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View Full Version : Did we jump on Josh Hamilton's bandwagon too soon?



noskill27
05-15-2007, 06:15 PM
Before anyone jumps on me, my take is simply that it's WAY too soon to tell what Hamilton is. He tore it up his first 11 games, but has been struggling his last 23 games:

First 11: .333/.429/.900, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 30 AB
Last 23: .218/.295/.397, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 78 AB

Will he make the adjustments or will he fade away? It'll be interesting to see...

BRM
05-15-2007, 06:17 PM
He's currently in a 1 for 23 slump going back to May 6th.

Sea Ray
05-15-2007, 06:21 PM
He'll have an up and down year because he's fighting youth and stamina both physical and mental. But what won't change are his skills; very quick bat, excellent arm, baseball IQ, etc.

I'm excited to see that his skills have not eroded. It's all still there and he's a Cincinnati Red! Talk about him being rookie of the year/MVP was folly

Matt700wlw
05-15-2007, 06:23 PM
The league has adjusted to him, and now he has to make adjustments himself...this is a learning-on-the-job experience for him, both mentally and physically.

He's going to be a fine. He has a very bright future ahead of him, and I hope it is here in Cincinnati

nate
05-15-2007, 06:24 PM
Even if one hits .250 for a season, it doesn't mean they go 1 for 4 every game.

HumnHilghtFreel
05-15-2007, 06:25 PM
I haven't paid as much attention his last few starts, but maybe he needs to slow down with his aggressiveness.

He's been way up there in terms of swinging at the first pitch, which a lot of times will get him in a quick hole. With the league beginning to make adjustments to him, he's going to need that extra strike more and more.

Redlegs
05-15-2007, 06:30 PM
He's a rookie in the major leagues. He's going to have ups and downs. The potential is there for him to be an outstanding player.

Matt700wlw
05-15-2007, 06:34 PM
People have to remember.....he has never played past A ball

redsmetz
05-15-2007, 06:35 PM
He'll have an up and down year because he's fighting youth and stamina both physical and mental. But what won't change are his skills; very quick bat, excellent arm, baseball IQ, etc.

I'm excited to see that his skills have not eroded. It's all still there and he's a Cincinnati Red! Talk about him being rookie of the year/MVP was folly

As is the case with any Rule 5 guy, the greatest goal is to get them through the entire year so they're your player. I think he'll be up and down most of the year, but as Sea Ray noted, I think his raw talent is a huge plus for the future and I hope he ultimately regularly becomes the player we're seeing glimpses of thus far.

OnBaseMachine
05-15-2007, 06:45 PM
I'm not worried about Josh Hamilton at all. I suspected he would struggle at times this year but still hit 20+ homers. 2008 is when I think he'll be a true star. Give him some time to learn the league and then watch him become one of the best players in the game. I truly believe that.

Will M
05-15-2007, 06:48 PM
A problem the Reds have currently is that with EE's trip to AAA Freel plays every day at 3B. This means no mental days off for Josh and no resting vs tough lefties. ( it also means the inevitable wearing down of Freel ).

Or it means more playing time for Hopper & Castro.

noskill27
05-15-2007, 06:55 PM
Or it means more playing time for Hopper & Castro.

:D Sadly, that's what gonna happen...

Unassisted
05-15-2007, 07:04 PM
Better that he now has to work a bit for his success to keep him from resting on his laurels. The little taste of success he had initially should whet his appetite for more.

Will
05-15-2007, 07:26 PM
As long as Josh doesn't go into a funk that ruins his confidence he'll be fine. The tools are there and with the right handling by management he'll continue to be something special. The heir apparent to Griffey for filling GABP seats for years to come.

Spring~Fields
05-15-2007, 07:27 PM
A couple days off to relax and a set place in the lineup where a rookie is most likely to succeed and he will be fine, even though he has those ups and downs from learning. Who on the Reds doesn't have those kind of days?

Degenerate39
05-15-2007, 07:38 PM
He's just in a slump. He'll me smackin' some homers again soon.

MartyFan
05-15-2007, 08:19 PM
To answer the original question...did we jump on the bandwagon too soon...Not at all.

Are we expecting him to be an AS quality CF this year? Or is it enough for him to be respectable at his position and in the lineup as a rookie...who BTW, was out of baseball entirely for four years...for him to even be average or even a bit under average this year would be better than most should have expected from him.

Count me on his bandwagon...regardless.

reds1869
05-15-2007, 08:24 PM
I'm not at all worried. Slumps happen to every one, especially rookies who fell out of organized ball for several seasons. Hamilton is not just the greatest thing to happen to the Reds this year, he's the greatest thing to happen to Major League Baseball.

MikeS21
05-15-2007, 08:34 PM
I'm not too concerned, considering you remember that Hamilton is facing the same pitchers as everyone else. It seems to me that the entire team is in a slump. When you consider he's facing pitchers like Oswalt, Maddox, and all those LH pitchers, he's done remarkably well.

He may not hit .300 or hit 40 HR's. But he is giving the team good defense and as long as he keeps talking walks, he'll do fine.

bucksfan2
05-16-2007, 10:21 AM
Hamilton is still still learning on the job. One thing that i have been impressed with is he is going with the ball where it is pitched. He uses the entire field. Yes he is in a slump but I expect him to bust out of it.

KoryMac5
05-16-2007, 10:33 AM
The major league season is a long grueling 162 game trek. Combine this with the fact that Hamilton skipped the usual minor league route. The minors is more than just learning a position and playing a game. Many ball players get adjusted to playing multiple games through their minor league experience. Hamilton has played more games this year than the last three combined, he is definitely making an adjustment to playing almost everyday. A day off here and their would help once EE gets back.

Team Clark
05-16-2007, 11:09 AM
Didn't he go 2-5 last night? Even if Hamilton hits .245 he's worth his weight in gold in the OF.

Where are all the Boo Birds who were calling Phillips a joke and a Bust? I guess when you get your act together and have a .282 Avg there isn't much to slam????

BRM
05-16-2007, 11:31 AM
Where are all the Boo Birds who were calling Phillips a joke and a Bust? I guess when you get your act together and have a .282 Avg there isn't much to slam????

The only complaints I've seen regarding BP are his place in the batting order. Most want him lower in the order, 5th or 6th. That's more of a complaint against Jerry than Brandon though.

coachw513
05-16-2007, 11:40 AM
It's only jumping on the bandwagon too soon if you expected him to hit .300 with 30 HR...but if you expected him to have a solid 1st ML season, go through some great hot stretches and some stretches of slumping, combined with every-day solid if-not spectacular defense, then the bandwagon is leaving at exactly the correct time...

As was stated earlier, EE's return (dear God, please :pray: ) would give Narron the option of sitting Hamilton a bit more often, an issue which I believe will be critical the 2nd half of the season when the games start to really add up for a guy who hasn't played an entire MINOR league season in his career...

Hoosier Red
05-16-2007, 12:27 PM
A couple days off to relax and a set place in the lineup where a rookie is most likely to succeed and he will be fine, even though he has those ups and downs from learning. Who on the Reds doesn't have those kind of days?


WHAT? A COUPLE OF DAYS OFF? DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND, THAT WILL RUIN HIS CONFIDENCE? HOW'S HE EXPECTED TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY WELL IF HE'S LOOKING OVER HIS SHOULDER AT EVERY 1 for 23 SLUMP?

Or so we've been told. ;)

jojo
05-16-2007, 12:51 PM
Before anyone jumps on me, my take is simply that it's WAY too soon to tell what Hamilton is. He tore it up his first 11 games, but has been struggling his last 23 games:

First 11: .333/.429/.900, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 30 AB
Last 23: .218/.295/.397, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 78 AB

Will he make the adjustments or will he fade away? It'll be interesting to see...

He's most likely in for a rough year and it's most likely goiing to hurt the Reds chances of winning this season. After this roadtrip, the second part might not matter though.....

edabbs44
05-16-2007, 01:03 PM
I think expectations were a little high for Hamilton. There were threads started which discussed "ROY and MVP in the same season" and "Can Hamilton make the HOF?"

Obviously the guy has talent, but I think everyone was blinded by his story and quick success. No one is doubting his talent.

Rotater Cuff
05-16-2007, 01:03 PM
We're worrying about the wrong thing. He's got the talent, and we've heard all the reasons he's not hitting: slump, he's just a rookie, he's been out of baseball for years, etc.
The big issue is, this guy has issues which made him resort to drugs and alcohol even with all the talent. Will a few weeks of underpar performance get this guy in the dumpster mentally, looking for a release?
That's why I hate to fire Narron, even though he probably deserves it, because Josh Hamilton has become a Narron family project

dabvu2498
05-16-2007, 01:10 PM
One thing that's been a bit disconcerting about Josh is his slippage in plate discipline.

As of right now, Josh is next to last among Reds "regulars" in pitches seen per PA at 3.55. By comparison: Ross 4.24, Dunn 4.18, Freel 4.13, Grif 3.94, Hatte 3.70, Gonzalez 3.63, Phillips 3.57, Conine 3.42.

In 128 total PA's Josh only been at a 3-0 count 6 times., 3-1 14 times, and 3-2 16 times.

Now, truth be told, he's been very good when he puts the first pitch in play (1.318 OPS) but he's been downright bad when behind or even at neutral counts (.584 OPS on 1-1 and .000 OPS on 2-2 pitches and .315 after 2-2 pitches :eek:).

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?playerId=4652

KoryMac5
05-16-2007, 01:13 PM
He's most likely in for a rough year and it's most likely goiing to hurt the Reds chances of winning this season. After this roadtrip, the second part might not matter though.....

I'm usually pretty low key but I have to admit this is probably the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard. Hamilton has by far exceeded my expectations and continues to do so even with this slump. I figured at the start of the year .250 with 15 hr's and 60-65 RBI's, I currently stand by those numbers. I love the fact that he can play all three OF spots and can steal a base from time to time. It was nice to see him hustle down the line for a couple of infield singles last night. That's the type of attitude this team needs to pull together. My expectations have not changed and what we are seeing has more to do with him coming back to earth after a hot start than the signs of a rough year. I fully expect him to continue to produce solid not spectacular numbers for the Reds during his first full season of professional baseball.

KoryMac5
05-16-2007, 01:21 PM
We're worrying about the wrong thing. He's got the talent, and we've heard all the reasons he's not hitting: slump, he's just a rookie, he's been out of baseball for years, etc.
The big issue is, this guy has issues which made him resort to drugs and alcohol even with all the talent. Will a few weeks of underpar performance get this guy in the dumpster mentally, looking for a release?
That's why I hate to fire Narron, even though he probably deserves it, because Josh Hamilton has become a Narron family project

He will be dealing with drugs, booze, slumps, marital spats, success, women etc... for the rest of his life. He is currently in the midst of his first big hurdle, a slump in the middle of a roadtrip. Narron has been a big influence no doubt about it and I am sure his teammates JR., Dunn, Hatte, Connine etc.. have been helping him deal with success and failure. Ultimately Josh has learned from past experiences that he not Narron or anyone else controls his deamons.

jojo
05-16-2007, 01:31 PM
I'm usually pretty low key but I have to admit this is probably the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard. Hamilton has by far exceeded my expectations and continues to do so even with this slump. I figured at the start of the year .250 with 15 hr's and 60-65 RBI's, I currently stand by those numbers. I love the fact that he can play all three OF spots and can steal a base from time to time. It was nice to see him hustle down the line for a couple of infield singles last night. That's the type of attitude this team needs to pull together. My expectations have not changed and what we are seeing has more to do with him coming back to earth after a hot start than the signs of a rough year. I fully expect him to continue to produce solid not spectacular numbers for the Reds during his first full season of professional baseball.

The reasonable goals you've stated above would be below average production from a centerfielder let alone a corner outfielder.... Having below average production relative the league is a disadvantage (i.e. it hurts the team's chances of winning). With context, the statement isn't as ridiculous as it might appear to some-in fact it's pretty accurate.

We really should stop calling his last 70+ Abs a slump. It's the bulk of his major league work so far. Isn't that the point of this thread? We've been acting like we know his true level of performance when we in fact don't.

If Deno were still on the roster and healthy, EE hadn't had such a miserable start, and the prospects of the season looked less gloomy this might be an interesting issue to debate. However, as it is I'd stick Hamilton somewhere in the outfield and bat him either in the 7th (most often) or 6th position on a given night while telling him, if your OPS is .900, great. If it's .650, i don't care. Learn as much as you can and go have some fun.

bucksfan2
05-16-2007, 02:28 PM
However, as it is I'd stick Hamilton somewhere in the outfield and bat him either in the 7th (most often) or 6th position on a given night while telling him, if your OPS is .900, great. If it's .650, i don't care. Learn as much as you can and go have some fun.


JoJo I would highly doubt that a major league manager or player would tell a player to go out and ops something. It just doesn't make sense. OPS is a stat for stats guys and gm's not for players and managers.

LoganBuck
05-16-2007, 02:29 PM
Now, truth be told, he's been very good when he puts the first pitch in play (1.318 OPS) but he's been downright bad when behind or even at neutral counts (.584 OPS on 1-1 and .000 OPS on 2-2 pitches and .315 after 2-2 pitches :eek:).

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?playerId=4652

"For the life of me I will never understand why Josh Hamilton swings at the first pitch so often." ---- Marty Brennamen

KoryMac5
05-16-2007, 02:32 PM
The reasonable goals you've stated above would be below average production from a centerfielder let alone a corner outfielder.... Having below average production relative the league is a disadvantage (i.e. it hurts the team's chances of winning). With context, the statement isn't as ridiculous as it might appear to some-in fact it's pretty accurate.

We really should stop calling his last 70+ Abs a slump. It's the bulk of his major league work so far. Isn't that the point of this thread? We've been acting like we know his true level of performance when we in fact don't.

You have to take into account that those numbers are for a rookie not a veteran. I wouldn't be happy with those coming from a player like Dunn or JR., but getting that production from a rookie in Hamilton would be a nice surprise. Again it is a long year and one we have to look back at as a whole not in increments.

jojo
05-16-2007, 02:32 PM
JoJo I would highly doubt that a major league manager or player would tell a player to go out and ops something. It just doesn't make sense. OPS is a stat for stats guys and gm's not for players and managers.

The point was: "don't worry about your numbers kid, you're gonna play".....

BTW: managers had better be aware of the numbers game if they want to suceed...

jojo
05-16-2007, 02:41 PM
You have to take into account that those numbers are for a rookie not a veteran. I wouldn't be happy with those coming from a player like Dunn or JR., but getting that production from a rookie in Hamilton would be a nice surprise. Again it is a long year and one we have to look back at as a whole not in increments.

But for the sake of the team, it doesn't matter if those numbers come from a veteran or a rookie....at the end of the day, if the majority of the league is getting more production from a position than you are, it's a disadvantage for your team. Like I said earlier though-at this point, its a moot point. The Reds don't really have better options right now.

Concerning where Josh will end up at the end of the season production-wise, I don't have a crystal ball. A safe bet is somewhere between the good Josh and the bad Josh with him ultimately being a notch below league average or thereabouts. Here's to hoping he makes me look like a wanker.....

noskill27
05-16-2007, 04:28 PM
That's why I hate to fire Narron, even though he probably deserves it, because Josh Hamilton has become a Narron family project

That's what scares me more then anything - the chance that we won't fire a terrible manager because of one player

UK Reds Fan
05-16-2007, 05:26 PM
I know Josh isn't hitting as he was in April...

1. But he is still 3rd on team in OPS at 867.
2. 2nd on team withi 8 HRs
3. He is OPS 725 in May which is when he has cooled off.
4. Josh Hamilton is today the 3rd highest CF in NL in terms of OPS..which is the position I'd put him at.
5. The average NL CF this year so for is averaging an OPS of 715..Josh's coolest month to date is 725, which puts him right at league average CF.
6. Defense is hard to measure, but I'd be willing to wager Hamilton is no worse that 6th best defensive CF in NL today.

So at worst, we'll get a year's worth of league average CF play for minimum pay from Hamilton. I see nothing wrong with this picture and don't see a major issue with Hamilton playing thru struggles as he'll probably do no worse than league average.

dabvu2498
05-16-2007, 05:31 PM
"For the life of me I will never understand why Josh Hamilton swings at the first pitch so often." ---- Marty Brennamen

Well, in fairness to Franchester, if Hamilton swings and misses or fouls, or if he takes a 1st pitch strike (48 out of 128 PA's, vs. 24 PA where the ball is put in play on the 1st pitch), he OPSes at a devilish .666.

jojo
05-16-2007, 09:29 PM
I know Josh isn't hitting as he was in April...

It's more than an April/May split:

Josh's first 30 AB: .333/.500/.900 5 hr

Josh's last 83 AB: .229/.337/.398 3 hr (two against the Rockies during a 6 for 9)


So at worst, we'll get a year's worth of league average CF play for minimum pay from Hamilton. I see nothing wrong with this picture and don't see a major issue with Hamilton playing thru struggles as he'll probably do no worse than league average.

At worst, we'll get a year's worth of Ryan Freel without Freel's good OBP or his stolen bases (i.e. Josh's last 83 AB)....

UK Reds Fan
05-16-2007, 10:16 PM
At worst, we'll get a year's worth of Ryan Freel without Freel's good OBP or his stolen bases (i.e. Josh's last 83 AB)....

So far this year Hamilton has 13 walks to Freel's 14 walks with 25 less at bats. I don't see Freel doing much more OBP than Hamilton given a full sample size. Plus Hamilton is mucho more power. Freel's high in Hr in a year is 8...Hamilton has equaled that in 100 at bats basically. I don't see Hamilton doing much if any worse than Freel in any offensive category besides stolen bases.

UC_Ken
05-16-2007, 10:25 PM
It also appears that Hamilton is a superior defender to Freel.

jojo
05-16-2007, 10:28 PM
So far this year Hamilton has 13 walks to Freel's 14 walks with 25 less at bats. I don't see Freel doing much more OBP than Hamilton given a full sample size. Plus Hamilton is mucho more power. Freel's high in Hr in a year is 8...Hamilton has equaled that in 100 at bats basically. I don't see Hamilton doing much if any worse than Freel in any offensive category besides stolen bases.

Of course you don't because you like those first 30 at bats and aren't phased by the last 80....

UK Reds Fan
05-17-2007, 12:14 AM
OK...in his last 5 games he is 5 for 18 with a walk. So his OBP is back up to 316 in those 5 games.

You can slice samples all day long, measuring items by month and then by seasons are much more reasonable. We did this same song and dance with Phillip's 2nd half which the "Legion of Doom" around here called the regression to the mean.

jojo
05-17-2007, 09:31 AM
OK...in his last 5 games he is 5 for 18 with a walk. So his OBP is back up to 316 in those 5 games.

You can slice samples all day long, measuring items by month and then by seasons are much more reasonable. We did this same song and dance with Phillip's 2nd half which the "Legion of Doom" around here called the regression to the mean.

I think having a justifiable reason to split data is more reasonable than arbitrarily drawing a line at every month-especially when the arbitrary split hides meaning. In Josh's case, looking at his season so far in an unbiased fashion, his performance clearly splits between his first 30 AB and his subsequent 80 ABs. Sure samples can be sliced any way, but the best slices are the unbiased, unarbitrary ones.

Nobody has claimed Josh's last 80 AB's is his destiny. They just suggest that it appears that many people have latched onto Josh's first two weeks and assumed too much about his true level of performance...

I think it's a reasonable assertion to say that for most major league teams Josh would be in their minor league system right now most likely in AA as a considerable number of teams develop their top prospects at that level these days.

In the end:
1. 120 AB isn't a large enough sample size to say anything with any certainty (so 30 AB really gets dicey) about what to expect from Josh.

2. It's all a moot point anyway.

AmarilloRed
05-17-2007, 01:19 PM
He wasnt going to hit like he did in March and April without the leagues pitchers making adjustments. Hamilton has the plate discipline to react to make his own adjustments, and I think he will.

Dom Heffner
05-17-2007, 05:20 PM
I think it is going to be up and down for this guy all year, and what a great year to learn in: he isn't costing this team a thing whether he hits .250 or less.

He takes a walk, hits for power, and can field and run. I like him, but he isn't going to be lights out all season long.

Once we get through the growing pains, all will be well.

bucksfan2
05-18-2007, 09:00 AM
What people still have to consider is Hamilton is a 25 year old rookie. Ryan Howard in his ROY season hit 22 Hrs, 66 RBI, .288 with an OBP of .356. This is after college ball, minor league baseball, and a brief stint with the Phillies the season before. I think many reds fans would be estatic if players like Stubbs and Valakia would come up and produce the way Hamilton has this season when they are 25-26 year old.