'm the Reds, I try to get him as much playing time as possible as soon as possible.

I enjoyed watching yesterday's game and I was watching it mostly to see Josh Hamilton. I wanted to see what he looked like in live action. And I left extremely impressed. If I didn't know who any of the Reds were or their stories, I would've thought he was the best hitter on the team. His batting stance and presence is awesome. His swing is probably the second best on the team behind JR. He just looks like the type of hitter that is going to hit the ball hard every time he comes up to the plate. I like that alot. He is a damn good hitter who looks nothing like a player that has barely played the last few years. And on top of that, he's a great defender.

You never know, it could be a blessing in disguise if JR. starts the season on the DL and misses a couple of weeks giving Hamilton a chance to play a lot early on. He could seize the opportunity like he has this Spring. I'm very optimistic about him.

flyer85
03-23-2007, 10:21 AM
If Jr isn't ready, which seems likely with only a handful of games to go, I would expect to see Hamilton starting in RF in the opener.

Problem the Reds have with Jr is that if he starts playing in games but isn't ready to start the season, if he goes to the DL he would have to miss the first two weeks. It is a bit of a dilemma at this point.

berryluther
03-23-2007, 10:23 AM
I don't think anyone has mentioned this or not, but for someone who is supposed to have a ton of power he only has 1 HR. I am not being critical I think he is so focused on be a good hitter he is just concentrating on making good contact and seeing the pitches. If this is the case this speaks volumes to his dedication. He could easily be batting .250 with 8 hrs. With this approach the HRs will come. I love the fact that he isnt out there swining from his heels trying to hit everything out.

lollipopcurve
03-23-2007, 10:26 AM
This spring he has not only proven that he deserves a spot on this team but he also deserves some playing time. Time will tell what he does at the big league level this year but I think he should get as many at bats as possible.

I agree, though not necessarily with "as many at bats as possible." I think a balance between semi-regular playing time and down time may be needed, to keep him sharp and on the learning curve, while also giving him time to adapt to the grind and spotlight. Like bucksfan2, I think he's shown enough that it's safe to say he can be a real asset in the future and, with enough playing time, at least occasionally productive this year. I can understand how some may feel his spring performance is not to be trusted, but I'm not in that camp. The kid's going to have down times, but he's a legit player. My main concerns are his mental health and his physical health -- he's got a pretty impressive history of injury.

Stingray
03-23-2007, 10:36 AM
My main concerns are his mental health and his physical health -- he's got a pretty impressive history of injury.

His mental health is probably going to be more of a problem riding the pine than if he were getting reasonable playing time. Of course, if he's playing a lot and not hitting, that might be even worse for his mental health. I hope Narron can maintain the right balance of playing time.

coachw513
03-23-2007, 11:22 AM
My one concern is a young, developing player not getting enough reps to stay sharp and able to perform effectively...(it will certainly be easier for Jeff Conine to take 5 days off and be able to come in and play well than it would be for Hamilton)...

So it's really a blessing in disguise IMHO that Griffey may well start the season on the DL (I really think he'll be "disabled" retroactively to today, which allows him back at the end of that 1st week) and Freel's need to have periodic rest may give Hamilton the ability to get some fairly regular AB's...hopefully that will help him stay in a good rhythm as he is right now obviously...

RANDY IN INDY
03-23-2007, 11:28 AM
Guys, I get the feeling that J. Hamilton is going to see his name on the lineup card a lot, at least early on.

Doc. Scott
03-23-2007, 02:09 PM
Guys, I get the feeling that J. Hamilton is going to see his name on the lineup card a lot, at least early on.

I think you're right, but I still don't want to see him there on Opening Day. Let him make his major-league debut under slightly more modest auspices.

mound_patrol
03-23-2007, 02:18 PM
What does starting on opening day have to do with anything other than the fact he'll have to face a good pitcher in Zambrano. It's just another game. For Hamilton the first game he plays will be full of emotions regardless if its the first second or fifteenth game.

shredda2000
03-23-2007, 02:18 PM
I don't think anyone has mentioned this or not, but for someone who is supposed to have a ton of power he only has 1 HR. I am not being critical I think he is so focused on be a good hitter he is just concentrating on making good contact and seeing the pitches. If this is the case this speaks volumes to his dedication. He could easily be batting .250 with 8 hrs. With this approach the HRs will come. I love the fact that he isnt out there swining from his heels trying to hit everything out.

...And he "called his shot" for the one homer he did hit. I agree with you, let him work on his plate discipline first and everything else will fall into place.

5DOLLAR-BLEACHERBUM
03-23-2007, 02:23 PM
I too hope they will give Hamilton a chance to get some seasoning before creating to high of expectations. Not only would that likely be more beneficial to the Reds in the long run but it would also it seems help Hamilton chase away his demons once and for all. The fifth outfielder's spot seems like a perfect place for him. (not to mention it gives the club another left handed bat off the bench which might allow for them to only keep 2 catchers). Unfortunately, baseball is an inpatient business...especially at the major league level.
Defensively he is better than our first outfielder, he may be the best option offensively if your talking about a combination of speed, power, and contact. So why think of him as a fifth outfielder at this point.

5DOLLAR-BLEACHERBUM
03-23-2007, 02:29 PM
What does starting on opening day have to do with anything other than the fact he'll have to face a good pitcher in Zambrano. It's just another game. For Hamilton the first game he plays will be full of emotions regardless if its the first second or fifteenth game.
I agree 100%, the kid has worked his tail off to get here. If I went through what he has and played as well as he has I would want to be on the field opening day. You never know where all of this is going to go, start him opening day and let him become a star if that is what happens.

Chip R
03-23-2007, 02:34 PM
My one concern is a young, developing player not getting enough reps to stay sharp and able to perform effectively...(it will certainly be easier for Jeff Conine to take 5 days off and be able to come in and play well than it would be for Hamilton)...


I think that's very possible. Also when he's sitting on the bench and not in the game, his mind may tend to wander to the things he has tried to leave behind.

However, he has been out of the game for several years. Would not playing for a few days really hurt him that much?

5DOLLAR-BLEACHERBUM
03-23-2007, 02:40 PM
I think that's very possible. Also when he's sitting on the bench and not in the game, his mind may tend to wander to the things he has tried to leave behind.

However, he has been out of the game for several years. Would not playing for a few days really hurt him that much?
It seems not playing for a few years has done wonders, maybe he is of the rare species offdaygeneratis, a rare breed that feeds not of blood like the vampire but is regenerated by periodic days off.

toledodan
03-23-2007, 06:08 PM
I don't think anyone has mentioned this or not, but for someone who is supposed to have a ton of power he only has 1 HR.


A-ROD had none untill yesterday.:D

jojo
03-23-2007, 08:05 PM
I think Hamilton has proven this spring that his value is more than a 5th outfielder.

I think you're giving spring training more weight than you should....

Case in point- has Willie Bloomquist proven he should be a starter with his '07 spring training?

He's put up this: .444/.462/.562 in 54 at bats. He's showed baseball instincts and he has looked good in the field. His ST peripherals indicate he has strike zone knowledge, plate coverage, and also bat speed which are very important to hitting. You can say it is a small sample size but when you look at it he hits a lot of hard balls. When your going good they fall in for hits, when not they find their way in to the defender's glove. In Bloomquist's case, the way he is hitting the ball is more impressive than his average.


This spring he has not only proven that he deserves a spot on this team but he also deserves some playing time. Time will tell what he does at the big league level this year but I think he should get as many at bats as possible.

Having a player learn how to hit major league quality pitching in front of 25,000 people daily doesn't really strike me as good player development philosophy...

Maximizing Hamilton's number of at bats isn't a cost free proposition... every at bat he gets is one less for someone else. Outs are a precious thing. It's a risky thing you're proposing.

Don't think 200 at bats can't hurt that much.... revisit Willie Bloomquist-the worst player in the majors to get that many last year.

I would take Hamilton over Bloomquist in an instant because Hamilton projects to be at least a league average defensive center fielder-that's a valuable thing. But, despite his potential, there is no guarantee that Hamilton's bat won't be a drag on the offense as he learns the ropes (in fact it's the safest bet).

Anyway, to rephrase an earlier statement-I think Hamilton has proven this spring that his value is more than the other options the Reds have as 5th outfielders and has in the very least justified his spot on the active roster.

4256 Hits
03-23-2007, 11:29 PM
Heh. 1 for 4 and people are bummed. If Hamilton hits .250 with 10 bombs and plays sterling defense as the 5th outfielder his first year back, I'll take it. The kid's got a huge future and keeping him on the roster without hurting the team is the goal this year, I'd think. Anything more is gravy.

IMO if he can OPS over .600 for the year that would be a plus.

bucksfan2
03-24-2007, 10:11 AM
Having a player learn how to hit major league quality pitching in front of 25,000 people daily doesn't really strike me as good player development philosophy...

Maximizing Hamilton's number of at bats isn't a cost free proposition... every at bat he gets is one less for someone else. Outs are a precious thing. It's a risky thing you're proposing.

Don't think 200 at bats can't hurt that much.... revisit Willie Bloomquist-the worst player in the majors to get that many last year.


Baseball playes are baseball players so playing in front of a crowd shouldn't effect a player much once they get over the initial shock of it. Hamilton has shown that he has the necessary skills in order to be successful in the bigs. The only question is whether they translate to the big leagues or not.

True that maximizing hamilton's at bats will take away from someone else but I ask you who? Its not like Hamilton's ab's would take away from a top level prospect or a perenial all star. More than likely they will take away from either Deno or Freel. Truth be told I would rather have Hamilton getting those ab's than either of them. He is also a better defender than both of them. Personally I would rather give they guy a shot, play him every day see if he can produce because if he can you have something special.

jojo
03-24-2007, 11:32 AM
Baseball playes are baseball players so playing in front of a crowd shouldn't effect a player much once they get over the initial shock of it.

That really wasnt the point I was making...



True that maximizing hamilton's at bats will take away from someone else but I ask you who? Its not like Hamilton's ab's would take away from a top level prospect or a perenial all star. More than likely they will take away from either Deno or Freel.

Averaging the projection systems:

Deno is projected to do this: .292/.357/.441

Hamilton is projected to do this: .261/.305/.412

There isn't much to go on concerning Hamilton's past so the projections could be way off-he could be better or he could be worse (perhaps alot). Other than Hamilton's arm, the two are probably equal defenders from everything I've seen. So assuming the projections are reasonable, is Hamilton's arm worth .081 of OPS?

Triples
03-24-2007, 11:41 AM
Defensively he is better than our first outfielder, he may be the best option offensively if your talking about a combination of speed, power, and contact. So why think of him as a fifth outfielder at this point.

Addendum to my earlier message...I meant to say that I would use him as the fourth outfielder, not fifth. He would be the first guy into the game when the need arose. I still like having his left handed bat off the bench at least until he's ready to start everyday at the MLB level. Now that Jr has been moved to RF, it would be easy to move Hamilton to the CF spot (emphasis on "when he's ready to start") and put Freel back in the super sub role. I'm not sure what you do for a lead off man at that point but maybe you keep Hamiliton in that spot too. :eek: Before anyone burstz an artery... consider that Soriano is batting lead off for the Cubs and the speed/power combination he has is not unlike that of Hamilton.

HumnHilghtFreel
03-24-2007, 11:46 AM
Before anyone burstz an artery... consider that Soriano is batting lead off for the Cubs and the speed/power combination he has is not unlike that of Hamilton.

Following the Cubs' blueprint to success now are we? It's gonna be a long year;)

jojo
03-24-2007, 11:48 AM
Addendum to my earlier message...I meant to say that I would use him as the fourth outfielder, not fifth. He would be the first guy into the game when the need arose. I still like having his left handed bat off the bench at least until he's ready to start everyday at the MLB level. Now that Jr has been moved to RF, it would be easy to move Hamilton to the CF spot (emphasis on "when he's ready to start") and put Freel back in the super sub role. I'm not sure what you do for a lead off man at that point but maybe you keep Hamiliton in that spot too. :eek: Before anyone burstz an artery... consider that Soriano is batting lead off for the Cubs and the speed/power combination he has is not unlike that of Hamilton.

It's bad kharma to buck the defensive spectrum.... :cool:

RANDY IN INDY
03-24-2007, 11:55 AM
I have heard that Hamilton may be the best defensive outfielder that the Reds have.

Triples
03-24-2007, 11:55 AM
Following the Cubs' blueprint to success now are we? It's gonna be a long year;)

Not suggesting we follow the Cubs blue print for anything. But if memory serves me correctly, Soriano batted lead off last year and his numbers looked pretty good then too. (would you feel better about it if say Soriano was batting lead off for the Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox or any other team that hasn't been a door mat for the last umpteen years?) My point is simply that putting a guy with Hamilton's athletic ability and apparent batting eye at lead off may have some merit.

Triples
03-24-2007, 11:56 AM
It's bad kharma to buck the defensive spectrum.... :cool:

huh?

jojo
03-24-2007, 01:20 PM
huh?

I'm just suggesting that nothing good can come from playing a DH in CF....

As a Reds fan, I'm a huge proponent of the Cubs playing Soriano in center...that's all I'm saying... :cool:

BoydsOfSummer
03-24-2007, 04:08 PM
Hamilton is playing in front of 8,000 or so in spring games. He won't notice the extra 4,000 at GABP.