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View Full Version : Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA



Jamz
07-23-2012, 01:03 PM
Not sure if this could have gone in another topic, but I didn't see much talk about him since his recent move to AA. He's actually OPSing higher than he was in high A ball (though he's 8 - 4 in sb/cs.) I think the biggest concern about his ability to move up to the majors was about whether or not he could adapt to better pitching as he moved up. After a rough couple first games it seems like he's been adapting pretty well so far -- hopefully it continues.

Obviously small sample size and all, but it's great to see.

bubbachunk
07-23-2012, 01:06 PM
Lets give him at least a month before any proclomations. Not really thread worthy yet but nice to see him still hitting so far.

Benihana
07-23-2012, 01:06 PM
As you said, small sample size and all disclaimers, but if this continues for another month or two you have to think he becomes a top 10 prospect in the game- and I am not as high on Hamilton as most.

If Billy can keep an OBP above .400 (or even .380) in Pensacola for the rest of the year, I will definitely be a believer. I can't imagine anyone wouldn't be at that point.

klw
07-23-2012, 02:05 PM
The stories are growing at a Coombsian rate.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/albert_chen/07/23/billy-hamilton-reds-stolen-base-record/index.html


The most unbelievable thing DeShields saw Billy do happened last year during spring training. "There was a ball hit to deep to leftfield, and the leftfielder throws his hands up because he's lost the ball in the sun," says Deshields. "I'm watching the ball, and thinking, This is trouble, and out of nowhere, I see this white flash, and I see that it's Billy, and he's running full speed. He ends up diving, laying out completely, and makes the catch at the warning track in leftfield. It was ridiculous. There isn't a player out there who would have caught that ball."



His old little league coach, Jim Ford, likes to tell the story of the time he took Billy and his little league teammates bowling. "Billy was 13 and had never bowled before," says Ford. "He was like, 'So you put your fingers in the ball, you try to knock down those pins, and you get, what, two chances? Okay.' His first four rolls were strikes. He had a ridiculous score. I still have the card."


Billy was All-State at Taylorsville High School in baseball, basketball and football. He was a wideout and kick returner who turned down a football scholarship to Mississippi State. "Every offensive play was designed around Billy," says one of his old football coaches, Dusty Hillman, who was also his manager on the baseball team. "In practice he'd run backwards and guys still couldn't cover him. He was by far the fastest player I've ever seen."

mdccclxix
07-23-2012, 03:11 PM
Man, it would be cool to have Billy's legs for a day and just run around.

dougdirt
07-23-2012, 03:11 PM
Man, it would be cool to have Billy's legs for a day and just run around.

I imagine his legs would look silly on 99% of us. :laugh:

mdccclxix
07-23-2012, 03:13 PM
That's okay, I'd wear long shorts and high socks. Maybe throw on a cape.

dougdirt
07-23-2012, 03:17 PM
That's okay, I'd wear long shorts and high socks. Maybe throw on a cape.

Liar. You would absolutely throw on a cape.

Benihana
07-23-2012, 03:30 PM
I wonder what he'd run the 40 in/how his speed compares to some NFL WR and DBs.

19braves77
07-23-2012, 03:38 PM
Hamilton is good for baseball. Its great example on why teams like the Braves tok Dennis Dixon ( Oregon Ducks), the Rockies took Micheal Vick, and my favorite Patrick White who was drafted three times. I wonder how many athletes are out there focusing on the wrong sport.

SunDeck
07-23-2012, 03:54 PM
Billy Hamilton is so fast he watches 60 minutes in half an hour.

mdccclxix
07-23-2012, 03:57 PM
Liar. You would absolutely throw on a cape.

True. I'd race cars at stop signs for starters. That cape would look impressive for jumping off stuff at full speed.

Really, Billy should just wear the cape. That's what should happen.

klw
07-23-2012, 04:44 PM
I wonder what he'd run the 40 in/how his speed compares to some NFL WR and DBs.

Here let me Google that for you
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=How+fast+does+Billy+Hamilton+run+the+40

Sorry I always wanted to use the lmgtfy function.

Here is the answer.
http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120707/SPT04/307070064/Billy-Hamilton-man-steal

Hamilton said he has not been timed on a track, but at age 15 he was timed at 4.5 seconds in a 40-yard dash at a football camp. The fastest NFL players run the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds or less, and Hamilton by now is in that class.

dougdirt
07-23-2012, 04:53 PM
I wonder what he'd run the 40 in/how his speed compares to some NFL WR and DBs.

It is worth bringing up the Andrew Means ran a 4.36 40 at the IU pro day and Hamilton is considered faster than him and no one ever questions it.

MikeS21
07-23-2012, 08:12 PM
It is worth bringing up the Andrew Means ran a 4.36 40 at the IU pro day and Hamilton is considered faster than him and no one ever questions it.
You are talking about our Andrew Means?

I just seems as if the Reds' minors has a lot of speed. It would be interesting to know who the fastest players are.

Brutus
07-23-2012, 08:36 PM
Liar. You would absolutely throw on a cape.

"You can't cast aspersions on someone just because they're wearing a cape. Superman wore a cape! And I'll be damned if I'm gonna stand here and let you say something bad about him."

Jamz
07-23-2012, 09:51 PM
I would actually like to see what kind of time he could put up in the 100m. The guy is blazing fast.

dougdirt
07-23-2012, 09:59 PM
You are talking about our Andrew Means?

I just seems as if the Reds' minors has a lot of speed. It would be interesting to know who the fastest players are.

Yes I am. The fastest two guys are Hamilton and Bowe, in some order. I haven't been convinced that Bowe isn't as fast as Hamilton. I think there is probably a bit of a gap between them before getting to a few other guys, though I will be honest that I haven't had a good time on Means in two years either.

BuckeyeRedleg
07-23-2012, 10:23 PM
http://mississippistate.scout.com/a.z?s=136&p=8&c=1&nid=3589821

Surprised he was only a 2-star.

j_m_t_us
07-24-2012, 02:36 AM
Yes I am. The fastest two guys are Hamilton and Bowe, in some order. I haven't been convinced that Bowe isn't as fast as Hamilton. I think there is probably a bit of a gap between them before getting to a few other guys, though I will be honest that I haven't had a good time on Means in two years either.

If Means is so fast, why has he stole only 2 bases with Pensacola when he's been on base 40 times! What am I missing here?

camisadelgolf
07-24-2012, 03:43 AM
If Means is so fast, why has he stole only 2 bases with Pensacola when he's been on base 40 times! What am I missing here?
It's because he's on base so rarely that they want him to savor the moment and try to get used to it.

OGB
07-24-2012, 05:13 AM
It is worth bringing up the Andrew Means ran a 4.36 40 at the IU pro day and Hamilton is considered faster than him and no one ever questions it.

Doug speaks truth. It is not uncommom for college football players to run a sub 4.4 forty. In fact, i believe the Bengals have 3 rookies who have been timed at under 4.4. The rarity is guys who run low 4.3 or 4.2 anything. Either way, it amounts to how that speed translates. The fastest sprinter in the world might not be able to run a pass route or defend against a WR as well as someone slower. Similarly, the fastest sprinter might not be able to move laterally to field a ground ball, or navigate a base path as well as an accomplished baseball player. Hamilton has world class speed, but you just rarely see guys that fast decide on a career in baseball.

Scrap Irony
07-24-2012, 09:05 AM
I'd also argue that it's far, far different running it everyday on a baseball diamond and running it from starter's blocks in a straight line at a combine.

Hamilton has as much game speed as anyone in baseball. Perhaps ever. Whether that equates to a 4.4 or a 4.3 or whatever, I don't know. I suspect, if you timed him, Hamilton would run in the 4.25 to 4.3 range.

Pony Boy
07-24-2012, 10:13 AM
The thing that I love about Hamilton is that he is really learning the art of stealing bases in the minors. He will have lots of practice by the time he gets to MLB. It will get a lot harder when he moves up to AAA and to the majors. Pitchers are better at holding runners, catchers are much better at making the throw to second, etc.

Deion Sanders was among the fastest players to ever play baseball (maybe the fastest), but he wasnt a very good base runner. He was caught stealing a little over a third of time. Its not all speed. You have to have a feel for it and you have to be smart about it.

Scrap Irony
07-24-2012, 10:26 AM
Anything below 70% doesn't help the team.

Thankfully, Hamilton is well above that so for his career. As pitchers and catchers have to focus more on hitters and less on him stealing (ie, good hitters are going to crush fastballs if they're thrown every pitch he's on base), Hamilton's CS percentage isn't, IMO, going to rise all that much. I do believe he'll be more judicious with his attempts, however.

Still, a SS that can steal 100 bases in a year while only getting caught 25 times is a difference-maker to keep an eye on.

19braves77
07-24-2012, 11:03 AM
I heard and read that Bo Jackon was faster then Sanders but Jackson never really tried... Its said that Bo never liked baseball and he only played it to stay in shape for football. Same article said that if he would have kept at it, he would have probable hit 500 HRS stole 700 bases and been the all time strikeout leader.

Micheal Jordan was fast also.

texasdave
07-24-2012, 11:24 AM
CNNSI article on Slidin' Billy Hamilton.


Rickey. Rock. Vince. Otis. Neon Deion. He saw them all in their primes, all those great burners. So when Ken Griffey, Sr. started hearing the great tales about this kid named Billy Hamilton in the Reds system -- this kid who was so fast he would steal second as the catcher was flipping the ball back to the pitcher, this kid who was so fast he would run from his shortstop position and make outrageous catches at the warning track, this kid who just might be The Fastest Ballplayer Ever -- when he listened to all the great tales, Griffey, of course, would roll his eyes. He's seen enough of these Next Big Things come and go.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/albert_chen/07/23/billy-hamilton-reds-stolen-base-record/index.html#ixzz21YP1xjqt

Mario-Rijo
07-24-2012, 01:23 PM
Hamilton #8 on Keith Laws Trade Value list.

Insider Link (http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/law_keith/id/8194411/jurickson-profar-gerrit-cole-other-prospects-most-trade-value-mlb)

Guidelines:

As a follow-on list to my ranking from earlier this month of the top 50 prospects in the minors, here's a ranking of the top 10 prospects on contending clubs -- i.e., potential deadline "buyers" -- based on their immediate trade value. To draw the line between contenders and non-contenders, I used ESPN's playoff odds, and limited the list to prospects from teams with at least a 15 percent chance of making the playoffs prior to Monday's games.

This list isn't specifically my evaluation of the values of these players, but represents my understanding of (and speculation) on what the players' actual values are to current GMs. This list ignores players who can't be traded because they just signed their first professional contracts this summer, and players who are currently out with a significant injury (e.g., Travis d'Arnaud).

Steve4192
07-24-2012, 03:34 PM
I heard and read that Bo Jackon was faster then Sanders but Jackson never really tried... Its said that Bo never liked baseball and he only played it to stay in shape for football. Same article said that if he would have kept at it, he would have probable hit 500 HRS stole 700 bases and been the all time strikeout leader.


That doesn't make much sense, considering Bo chose baseball over football.

Baseball always came first for Bo. That's why he took less money to play baseball rather than what he could have made as the #1 overall pick in the NFL draft. It's also why he never played a full NFL season, only coming over to play after the baseball season had ended.

_Sir_Charles_
07-24-2012, 03:57 PM
CNNSI article on Slidin' Billy Hamilton.


Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/albert_chen/07/23/billy-hamilton-reds-stolen-base-record/index.html#ixzz21YP1xjqt (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/albert_chen/07/23/billy-hamilton-reds-stolen-base-record/index.html#ixzz21YP1xjqt)


Sorry dave, you picked the wrong quote IMO. :O)


The moment Griffey became a believer was during a game in April, two weeks into the season at Single-A Bakersfield, where Griffey is the manager and Hamilton was the shortstop. It was a scoreless game in the bottom of the ninth. Hamilton was at third base -- earlier in the inning he'd singled, stole second, and stole third. "The hitter was kind of jammed and he hit a pop fly to second," says Griffey. "I look over at third and I see Billy going back to the base, looking like he's getting ready to push off, and I'm thinking, Now what the hell is he doing? The second baseman had his back to the plate, he was on the edge of the outfield grass behind second base, and the moment he touched the ball, Billy took off. And he was gone. This is a pop fly to second base, and Billy tagged up and scored. Standing up."
Griffey laughs. "Thought I'd seen it all -- but I'd never seen that," he says. "I've seen all the great ones who could change the game with their speed. But Billy -- it's true, he's a little bit different."


Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/albert_chen/07/23/billy-hamilton-reds-stolen-base-record/index.html#ixzz21ZVw5OWX (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/albert_chen/07/23/billy-hamilton-reds-stolen-base-record/index.html#ixzz21ZVw5OWX)

MikeS21
07-24-2012, 03:57 PM
The real issue for Hamilton is learning the art of distraction.

Joe Morgan was a master at getting into the head of the pitcher and catcher and the defense. It wasn't just about the stolen bases, but about inducing the defense or the pitcher into making mistakes. I wonder how many HR's were given up to George Foster, Johnny Bench, and Tony Perez simply because Joe Morgan on the basepaths distracted the pitcher into giving up a mistake pitch. How many errors did he cause because a defender hurried a throw or took his eyes off the unfielded ball to see where Morgan was?

If Billy Hamilton learns the art of distracting to other team, he is going to be fun to watch.

bellhead
07-24-2012, 04:01 PM
The real issue for Hamilton is learning the art of distraction.

Joe Morgan was a master at getting into the head of the pitcher and catcher and the defense. It wasn't just about the stolen bases, but about inducing the defense or the pitcher into making mistakes. I wonder how many HR's were given up to George Foster, Johnny Bench, and Tony Perez simply because Joe Morgan on the basepaths distracted the pitcher into giving up a mistake pitch. How many errors did he cause because a defender hurried a throw or took his eyes off the unfielded ball to see where Morgan was?

If Billy Hamilton learns the art of distracting to other team, he is going to be fun to watch.

Mike,

I agree 200% and more, it's all about getting into the opposing pitchers head and putting them into a pressure situation.

Scrap Irony
07-24-2012, 04:13 PM
If you watched the Futures Game, you saw that Hamilton already has that down.

His key isn't distraction or learning how or when to steal, but, as always, his bat. Can he consistently hit around .300 with an obp over .350 and a slugging over .400? If so, he's a difference-maker in the lineup.

RedlegJake
07-24-2012, 04:32 PM
The Reds will need a player batting behind Billy who can handle NOT being distracted himself. Not all hitters like batting behind a base stealer like Hamilton. That was an issue for Rock Raines, Coleman, Wilson and other high volume runners. It really does matter who bats behind them. I remember Morgan saying something about him hitting in front of one of the Reds - they didn't like him stealing because it messed up their concentration. So he rarely tried when he got on in front of that guy. I can't remember though who it was.

bellhead
07-24-2012, 10:18 PM
The Reds will need a player batting behind Billy who can handle NOT being distracted himself. Not all hitters like batting behind a base stealer like Hamilton. That was an issue for Rock Raines, Coleman, Wilson and other high volume runners. It really does matter who bats behind them. I remember Morgan saying something about him hitting in front of one of the Reds - they didn't like him stealing because it messed up their concentration. So he rarely tried when he got on in front of that guy. I can't remember though who it was.

Votto comes to mind, I don't know whether he might like having guys on base as this far in his career it doesn't happen enough for him to notice:lol::lol::lol:

OUReds
07-25-2012, 12:28 AM
The Reds will need a player batting behind Billy who can handle NOT being distracted himself. Not all hitters like batting behind a base stealer like Hamilton. That was an issue for Rock Raines, Coleman, Wilson and other high volume runners. It really does matter who bats behind them. I remember Morgan saying something about him hitting in front of one of the Reds - they didn't like him stealing because it messed up their concentration. So he rarely tried when he got on in front of that guy. I can't remember though who it was.

It was Griffey Sr., and he's still a little salty about it.

gilpdawg
07-25-2012, 02:24 AM
It was Griffey Sr., and he's still a little salty about it.

Yep. It was Morgan who didn't like people stealing when he was batting, and Griffey thought he could have stolen 80 or 90 bags/yr. if he didn't hit in front of Joe.

RedlegJake
07-25-2012, 04:44 PM
Yep. It was Morgan who didn't like people stealing when he was batting, and Griffey thought he could have stolen 80 or 90 bags/yr. if he didn't hit in front of Joe.

Thanks gilpdawg - I got it backwards but I did remember something about that! And now that you corrected me I do remember it being Senior! Thanks!

kaldaniels
07-25-2012, 06:30 PM
The much revered (by myself as well) Dave Cameron said in his chat today the Reds would be crazy not to call up Billy late in the season.

RedlegJake
07-25-2012, 06:42 PM
Cameron is a good writer and analyst but why would he think rushing Hamilton up is a good idea? I mean did he back up his thinking with any numbers or analysis or talking points why he thought it would be a good idea? I like him too but he's in the minority on this one where baseball insiders - ie coaches, former players etc are concerned. Mostly its fans who call for Billy to be with the Reds in September and the professionals who say wait. At least the ones I've read.

kaldaniels
07-25-2012, 06:47 PM
Cameron is a good writer and analyst but why would he think rushing Hamilton up is a good idea? I mean did he back up his thinking with any numbers or analysis or talking points why he thought it would be a good idea? I like him too but he's in the minority on this one where baseball insiders - ie coaches, former players etc are concerned. Mostly its fans who call for Billy to be with the Reds in September and the professionals who say wait. At least the ones I've read.

While I don't see Billy having a big effect on the Reds if he was called up...what are the negatives of doing so?

1) Spot on the 40 man - big deal...a lot of chaff on there right now

2) Screw up his development - I highly doubt that

3) A month of service time - that's alittle hairy

Am I missing anything else?

kaldaniels
07-25-2012, 06:48 PM
Nm

RedlegJake
07-25-2012, 07:06 PM
1) Spot on the 40 man - big deal...a lot of chaff on there right now True enough. But to use him in the post season you have to get him on the 25 man before the 31st of August unless I am missing something in the rules? That means someone has to go down. Am I right about that? (I may well be wrong - I'm not sure) I would imagine you'd want him as a pinch runner at least in the post season. I sure would.


2) Screw up his development - I highly doubt that I'd leave this to the people who know him. Is he fragile confidence wise? I doubt that too because he adjusts so quickly when he starts out with pretty bad numbers. I mean if that first year didn't shake his confidence... Still - I'd leave the answer to Griffey Sr. and Riggleman the guys who've worked with him daily. If he flops badly will it shake him up? My bet is he could handle it.


3) A month of service time - that's a little hairy This is the real catch if you ask me. Do they want to start his "clock". I don't think its that big a deal and not much sooner than he'll play his way into it anyway.


Am I missing anything else?How much use would he really get as a pinch runner? How many times would Dusty want to pull a player from the game to use a pinch runner? Certainly there would be occasions but not as often as one might think. Maybe if Hanigan/Me get on late in the game. Or Cairo/Rolen. Or if a pinch hitter got on?
I'd rather get him in the game as a player and I don't know if he'd be ready for that - he hasn't played outfield yet ad his defense by all accounts isn't ready for major league shortstop yet.
Or forget the post season and just bring him up with the expanded rosters and strictly use him as a pinch runner for the regular season just to help clinch the division.

I wish he had already played centerfield, then I'd say let him actually play a few games in center and leadoff.

757690
07-25-2012, 07:17 PM
While I don't see Billy having a big effect on the Reds if he was called up...what are the negatives of doing so?

1) Spot on the 40 man - big deal...a lot of chaff on there right now

2) Screw up his development - I highly doubt that

3) A month of service time - that's alittle hairy

Am I missing anything else?

I'd say #2 is the primary concern and for good reason. The major leagues are completely different from the minors and not just in terms of talent. It's a completely different experience, bright lights, big cities, tens of thousands of fans, dozens of reporters, millons of TV viewers, and it's all for real. The pressure can be overwhelming.

That shouldn't be taken lightly. I have no idea if Hamilton can handle being in the majors or what effect it would have on him, but it's not something that should be taken lightly.

bellhead
07-25-2012, 07:54 PM
If he came up would he be a super 2, even if he spent the majority of next year in AA/AAA...

Also would we loose a year of control for him?

kaldaniels
07-25-2012, 08:05 PM
The thing with service time is that you can start and stop it. So it's not like the countdown begins once he comes up. It will just count towards his time once he is up for good.

Nathan
07-26-2012, 02:59 AM
If he came up would he be a super 2, even if he spent the majority of next year in AA/AAA...

It could eventually, but, it's effect on that would be minimal. I wouldn't let it be a deterrent for calling someone up.



Also would we loose a year of control for him?

No. The worst that will happen contract wise is it would burn an option year for him assuming (likely) that he will be optioned to AAA to start the year next year. Not sure if that's something the club would want to do at this point?

Hoosier Red
07-26-2012, 08:32 AM
True enough. But to use him in the post season you have to get him on the 25 man before the 31st of August unless I am missing something in the rules? That means someone has to go down. Am I right about that? (I may well be wrong - I'm not sure) I would imagine you'd want him as a pinch runner at least in the post season. I sure would.


There are a few exceptions to this rule.

If he's on the 40 man roster and someone who was on the 25 man roster before the post season is transferred to the 60 day DL, he could take that spot.

That's how the Reds got Chapman on the post season roster in 2010, I think Harang was transferred to make room.

HOWEVER, IIRC, it would have to be a position player transferred, you can't transfer a pitcher to the 60 man DL and have Hamilton take his spot.

Roster geniuses can correct any errors I make.

medford
07-26-2012, 09:52 AM
IIRC, someone doesn't have to be removed from the 25 man per say. For instance, lets say on Aug. 30th, they decide Rolen needs to be shut down to rest up his shoulder again, so he goes on the 15 day DL. Hamilton (or anyone) comes up to replace him. When Rolen is off the DL, both players are eligible for the playoff roster. I believe the Reds used that loophole to allow some reliever on the playoff roster in 2010.

As for #2, while there is some risk there, I don't think its huge in terms of screwing up his development. You bring him up primarily to pinch run. If/when you clinch a playoff spot and your seeding, perhaps you give him a start or 2 down the stretch. Perhaps in a blow out he's given an at bat or two prior to that, but primarily he's used to pinch run, so I don't think you're going to screw up his confidence to much as he won't have much time to struggle at the plate. Now, since he's not being optioned back to the minors this season, he retains all 3 options. He goes back to AA or AAA to start next year, and has all season to develop down there. He gets 2 more complete seasons to develop in the minors or shuffle back and forth b/w cincy in the minors. In 2015, at the age of 25(?) he has to stick in the majors or pass thru waivers. If he's not ready to stick in the majors by the age of 25 he's likely not the superstar some hope he can be. If he's not on the 25 man roster by Aug 31st, then I see no reason to call him up in september. His speed could make the difference in a game or 2 in october, but I see no reason to start the clock if they don't put that option on the table.

A month of service time, probably isn't a big deal either as I'll assume he starts out next season in AA or AAA for at least a couple of months to get past super 2 status if he's ready to prime time action as early as next year.

MikeS21
07-26-2012, 10:02 AM
For those of you who take the Baseball America digest, the latest issue had some glowing reports about Hamilton's showing in the Futures Game.

Most of us are aware that Hamilton didn't get a steal in the game, but showed his blazing speed on the triple he hit. What was interesting is that his triple was downplayed around here because it was claimed the outfielder misplayed the ball - a mistake a more experienced OF wouldn't make. (Why do we have to temper our enthusiasm, that somehow his big hit wasn't legitimate?) Anyway, my point is, no one at Baseball America said anything about a misplayed hit by Hamilton. They called it a "line-drive triple." Then they told about the next play, how the pitcher was more worried about keeping Hamilton on 3B tan getting the runner and wound up throwing it away.

What was really interesting in the issue was that in the Futures Game, they really don't worry too much about scouting reports. They don't worry about throwing a certain hitter a curve ball on the outside corner or anything like that. The game plan for a Futures Game is basically to throw your best pitch - which there were a LOT of 95-100 mph fastballs this year - and let the hitter deal with it. That's the game plan. However, the catcher for the World team said that they had a meeting and Billy Hamilton was the only player for the U.S. team that they felt they needed a game plan for. He said their plan was that "if Hamilton got on base, they pitcher would throw as hard as he could and the catcher would throw as quick as he could." (Isn't that ALWAYS the game plan with Hamilton? :lol:)

The only negative about Hamilton in the issue that I saw, had to do with an erratic throw (questioning his arm strength to stay at the SS position) on a ground ball.

bellhead
07-26-2012, 10:12 AM
If they do that in the majors for Billy, Votto might hit .400 with an OPS of .1300...

dougdirt
07-26-2012, 11:23 AM
There are a few exceptions to this rule.

If he's on the 40 man roster and someone who was on the 25 man roster before the post season is transferred to the 60 day DL, he could take that spot.

That's how the Reds got Chapman on the post season roster in 2010, I think Harang was transferred to make room.

HOWEVER, IIRC, it would have to be a position player transferred, you can't transfer a pitcher to the 60 man DL and have Hamilton take his spot.

Roster geniuses can correct any errors I make.

The Reds called Chapman up on August 31st that year, making him eligible for the postseason roster.

osuredleg24
07-26-2012, 02:15 PM
Going to my first Blue Wahoos game tomorrow, I fully expect an inside the park HR from Billy! :D

IslandRed
07-26-2012, 02:37 PM
While I don't see Billy having a big effect on the Reds if he was called up...what are the negatives of doing so?

It also depends on the exact purpose of the callup. There are three basic ideas here:

1. Call him up by Aug. 31 expecting to use him on the postseason roster

2. Call him up after the minor-league season ends and give him enough playing time to get his feet wet

3. Call him up after the minor-league season ends primarily to be exposed to the big leagues, receiving little if any playing time except for maybe pinch-running

I don't really expect #1. #3? Maybe, some teams like to do this for players they believe are close, just to give them that motivational taste of the big leagues heading into the offseason. Not sure if it's the Reds' style, though. #2 is dependent upon where the Reds are in the standings, they may or may not have low-leverage playing time to hand out.

I'd say it's probably odds-against at this point, all things considered.

Puffy
07-27-2012, 01:26 PM
Going to my first Blue Wahoos game tomorrow, I fully expect an inside the park HR from Billy! :D

I am jealous - I am dying to get over there.

Brutus
07-28-2012, 10:43 PM
The thing with service time is that you can start and stop it. So it's not like the countdown begins once he comes up. It will just count towards his time once he is up for good.

You can start and stop it, but once you start it, there's a limit on how long you can stop it without jumping through hoops. So if one wants to start it, they better be sure the player is close to being ready for good.

kaldaniels
07-28-2012, 10:48 PM
You can start and stop it, but once you start it, there's a limit on how long you can stop it without jumping through hoops. So if one wants to start it, they better be sure the player is close to being ready for good.

Are you referring to options or something else?

dougdirt
07-28-2012, 10:59 PM
Going to my first Blue Wahoos game tomorrow, I fully expect an inside the park HR from Billy! :D

That is funny. He tripled and scored on an error.... so it was almost one.

Brutus
07-28-2012, 11:05 PM
Are you referring to options or something else?

Correct. Once called up, the option clock begins before having to eventually expose a player to waivers prior to optioning a player.

osuredleg24
07-29-2012, 09:31 PM
That is funny. He tripled and scored on an error.... so it was almost one.

haha yep, you could have almost ruled no hit and 2 errors on the play, the CF severely misplayed the ball as it landed just in front of the wall, and of course Billy made that an easy triple, and was able to advance home on the on throw that missed everyone

Brisco
07-29-2012, 11:00 PM
All

I love reading the minor league board at Redszone because it consistently has info about future reds you cannot find anywhere else.

That said... I was wondering if it would be a good idea to start a Billy Hamilton Stolen Base record thread and hopefully have the mods make it a sticky.

I think he is now 30 steals behind the record (115 and Coleman is at 145). Isn't that close enough for Redszone to start an official countdown?

Brisco

RedlegJake
07-30-2012, 02:33 AM
I think that's a good idea Brisco!

medford
07-30-2012, 08:50 AM
They could, but I suspect this thread would be bumped enough along the way that it wouldn't add a whole lot; don't think you'll have to scroll down far to find a Billy thread in this forum as he gets closer to the stolen base record.

MikeS21
07-30-2012, 11:25 AM
I really hope this stolen base record chasing doesn't affect Hamilton's learning curve. I think he'll be so focused on breaking the record that he may learn some bad habits and be too aggressive. He already gets caught stealing far too many times. He needs to work on not getting caught, rather than running for some meaningless record.

He needs to learn to read pitchers much better. This time in the minor leagues is for learning how to perfect the craft - not breaking records.

medford
07-30-2012, 01:01 PM
I really hope this stolen base record chasing doesn't affect Hamilton's learning curve. I think he'll be so focused on breaking the record that he may learn some bad habits and be too aggressive. He already gets caught stealing far too many times. He needs to work on not getting caught, rather than running for some meaningless record.

He needs to learn to read pitchers much better. This time in the minor leagues is for learning how to perfect the craft - not breaking records.

I've read more than once, that in order for stolen bases to add to the expected run total of a team, a base stealer needs to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 71-73% or higher in stolen base %.

Billy was successful 83.2% of the time in Bakersfield (104/125)
Billy has been successful 73.3% of the time in Pensacola (11/15)

Overall Billy has been successful 82.14% of the time. Run Billy Run (ignoring the potential for injury or wear and tear of that many stolen base attempts)

I don't think anyone could argue that Billy is getting caught way too often. IMHO, the best way to learn how not to get caught stealing bases is to keep attempting them to improve your reads on pitchers, catcher pops times, ways to slide into base to avoid a tag, etc... Life has no better teacher than experience.

sigep529
07-30-2012, 01:45 PM
Double header against the Tennessee Smokies tonight...

Get to see Hamilton x2 and Cingrani in the second game.

Grande Donkey
07-31-2012, 08:14 PM
Kevin Goldstein
‏@Kevin_Goldstein

It's been discussed. RT @owaistabish: @Kevin_Goldstein any possibility of B. hamilton being called up to be used a PR down the stretch?Hadn't seen this mentioned but found it interesting.

IslandRed
08-01-2012, 09:33 AM
I really hope this stolen base record chasing doesn't affect Hamilton's learning curve. I think he'll be so focused on breaking the record that he may learn some bad habits and be too aggressive. He already gets caught stealing far too many times. He needs to work on not getting caught, rather than running for some meaningless record.

He needs to learn to read pitchers much better. This time in the minor leagues is for learning how to perfect the craft - not breaking records.


I don't think anyone could argue that Billy is getting caught way too often. IMHO, the best way to learn how not to get caught stealing bases is to keep attempting them to improve your reads on pitchers, catcher pops times, ways to slide into base to avoid a tag, etc... Life has no better teacher than experience.

Yep. He was very successful in Bakersfield. He is learning that it's tougher to swipe a bag in Double-A. It's essential negative feedback, and I believe he'll make adjustments.

Homer Bailey
08-15-2012, 04:11 PM
And while this is an exciting development and worth following closely, I can’t help but think prospect followers are missing something after watching Hamilton play. Instead of salivating over the speed, it’s time to start focusing on the other aspects of his all-around game and discuss whether the sum of the parts equals a contributing big leaguer at the game’s highest level.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/billy-hamiltons-other-tools/

Great fangraphs article that underlies the reason why some, including myself, are not nearly as high on Hamilton as his biggest fans, and why I wouldn't hesitate to include him in the right deal.

dougdirt
08-15-2012, 04:19 PM
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/billy-hamiltons-other-tools/

Great fangraphs article that underlies the reason why some, including myself, are not nearly as high on Hamilton as his biggest fans, and why I wouldn't hesitate to include him in the right deal.
Mike saw plenty of the same things I have seen with Hamilton's swing. I will say that I think if he saw him a little more that he would see better sides to Hamilton from the left side too, because it is there at times.

Brutus
08-15-2012, 04:36 PM
While, from a scouting standpoint, I think there are some legitimate issues raised, there's kind of a double standard being drawn in saying not to focus on the steals but ignoring the fact Hamilton's OBP is over .400. BP displays are irrelevant if the guy is getting it done in games.

The article mentions that Hamilton is good at driving the ball in the ground and using his speed to get on base. Well, that's a proven recipe for success because groundball hitters might not hit for a lot of power, but they'll get on base quite often with his kind of speed. And that he's been able to have good plate discipline on top of that, it seems his skill level carries over to the kind of guy that can support a .350+ OBP in the majors. With his speed, that's an impact player.

dougdirt
08-15-2012, 04:45 PM
While, from a scouting standpoint, I think there are some legitimate issues raised, there's kind of a double standard being drawn in saying not to focus on the steals but ignoring the fact Hamilton's OBP is over .400. BP displays are irrelevant if the guy is getting it done in games.

The article mentions that Hamilton is good at driving the ball in the ground and using his speed to get on base. Well, that's a proven recipe for success because groundball hitters might not hit for a lot of power, but they'll get on base quite often with his kind of speed. And that he's been able to have good plate discipline on top of that, it seems his skill level carries over to the kind of guy that can support a .350+ OBP in the majors. With his speed, that's an impact player.

At the same time, Mike also notes that he thinks there is some concern that Hamilton isn't going to be able to handle MLB velocity either. I don't know that I agree with that completely, but he isn't the first guy I have heard say it either. You are right though, if Hamilton can OBP .340 or higher, he is going to be valuable as heck.

bellhead
08-15-2012, 05:08 PM
At the same time, Mike also notes that he thinks there is some concern that Hamilton isn't going to be able to handle MLB velocity either. I don't know that I agree with that completely, but he isn't the first guy I have heard say it either. You are right though, if Hamilton can OBP .340 or higher, he is going to be valuable as heck.

MLB velocity is a bit of a myth....Sure there are a ton of pitchers who throw 90 to 95 mph as starters however there are a lot MLB pitchers who have a 88 mph fastball, 15 MPH speed change between fastball and offspeed, throw nasty breaking stuff, and have 15 year careers...Last night one no hit us for 5.2 innings...

In the minors however there are few pitchers who throw that 15 mph gap and have an excellent off speed pitcher, with a nasty curve...

Brutus
08-15-2012, 05:14 PM
At the same time, Mike also notes that he thinks there is some concern that Hamilton isn't going to be able to handle MLB velocity either. I don't know that I agree with that completely, but he isn't the first guy I have heard say it either. You are right though, if Hamilton can OBP .340 or higher, he is going to be valuable as heck.

I definitely think that's a fair consideration. I guess my main point is that he seems to be looking at the list of minor league stolen base leaders and pigeonholing Hamilton a bit. As you and I agree on, if Hamilton's current skillset carries over to the majors, he's going to be incredibly valuable. All he needs to do is put the ball in play with grounders or line drives, and use his eye at the plate and speed on the base paths to do the rest. If he does that, we're looking at a .750-.800 OPS and a guy that can steal over 80 bases.

If his premise is that Hamilton might not be able to hit big league pitching, I concur the jury might be out on that. His current skillset as it's being shown, however, would carry over nicely if he's not overpowered at the next level.

kaldaniels
08-15-2012, 05:33 PM
nm

dougdirt
08-15-2012, 05:51 PM
MLB velocity is a bit of a myth....Sure there are a ton of pitchers who throw 90 to 95 mph as starters however there are a lot MLB pitchers who have a 88 mph fastball, 15 MPH speed change between fastball and offspeed, throw nasty breaking stuff, and have 15 year careers...Last night one no hit us for 5.2 innings...

In the minors however there are few pitchers who throw that 15 mph gap and have an excellent off speed pitcher, with a nasty curve...

It isn't that the velocity is different, it is that they can throw just as hard to the spot that they want to, where as guys in the minors who can do that are very few and far between.

Steve4192
08-15-2012, 06:39 PM
It isn't that the velocity is different, it is that they can throw just as hard to the spot that they want to, where as guys in the minors who can do that are very few and far between.

Yep.

Also, gun readings are over-rated. Give me a guy who throws 88 MPH with wicked movement over a guy who throws straight-as-an-arrow 95 MPH heat. Movement and location count for a lot more than velocity. Of course, having all three is nice, but velocity without movement or location is pretty useless.

dougdirt
08-15-2012, 07:06 PM
You can try to teach movement to a 95 MPH guy. Can't teach 95 MPH to an 88 MPH guy. But that is another topic all to itself.

Jamz
08-16-2012, 11:44 AM
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/billy-hamiltons-other-tools/

Great fangraphs article that underlies the reason why some, including myself, are not nearly as high on Hamilton as his biggest fans, and why I wouldn't hesitate to include him in the right deal.

The problem is that the article is still very shortsighted. Hamilton is still quite raw, and the only reason people are talking about fast-tracking him is because of his steals. Yes he's putting up pretty gaudy numbers in general, but anyone can see that he needs more polish before coming up. All reports are his athleticism, adaptability and work ethic are very high level. You don't just give up on someone with his tools and that has shown the kind of progress that he has so far in his career.

You could trade him for a good player, or you can hope to get one of the most potent weapons in the league if he develops properly. With the way our team is structured right now we can afford to take that chance.

Vottomatic
08-16-2012, 12:32 PM
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/billy-hamiltons-other-tools/

Great fangraphs article that underlies the reason why some, including myself, are not nearly as high on Hamilton as his biggest fans, and why I wouldn't hesitate to include him in the right deal.

I used to feel the same way about Hamilton, and was willing to trade him in the right deal. I thought he was a switchhitting slaphitter, who was a novelty basestealer.

But his progression through the minors this year has changed my mind, including articles I've read where his coaches applaud his tighter swing and line drive/ground ball hitting tendencies where he can take advantage of his speed.

They've also applauded his work ethic, athleticism, willingness to learn and adjust. He seems like a guy who is doing all the right things to get better, not to mention his natural God-given ability.

I've come around on him and really hope he makes it to the Bigs and can be a Jose Reyes type player. No pressure intended.

Besides, the Reds have very few remaining parts they need, so trading isn't a pressing issue. And of the parts they do need, Hamilton's abilities fit the bill if he can translate them to the big league.

mdccclxix
08-16-2012, 12:34 PM
I used to feel the same way about Hamilton, and was willing to trade him in the right deal. I thought he was a switchhitting slaphitter, who was a novelty basestealer.

But his progression through the minors this year has changed my mind, including articles I've read where his coaches applaud his tighter swing and line drive/ground ball hitting tendencies where he can take advantage of his speed.

They've also applauded his work ethic, athleticism, willingness to learn and adjust. He seems like a guy who is doing all the right things to get better, not to mention his natural God-given ability.

I've come around on him and really hope he makes it to the Bigs and can be a Jose Reyes type player. No pressure intended.

Besides, the Reds have very few remaining parts they need, so trading isn't a pressing issue. And of the parts they do need, Hamilton's abilities fit the bill if he can translate them to the big league.

That says it all for me as well.

membengal
08-16-2012, 02:25 PM
Are the reds overflowing with guys with leadoff potential who may be a threat to obp at the .360 level and swipe 70+ bags?

dougdirt
08-16-2012, 03:11 PM
Are the reds overflowing with guys with leadoff potential who may be a threat to obp at the .360 level and swipe 70+ bags?

Nope. I would say Hamilton is probably the only guy in the system like that.

puca
08-16-2012, 03:50 PM
Nope. I would say Hamilton is probably the only guy in the system like that.

Heck I'm not even concerned about the 70+ steals. I just want someone with speed getting on base 36%+ of the time in front of Votto. I imagine he would easily score from first on most doubles.

Sea Ray
08-16-2012, 03:52 PM
The problem is that the article is still very shortsighted. Hamilton is still quite raw, and the only reason people are talking about fast-tracking him is because of his steals.

I disagree. I think his OB numbers are quite impressive as is the fact that one month into AA his numbers have not really dropped from high A. Everywhere we hear what a huge jump it is from high A to AA. You gotta be impressed with how this kid is learning the game of baseball.

757690
08-16-2012, 04:20 PM
They've also applauded his work ethic, athleticism, willingness to learn and adjust. He seems like a guy who is doing all the right things to get better, not to mention his natural God-given ability.

This is what most scouts saw early on, and why I'm excited about Hamilton's future. I agree he needs to work on his left handed swing, but he has plenty of time to improve it, and he already has made leaps and bounds from where he was just last year from the left side. His work ethic and mentality is as strong as I have ever seen from a minor league prospect.

Homer Bailey
08-16-2012, 05:17 PM
I used to feel the same way about Hamilton, and was willing to trade him in the right deal. I thought he was a switchhitting slaphitter, who was a novelty basestealer.

But his progression through the minors this year has changed my mind, including articles I've read where his coaches applaud his tighter swing and line drive/ground ball hitting tendencies where he can take advantage of his speed.

They've also applauded his work ethic, athleticism, willingness to learn and adjust. He seems like a guy who is doing all the right things to get better, not to mention his natural God-given ability.

I've come around on him and really hope he makes it to the Bigs and can be a Jose Reyes type player. No pressure intended.

Besides, the Reds have very few remaining parts they need, so trading isn't a pressing issue. And of the parts they do need, Hamilton's abilities fit the bill if he can translate them to the big league.

Obviously Hamilton's minor league OBP is extremely impressive. My concern is just that he's not going to be able to draw walks in the majors. It's pretty rare for guys with such little power to be able to draw walks in the majors, with Brett Gardner amongst others being exceptions. Obviously if he keeps an OBP of .350 or greater, he is going to have a significant impact, and probably a pretty awesome career. I just have concerns about whether he can do that. The Dee Gordon comp isn't perfect because Gordon didn't really walk that much in the minors, but his lack of success has me very gun shy.

By my comp Billy's walk rate is about 14-15% for the year. Does anyone think he can do that in the majors?

IslandRed
08-16-2012, 05:23 PM
My opinion on Hamilton hasn't changed much. The kid was a major project. How many guys are drafted in the second round and then immediately start learning to switch-hit? It was an absurdly-high-upside project, with all the attendant risks of projects, and considering everything, there aren't a lot of truly meaningful comps out there to judge. "Renowned minor-league basestealers" or "typical guy at his age/level" doesn't quite paint the whole picture.

I also know that 3+ years after drafting, he's probably at or ahead of schedule and he still has the buzz of a potential difference-maker. Of course it's not a sure thing. Only the rarest of prospects are. But I also know that stars are harder to come by than a lot of people like to believe, they're really tough to trade for if they're not rentals or absurdly expensive, and the Reds aren't going to win many bidding wars for the veteran variety. So where are the Reds going to find stars if not from their farm system? How many guys really have the ability to be one? I want the Reds to keep those guys around, not trade them -- unless the trade brings back a guy just as good we can keep around for awhile. I don't like trading "A" talent at a discount just to mitigate the risk of the prospect not panning out. Same reasons I've never been for trading Chapman barring something ridiculously in the Reds' favor. Some guys just have something that can't quite be duplicated and I like to be patient with them.

Brutus
08-16-2012, 05:25 PM
Obviously Hamilton's minor league OBP is extremely impressive. My concern is just that he's not going to be able to draw walks in the majors. It's pretty rare for guys with such little power to be able to draw walks in the majors, with Brett Gardner amongst others being exceptions. Obviously if he keeps an OBP of .350 or greater, he is going to have a significant impact, and probably a pretty awesome career. I just have concerns about whether he can do that. The Dee Gordon comp isn't perfect because Gordon didn't really walk that much in the minors, but his lack of success has me very gun shy.

By my comp Billy's walk rate is about 14-15% for the year. Does anyone think he can do that in the majors?

Don't walk rates generally carry over from the minors to majors rather consistently? Even if it's not 15%, if he walks 10% in the majors, that bodes really well for his future. With his speed, a .100 isoD would make him a holy terror given an expected BABIP that will surely be over .300.

dougdirt
08-16-2012, 05:38 PM
Don't walk rates generally carry over from the minors to majors rather consistently? Even if it's not 15%, if he walks 10% in the majors, that bodes really well for his future. With his speed, a .100 isoD would make him a holy terror given an expected BABIP that will surely be over .300.

Generally they do, but generalities don't really work with a player who has a skillset like Hamilton because guys with his skillset don't often make it to the Majors (lots of speed, absolutely no power).

mdccclxix
08-16-2012, 05:46 PM
I think Hamilton will add quality muscle weight and hit for better power. He's already added some and I think this off season he'll add as much as possible and, well, he'll be awesome next year. That could be really exciting. If he catches fire early, he could get the May / June call up. We'll see what the Reds do with him position-wise, but I'm sure he'll be a factor in planning for 2013. That said, it would be totally normal for the Reds to hold him back a bit and season him all year next year.

Brutus
08-16-2012, 06:05 PM
Generally they do, but generalities don't really work with a player who has a skillset like Hamilton because guys with his skillset don't often make it to the Majors (lots of speed, absolutely no power).

I could name dozens of players that are in the majors right now with that exact skillset, Doug. That's really not that uncommon at all. In fact, I'd argue it's been extremely common during much of baseball's existence other than there for a period of time where PEDs made it a power-first league.

Heck, Wilson Valdez and Xavier Paul are both on the Reds' roster right now and they're not anywhere near as talented as Billy Hamilton.

dougdirt
08-16-2012, 06:48 PM
I could name dozens of players that are in the majors right now with that exact skillset, Doug. That's really not that uncommon at all. In fact, I'd argue it's been extremely common during much of baseball's existence other than there for a period of time where PEDs made it a power-first league.

Heck, Wilson Valdez and Xavier Paul are both on the Reds' roster right now and they're not anywhere near as talented as Billy Hamilton.

Right now, Xavier Paul is a much better hitter than Hamilton is. They aren't even close.

As for comparisons for Billy Hamilton.... There have been 54 players from 2010-2012 with 900 PA's and a sub .121 IsoP. Four of them walk more than 10%. Joe Mauer, Jamey Carroll, Daric Barton and Brett Gardner. Hamilton is striking out 18.1% of the time he steps to the plate this year. Five of the 54 strike out more than that. Only 10 are over 17%.

Guys with the power of Hamilton simply don't walk 10% of the time. Yes, there are some exceptions, but they are few and far between. Top it off with he is at the top end of that group in strikeouts and it adds to the questions.

The guy could honestly compete for a few MVP's in the future. But he could also turn into Tony Gwynn Jr, Nyjer Morgan, Emilio Bonifacio, Michael Bourn or the wide array of guys between them too.

Homer Bailey
08-16-2012, 06:48 PM
Don't walk rates generally carry over from the minors to majors rather consistently? Even if it's not 15%, if he walks 10% in the majors, that bodes really well for his future. With his speed, a .100 isoD would make him a holy terror given an expected BABIP that will surely be over .300.

I would say that walk rates typically carry over, but can we expect that to be constant with a guy like Hamilton who has basically no power? My overall point is, for a guy who profiles as a singles hitter, what risk does a major league pitcher have firing strikes in on the guy? He's not risking him hit it out of the park (relatively speaking of course), and he knows if he walks the guy, he's probably going to be standing on 2nd in no time.

I surely don't have the answer to this question, but I think it makes for good discussion. I would agree that a 10% walk rate would mean good things for B Ham.

Brutus
08-16-2012, 06:56 PM
Right now, Xavier Paul is a much better hitter than Hamilton is. They aren't even close.

As for comparisons for Billy Hamilton.... There have been 54 players from 2010-2012 with 900 PA's and a sub .121 IsoP. Four of them walk more than 10%. Joe Mauer, Jamey Carroll, Daric Barton and Brett Gardner. Hamilton is striking out 18.1% of the time he steps to the plate this year. Five of the 54 strike out more than that. Only 10 are over 17%.

Guys with the power of Hamilton simply don't walk 10% of the time. Yes, there are some exceptions, but they are few and far between. Top it off with he is at the top end of that group in strikeouts and it adds to the questions.

The guy could honestly compete for a few MVP's in the future. But he could also turn into Tony Gwynn Jr, Nyjer Morgan, Emilio Bonifacio, Michael Bourn or the wide array of guys between them too.

You're using the wrong comparisons. Show the numbers of those same guys at Hamilton's point in his minor league career. I bet you'll see a huge difference. It's very iffy to compare guys' Major League numbers, especially without regard to age and experience, to someone who's 20 years old and in AA.

You've already admitted that guys' walk rates do carry over relatively well. So casting a wide net and saying "guys with the power of Hamilton simply don't walk 10% of the time" isn't prudent. Hamilton isn't every single player of that skillset. His skillset suggests he does walk more. Some guys do have better plate discipline. Just because he doesn't hit for a lot of power doesn't mean he won't be able to carry a higher walk rate.

Brutus
08-16-2012, 06:58 PM
I would say that walk rates typically carry over, but can we expect that to be constant with a guy like Hamilton who has basically no power? My overall point is, for a guy who profiles as a singles hitter, what risk does a major league pitcher have firing strikes in on the guy? He's not risking him hit it out of the park (relatively speaking of course), and he knows if he walks the guy, he's probably going to be standing on 2nd in no time.

I surely don't have the answer to this question, but I think it makes for good discussion. I would agree that a 10% walk rate would mean good things for B Ham.

I agree you you in principle that Major League hitters would be less inclined to walk him than a power hitter, but sometimes it's easier said than done. Pitchers typically don't want to give any Major League batter too much to hit. So even though Hamilton might not be a threat to hit it 450 feet, pitchers still like to nibble the corners even against guys like him and if he's good enough to recognize pitches, he'll still draw his fair share of walks.

dougdirt
08-16-2012, 07:12 PM
You're using the wrong comparisons. Show the numbers of those same guys at Hamilton's point in his minor league career. I bet you'll see a huge difference. It's very iffy to compare guys' Major League numbers, especially without regard to age and experience, to someone who's 20 years old and in AA.

You've already admitted that guys' walk rates do carry over relatively well. So casting a wide net and saying "guys with the power of Hamilton simply don't walk 10% of the time" isn't prudent. Hamilton isn't every single player of that skillset. His skillset suggests he does walk more. Some guys do have better plate discipline. Just because he doesn't hit for a lot of power doesn't mean he won't be able to carry a higher walk rate.

I don't know that his skillset does suggest he will walk more. While you are right that some guys DO have better plate discipline, pitchers aren't the same in the minors as they are in the Majors. Right now, Billy Hamilton is walking nearly as much as Joey Votto has since 2010 (14.1% for Billy, 15.3% for Joey). I guess it is possible, but it simply doesn't seem likely. Pitchers have reason to fear throwing strikes to a guy like Votto. They have very little reason to fear throwing strikes to Hamilton. Not only is he not going to truly punish your strikes, he also has mild contact problems.

As for the comparison, you are right. Unfortunately the minor leagues don't really have a good database to work with like the Majors do.

Scrap Irony
08-16-2012, 07:49 PM
I could name dozens of players that are in the majors right now with that exact skillset, Doug. That's really not that uncommon at all. In fact, I'd argue it's been extremely common during much of baseball's existence other than there for a period of time where PEDs made it a power-first league.

Heck, Wilson Valdez and Xavier Paul are both on the Reds' roster right now and they're not anywhere near as talented as Billy Hamilton.

I'd argue that the Fangraphs article was remarkably poor, in that the author saw a total of maybe 100 swings, all but three or four in batting practice. He then made his entire assumption on that and one "conversation" with a scout who also doubted Hamilton's swing/ power.

(Others don't. Witness this AL scout, when asked about Hamilton's hit tool:

"He's strong enough to defend himself at the plate," said an American League scout, "and he can outquick the ball at times. His hands work just fine."

There's no analysis done at all. (And on Fangraphs, that's inexcusable.)

Were he to have done actual analysis, he may have noted that many players similar to minor league Hamilton have enjoyed a bunch of success at the major league level despite beginning their careers with no power/ slight frames.

Players like Rafael Furcal, Brett Butler, Tony Fernandez, Phil Rizzuto, Richie Ashburn, Harry Hooper all showed little power (Iso slg of .114 or below, all of them) in the minor leagues or early in their major league career. Yet, all became All-Star level producers despite that lack of power. The 1970s alone are littered with no-power, high-obp, high-SB leadoff guys. Heck, Lou Boudreau has just as much-- if not more-- in common with Hamilton than the erstwhile Dee Gordon.

(I also question his acumen on Hamilton's defense, as he claims the kid has a wet noodle for an arm; Hamilton threw 92 mph from the mound as a HS player (http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8259517/cincinnati-reds-prospect-billy-hamilton-fast-track).)

Scrap Irony
08-16-2012, 07:57 PM
I don't know that his skillset does suggest he will walk more.

I keep seeing this claim from Hamilton critics.

I guess I'd like to see some examples of similar players and their walks drying up before I buy it. The Fangraphs guy didn't show it. Neither has anyone else that I know of.

dougdirt
08-16-2012, 07:58 PM
I'd argue that the Fangraphs article was remarkably poor, in that the author saw a total of maybe 100 swings, all but three or four in batting practice. He then made his entire assumption on that and one "conversation" with a scout who also doubted Hamilton's swing/ power.

(Others don't. Witness this AL scout, when asked about Hamilton's hit tool:


There's no analysis done at all. (And on Fangraphs, that's inexcusable.)

Were he to have done actual analysis, he may have noted that many players similar to minor league Hamilton have enjoyed a bunch of success at the major league level despite beginning their careers with no power/ slight frames.

Players like Rafael Furcal, Brett Butler, Tony Fernandez, Phil Rizzuto, Richie Ashburn, Harry Hooper all showed little power (Iso slg of .114 or below, all of them) in the minor leagues or early in their major league career. Yet, all became All-Star level producers despite that lack of power. The 1970s alone are littered with no-power, high-obp, high-SB leadoff guys. Heck, Lou Boudreau has just as much-- if not more-- in common with Hamilton than the erstwhile Dee Gordon.

(I also question his acumen on Hamilton's defense, as he claims the kid has a wet noodle for an arm; Hamilton threw 92 mph from the mound as a HS player (http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8259517/cincinnati-reds-prospect-billy-hamilton-fast-track).)

I want to address a few things here.

First, is that Mike knows what he is talking about. He really does. He will also be the first person to tell you that you need to see someone more than once or twice. He has said that in the past and even wrote an article about it once upon a time. Guys can truly look like a different player, even from a tools standpoint in a week or twos time difference.

Secondly, Mike wasn't brought on to Fangraphs for statistical analysis, even if that is what Fangraphs is generally based on. He was brought on for his scouting prowess. And his scouting prowess is pretty good.

Third, I believe that Mike simply didn't see enough of Hamilton to see both the good and the bad. What he saw was a lot of the 'raw' side of Hamilton and was unable to get a good read on the 'wow' side of Hamilton. I was in Pensacola for a 5 game series last week. Hamilton hit a few balls hard, and he even had two triples, but his triples both are probably caught in the Majors (both were fly balls that landed in the grass of non gaps, but the guys were playing so far in that they couldn't get to them despite them not even making the track). His hard hit balls were actually singles that he simply hit right toward the outfielders and even he wasn't fast enough to turn them into doubles. He has, in the past when I have seen him, laced baseballs into the gaps for triples, showing off a little bit of gap power.

Fourth, with the arm, Mike is both right and wrong. If I can ever figure out what is going on with my video editing program, I will be able to show actual response with video to this point. Hamilton simply doesn't "let it go" all that often. More often than not he still drops his arm down and slings it to first, which is where a lot of his errors are coming from still. When he does that, he has a pretty weak arm. But when he throws it right and he has a long throw and really lets it go, he can get something on it. I don't see that as an arm that once threw 92 MPH, but it isn't a below average arm when he lets it go either. It is a solid arm that can make the throw from deep in the hole. You don't see him do that often though, so it is no surprise that Mike didn't see it in a two game sample.

Scrap Irony
08-16-2012, 08:03 PM
So you're agreeing with me that his analysis was off-base?

dougdirt
08-16-2012, 08:03 PM
I keep seeing this claim from Hamilton critics.

I guess I'd like to see some examples of similar players and their walks drying up before I buy it. The Fangraphs guy didn't show it. Neither has anyone else that I know of.

It is more of a common sense type of thing than a "so and so" did it in the past. If you were pitching and had the ability to throw the ball relatively close to where you wanted it, would you not throw Billy Hamilton strikes knowing that he isn't hitting it out of the park? MLB pitchers probably will do the same thing.

The difficulties with trying to find examples is that unlike the Major Leagues, there simply aren't databases available with minor league numbers that are searchable like there are for the Majors. That means you have to scour league by league, year by year, for players and you have to know which players you are looking for to begin with. Not a task many are willing to take on.

dougdirt
08-16-2012, 08:04 PM
So you're agreeing with me that his analysis was off-base?

Not really. For when he saw Hamilton, it was probably pretty accurate.

Scrap Irony
08-16-2012, 08:17 PM
It is more of a common sense type of thing than a "so and so" did it in the past. If you were pitching and had the ability to throw the ball relatively close to where you wanted it, would you not throw Billy Hamilton strikes knowing that he isn't hitting it out of the park? MLB pitchers probably will do the same thing.

The difficulties with trying to find examples is that unlike the Major Leagues, there simply aren't databases available with minor league numbers that are searchable like there are for the Majors. That means you have to scour league by league, year by year, for players and you have to know which players you are looking for to begin with. Not a task many are willing to take on.

It's common sense to throw strikes, sure. But even major league pitchers aren't that great at it. How good would Edison Volquez be if he could simply throw strikes? But he can't. And there are more people like him in today's game than ever before. Saying it and doing it are miles apart-- even at the major league level.

There have been a metric ton of players with high BB rates and no power that have done very, very well at the major league level. At this point, the onus of proof lies with those that make the claim that Hamilton isn't one of those players. I assumed Fangraphs would do work like that. The author of that post didn't. That, IMO, is pure laziness that most journalists wouldn't think of doing. If you make a claim, you need to show proof. He didn't. At all. That's a really poor piece of journalism. Poorer than most of my high school kids, in fact, as all he showed as evidence was anecdotal evidence limited to a handful of ABs and one highly dubious "quote" from a nebulous scout.

His post would have gotten an F in my journalism class. Maybe a D- because of the scout quote.

redsfandan
08-17-2012, 08:26 AM
Fourth, with the arm, Mike is both right and wrong. If I can ever figure out what is going on with my video editing program, I will be able to show actual response with video to this point. Hamilton simply doesn't "let it go" all that often. More often than not he still drops his arm down and slings it to first, which is where a lot of his errors are coming from still. When he does that, he has a pretty weak arm. But when he throws it right and he has a long throw and really lets it go, he can get something on it. I don't see that as an arm that once threw 92 MPH, but it isn't a below average arm when he lets it go either. It is a solid arm that can make the throw from deep in the hole. You don't see him do that often though, so it is no surprise that Mike didn't see it in a two game sample.

Any chance Hamilton will be headed to the AFL to work on his defense?

Steve4192
08-17-2012, 10:00 AM
I think Hamilton will add quality muscle weight and hit for better power.

I think Billy's lack of power is overblown. He's never going to be a homerun hitter, but he's not a total slap hitter.

2009 - 9 XBH in 180 PA
2010 - 25 XBH in 316 PA
2011 - 30 XBH in 610 PA
2011 - 36 XBH in 535 PA

He's definitely capable hitting the ball into the gaps, if not over the fence.

Steve4192
08-17-2012, 10:15 AM
It is more of a common sense type of thing than a "so and so" did it in the past.

I thought the whole point of sabermetrics was to do away the 'its just common sense' mentality and use cold, hard facts to either prove or disprove those opinions.

dougdirt
08-17-2012, 10:45 AM
I thought the whole point of sabermetrics was to do away the 'its just common sense' mentality and use cold, hard facts to either prove or disprove those opinions.

What does this have to do with sabermetrics?

757690
08-17-2012, 11:30 AM
I thought Elvis Andus wouldn't be able to keep his walk rate up in the majors, due to lack of power, and I was wrong. Not sure why he can keep it up, but if he can, maybe Hamilton can?

dougdirt
08-17-2012, 12:04 PM
I guess with Andrus there are a few things at play. First, he played a full season in the Majors at 20. You would expect a teenager to generally gain a tad bit of plate discipline moving forward. Doesn't always happen, but you do expect it in most cases. In the minors from age 16-19 he walked 8.4% of the time. In the Majors he isn't really walking much more than that (9.1% over the last three years).

At a young age he showed a solid ability to draw a walk. Under 10% though to me is just taking advantage of pitchers who can't always throw strikes. Right now though, Hamilton is walking as much as Joey Votto. That isn't going to happen. If Hamilton walks as often as Andrus, I don't think it would surprise anyone. 9% seems reasonable. 14%, that doesn't.

Jamz
08-17-2012, 12:29 PM
I guess with Andrus there are a few things at play. First, he played a full season in the Majors at 20. You would expect a teenager to generally gain a tad bit of plate discipline moving forward. Doesn't always happen, but you do expect it in most cases. In the minors from age 16-19 he walked 8.4% of the time. In the Majors he isn't really walking much more than that (9.1% over the last three years).

At a young age he showed a solid ability to draw a walk. Under 10% though to me is just taking advantage of pitchers who can't always throw strikes. Right now though, Hamilton is walking as much as Joey Votto. That isn't going to happen. If Hamilton walks as often as Andrus, I don't think it would surprise anyone. 9% seems reasonable. 14%, that doesn't.

Hamilton is walking at a 17.5% rate in AA right now -- those are literally current Votto numbers. What makes it even more impressive is that even Votto wasn't walking at a clip comparable to that in the minors. Hamilton's pitch recognition abilities have been advancing through the roof. Even if you think that his walk rate will suffer when hitting the majors it's not like they're going to completely disappear.

For the most part if you look at almost any player walk rates tend to transition pretty closely when moving up. Considering that Hamilton is still developing I wouldn't be surprised at all if he could post a 14% walk rate at the major league level.

dougdirt
08-17-2012, 12:45 PM
Billy Hamilton isn't going to walk 14% of the time in the Majors.

Since 2000, there have been 518 players with at least 1500 PA's. 23 of them have walked in 14% of their plate appearances. All of them except for Daric Barton have a .170 IsoP or higher.

Barton has not hit for much power in the Majors, but he has a large advantage in power over Hamilton. Barton hit 59 home runs in the minor leagues in 2700 PA's. Billy Hamilton has 1600 PA's in the minors and he has 7, and 4 of those are inside the park jobs.

Pitchers are not going to be afraid at all to throw Hamilton strikes. He strikes out at a really high rate for someone with no power. They know that they can get him out.

757690
08-17-2012, 12:56 PM
I guess with Andrus there are a few things at play. First, he played a full season in the Majors at 20. You would expect a teenager to generally gain a tad bit of plate discipline moving forward. Doesn't always happen, but you do expect it in most cases. In the minors from age 16-19 he walked 8.4% of the time. In the Majors he isn't really walking much more than that (9.1% over the last three years).

At a young age he showed a solid ability to draw a walk. Under 10% though to me is just taking advantage of pitchers who can't always throw strikes. Right now though, Hamilton is walking as much as Joey Votto. That isn't going to happen. If Hamilton walks as often as Andrus, I don't think it would surprise anyone. 9% seems reasonable. 14%, that doesn't.

Thanks. If he does regress to a 9% BB rate, what effect would that have on his production? Can he be as productive as Andrus in the majors?

dougdirt
08-17-2012, 01:10 PM
Thanks. If he does regress to a 9% BB rate, what effect would that have on his production? Can he be as productive as Andrus in the majors?

Tough to say. It really would depend on where his BABIP and K rate fell on the spectrum. If his K rate stays at 18% and his BABIP is at .300, then no, he won't be as productive as Andrus. If his K rate drops to 15% and his BABIP is .300, then his OBP would probably hover between .320 and .330. If his K rate stays at 18% and his BABIP is say .330, he is probably right around a .340 OBP. If his K rate drops to 15% and his BABIP is say .330, his OBP is right around the .350 mark.

Lots of factors going on there that still need to be determined.

757690
08-17-2012, 01:16 PM
Tough to say. It really would depend on where his BABIP and K rate fell on the spectrum. If his K rate stays at 18% and his BABIP is at .300, then no, he won't be as productive as Andrus. If his K rate drops to 15% and his BABIP is .300, then his OBP would probably hover between .320 and .330. If his K rate stays at 18% and his BABIP is say .330, he is probably right around a .340 OBP. If his K rate drops to 15% and his BABIP is say .330, his OBP is right around the .350 mark.

Lots of factors going on there that still need to be determined.

Thanks again, good stuff, and sorry for asking you to do math, lol.

Brutus
08-17-2012, 01:28 PM
Billy Hamilton isn't going to walk 14% of the time in the Majors.

Since 2000, there have been 518 players with at least 1500 PA's. 23 of them have walked in 14% of their plate appearances. All of them except for Daric Barton have a .170 IsoP or higher.

Barton has not hit for much power in the Majors, but he has a large advantage in power over Hamilton. Barton hit 59 home runs in the minor leagues in 2700 PA's. Billy Hamilton has 1600 PA's in the minors and he has 7, and 4 of those are inside the park jobs.

Pitchers are not going to be afraid at all to throw Hamilton strikes. He strikes out at a really high rate for someone with no power. They know that they can get him out.

Though I don't see him having a 14% walk rate (as I said yesterday, I would expect around 10%), just because others haven't done it recently in the majors doesn't mean he can't or won't do it. In fact, what you're describing isn't unprecedented if you go back a little longer than 10 years.

If you use a sample going back to 1990, you find that there is a lot more evidence of guys with lower ISOs having at least a walk rate of 14%. Since 1990, the following guys come up:

Rickey Henderson (17.7%, .141)
Randy Milligan (17.2%, .151)
Lance Blankenship (16.7%, .077)
Warren Newson, (16.4%, .151)
Tony Phillips (16.0%, .136)
Dave Magadan (14.9%, .089)
Jeremy Giambi (14.7%, .167)
John Cangelosi (14.2%, .062)
Lenny Dykstra (14.2%, .136)
John Kruk (14.1%, .149)

Now, expanding the criteria a bit to 1980, and 13%, we find...

Randy Milligan (17.2%, .159)
Rickey Henderson (16.7%, .142)
Warren Newson (16.4%, .151)
Joe Morgan (16.4%, .140)
Lance Blankenship (15.5%, .077)
Mark Bailey (14.7%, .117)
Jeremy Giambi (14.7%, .167)
John Cangelosi (14.7%, .069)
Ron Roenicke (14.7%, .100)
Tony Phillips (14.5%, .123)
Dave Magadan (14.5%, .089)
Toby Harrah (14.3%, .124)
Daric Barton (14.2%, .122)
Mike Hargrove (14.1%, .079)
Darrell Porter (14.1%, .160)
John Kruk (14.1%, .145)
Lee Mazzilli (14.0%, .122)
Dwayne Murphy (14.0%, .160)
--
Mark Bellhorn (13.9%, .164)
John Wockenfuss (13.8%, .158)
Jerry Hairston (13.6%, .155)
Kosuke Fukudome (13.6%, .136)
Ken Singleton (13.5%, .145)
Dave Hansen (13.5%, .109)
Willie Randolph (13.4%, .082)
Rich Becker (13.3%, .116)
Bobby Grich (13.3%, .169)
Frank Menechino (13.2%, .143)
Dan Driessen (13.2%, .146)
Butch Wynegar (13.2%, .092)
Sixto Lezcano (13.2%, .162)
Mike Jorgensen (13.2%, .104)
Wade Boggs (13.1%, .115)
Randy Ready (13.1%, .127)
Ryan Langerhans (13.0%, .146)
Greg Gross (13.0%, .052)
Quilvio Veras (13.0%, .092)

As you can hopefully see, it's been done and it's been done by some guys with some very, very low ISOs (Lance Blankenship is the best example). It's really not as unprecedented as you make it sound. I think what you have is a bit of a selection bias in that during the PED era, there were not as many guys in the majors that didn't hit for power, but now that baseball is reverting back to an emphasis on speed defense before homers were dime-a-dozen, you're going to see guys like this list pop back up a bit more. It wasn't that you couldn't have a high walk rate with a low ISO, it's that during the PED-era, few teams carried guys that didn't have much power. Now that power has dwindled in a heightened era of testing, you're going to see more guys with low ISOs in the majors, and you'll still see guys with high walk rates like in the 80s and 90s.

camisadelgolf
08-17-2012, 01:57 PM
Lead-off hitters in the NL don't need much power at all to be good. All they need is good defense and the ability to get on base. When they do those two things, they're excellent.

Vottomatic
08-17-2012, 02:11 PM
Though I don't see him having a 14% walk rate (as I said yesterday, I would expect around 10%), just because others haven't done it recently in the majors doesn't mean he can't or won't do it. In fact, what you're describing isn't unprecedented if you go back a little longer than 10 years.

If you use a sample going back to 1990, you find that there is a lot more evidence of guys with lower ISOs having at least a walk rate of 14%. Since 1990, the following guys come up:

Rickey Henderson (17.7%, .141)
Randy Milligan (17.2%, .151)
Lance Blankenship (16.7%, .077)
Warren Newson, (16.4%, .151)
Tony Phillips (16.0%, .136)
Dave Magadan (14.9%, .089)
Jeremy Giambi (14.7%, .167)
John Cangelosi (14.2%, .062)
Lenny Dykstra (14.2%, .136)
John Kruk (14.1%, .149)

Now, expanding the criteria a bit to 1980, and 13%, we find...

Randy Milligan (17.2%, .159)
Rickey Henderson (16.7%, .142)
Warren Newson (16.4%, .151)
Joe Morgan (16.4%, .140)
Lance Blankenship (15.5%, .077)
Mark Bailey (14.7%, .117)
Jeremy Giambi (14.7%, .167)
John Cangelosi (14.7%, .069)
Ron Roenicke (14.7%, .100)
Tony Phillips (14.5%, .123)
Dave Magadan (14.5%, .089)
Toby Harrah (14.3%, .124)
Daric Barton (14.2%, .122)
Mike Hargrove (14.1%, .079)
Darrell Porter (14.1%, .160)
John Kruk (14.1%, .145)
Lee Mazzilli (14.0%, .122)
Dwayne Murphy (14.0%, .160)
--
Mark Bellhorn (13.9%, .164)
John Wockenfuss (13.8%, .158)
Jerry Hairston (13.6%, .155)
Kosuke Fukudome (13.6%, .136)
Ken Singleton (13.5%, .145)
Dave Hansen (13.5%, .109)
Willie Randolph (13.4%, .082)
Rich Becker (13.3%, .116)
Bobby Grich (13.3%, .169)
Frank Menechino (13.2%, .143)
Dan Driessen (13.2%, .146)
Butch Wynegar (13.2%, .092)
Sixto Lezcano (13.2%, .162)
Mike Jorgensen (13.2%, .104)
Wade Boggs (13.1%, .115)
Randy Ready (13.1%, .127)
Ryan Langerhans (13.0%, .146)
Greg Gross (13.0%, .052)
Quilvio Veras (13.0%, .092)

As you can hopefully see, it's been done and it's been done by some guys with some very, very low ISOs (Lance Blankenship is the best example). It's really not as unprecedented as you make it sound. I think what you have is a bit of a selection bias in that during the PED era, there were not as many guys in the majors that didn't hit for power, but now that baseball is reverting back to an emphasis on speed defense before homers were dime-a-dozen, you're going to see guys like this list pop back up a bit more. It wasn't that you couldn't have a high walk rate with a low ISO, it's that during the PED-era, few teams carried guys that didn't have much power. Now that power has dwindled in a heightened era of testing, you're going to see more guys with low ISOs in the majors, and you'll still see guys with high walk rates like in the 80s and 90s.

Good post.

Strikeouts aren't always about how good the pitcher is. Sometimes it's a willingness to work the count, have a good eye, and then a willingness to take a walk.

I've seen too many overly aggressive hitters get themselves out time after time. And I've seen too many pitchers that nibble and throw "near strikes" that get by on overly aggressive hitters.

The current Reds are a good example of that.

dougdirt
08-17-2012, 02:13 PM
Brutus, Rickey Henderson hit more home runs in a season (8) than Hamilton has in his career (7) 16 times. Randy Milligan hit 20 home runs in 1990. Warren Newson never topped 300 PA's in a single season yet still had multiple double digit home run seasons. Tony Phillips had 7 double digit home run seasons in his career and hit 27 at one point. Jeremy Giambi played 6 season and hit double digit home runs in half of them, including a 20 home run campaign. John Kruk hit 20 home runs in his second season in the Majors.

Lance Blankenship works, kind of. Of course he never played a full season in his life either. Dave Magadan works. Little home run power, lots of walks. Struck out significantly less than Hamilton does though. Still time for Hamilton to fix that some. John Canglosi is much like Blankenship, never really played a full season except for one year. Lenny Dykstra kind of works too, but he struck out at half the rate of what Hamilton is currently striking out at.

I didn't expand beyond the initial list, but the point is that Hamilton has such a unique skillset when it comes to Major Leaguers (every day players who probably aren't going to hit you 5 home runs in a season) that it is tough to find actual comparisons.

Brutus
08-17-2012, 02:22 PM
Brutus, Rickey Henderson hit more home runs in a season (8) than Hamilton has in his career (7) 16 times. Randy Milligan hit 20 home runs in 1990. Warren Newson never topped 300 PA's in a single season yet still had multiple double digit home run seasons. Tony Phillips had 7 double digit home run seasons in his career and hit 27 at one point. Jeremy Giambi played 6 season and hit double digit home runs in half of them, including a 20 home run campaign. John Kruk hit 20 home runs in his second season in the Majors.

Lance Blankenship works, kind of. Of course he never played a full season in his life either. Dave Magadan works. Little home run power, lots of walks. Struck out significantly less than Hamilton does though. Still time for Hamilton to fix that some. John Canglosi is much like Blankenship, never really played a full season except for one year. Lenny Dykstra kind of works too, but he struck out at half the rate of what Hamilton is currently striking out at.

I didn't expand beyond the initial list, but the point is that Hamilton has such a unique skillset when it comes to Major Leaguers (every day players who probably aren't going to hit you 5 home runs in a season) that it is tough to find actual comparisons.

It sounds like we were using ISO as a reference and now that it's been used in context to show what we were discussing isn't all that unprecedented, now you're changing the terms and expectations a bit.

I showed a case using ISO, but now you're focusing on homers and strikeouts.

All this is kind of silly because comparing someone's minor league numbers to a subset of players in the majors is terribly shortsighted. Those players in the majors often had wildly different numbers in the minors, so doing a cross-level comparison without taking into account equivalencies is worthless, to be honest.

We know, and all agree, that walk rates carry over pretty well. Hamilton by all accounts has tremendous plate discipline and a good eye. I don't see why someone can't accept the possibility that he *might* carry a great walk rate at the next level. It's really not that big of a leap. It might dip a little, and almost certainly will from the current 17%, but guys with good pitch recognition and discipline don't lose that at the next level. They'll still be able to work counts and lay off bad pitches. That's a skill that will carry over and will lead him to a higher walk rate than most.

Steve4192
08-17-2012, 02:30 PM
Brutus, Rickey Henderson hit more home runs in a season (8) than Hamilton has in his career (7) 16 times.

To be fair, Rickey didn't develop that power until he had been in the majors a few years. His last two years in the minors he hit 3 HR in 889 PA's between AA and AAA, plus another 1 in 398 MLB PAs. His best power year in the minors he only had 33 XBH (a total that Hamilton has eclipsed this year). He failed to crack double digits in HR in four of his first five years in the majors, and didn't break the 450 SLG barrier until his sixth year in the bigs.

Brutus
08-17-2012, 02:38 PM
To be fair, Rickey didn't develop that power until he had been in the majors a few years. His last two years in the minors he hit 3 HR in 889 PA's between AA and AAA, plus another 1 in 398 MLB PAs. His best power year in the minors he only had 33 XBH (a total that Hamilton has eclipsed this year). He failed to crack double digits in HR in four of his first five years in the majors, and didn't break the 450 SLG barrier until his sixth year in the bigs.

Good point, and that is why I've been harping on the "don't compare other players' major league stats to Hamilton's minor league stats" argument. The power numbers especially don't always show themselves for several years.

dougdirt
08-17-2012, 02:39 PM
I will disagree that Hamilton has tremendous plate discipline and a good eye. I have seen him this season, far too many times flailing out on his front foot at pitches to go that far. Solid plate discipline, I can go with that.

Yes, the conversation changed some from point A to point B, but that is what conversations do. They adapt.

At the end of the day I am just going to say that Hamilton has an incredibly unique skillset and if he winds up as an every day player in the Majors, there won't be many comps for his skillset over the last 25 years because of his complete lack of power and still higher end strikeout rates.

Can he walk 8-10% of the time? Sure, I think so. Can he walk 12-15% of the time? I highly doubt it because I don't see any reason pitchers would fear throwing him strikes and even with excellent plate discipline, you aren't going to walk that much when pitchers have no fear of you hitting the ball over the fence.

dougdirt
08-17-2012, 02:41 PM
To be fair, Rickey didn't develop that power until he had been in the majors a few years. His last two years in the minors he hit 3 HR in 889 PA's between AA and AAA, plus another 1 in 398 MLB PAs. His best power year in the minors he only had 33 XBH (a total that Hamilton has eclipsed this year). He failed to crack double digits in HR in four of his first five years in the majors, and didn't break the 450 SLG barrier until his sixth year in the bigs.

I don't have scouting reports on Rickey Henderson from his minor league time, nor does anyone around here I would imagine. But we do have them on Hamilton. No one thinks he is going to hit 10 home runs in a season, ever. Maybe they didn't think that about Henderson too, I don't really know. But counting on the unexpected to happen isn't a good idea. Hamilton is expected to hit for zero home run power.

Steve4192
08-17-2012, 03:06 PM
I don't have scouting reports on Rickey Henderson from his minor league time, nor does anyone around here I would imagine. But we do have them on Hamilton. No one thinks he is going to hit 10 home runs in a season, ever. Maybe they didn't think that about Henderson too, I don't really know. But counting on the unexpected to happen isn't a good idea. Hamilton is expected to hit for zero home run power.

Since when are home runs all that matters?

Billy cranks out plenty of extra base pop (36 XBH and counting in 2012), he just doesn't put balls over the fence. Billy might not project as a 10 HR guy, be he sure looks like a 10 triple guy. If he can do that and mix in 20-25 doubles and the occasional fluke HR, that should be enough to keep pitchers honest.

Also, who said anything about Hamilton developing 10 HR power anyway? I was pointing out that Henderson was a guy with minimal power early in his career and was still able to draw a prodigious amount of walks. Ricky was a walking fool with or without power.

RedsManRick
08-17-2012, 03:08 PM
Brutus, Rickey Henderson hit more home runs in a season (8) than Hamilton has in his career (7) 16 times. Randy Milligan hit 20 home runs in 1990. Warren Newson never topped 300 PA's in a single season yet still had multiple double digit home run seasons. Tony Phillips had 7 double digit home run seasons in his career and hit 27 at one point. Jeremy Giambi played 6 season and hit double digit home runs in half of them, including a 20 home run campaign. John Kruk hit 20 home runs in his second season in the Majors.

Lance Blankenship works, kind of. Of course he never played a full season in his life either. Dave Magadan works. Little home run power, lots of walks. Struck out significantly less than Hamilton does though. Still time for Hamilton to fix that some. John Canglosi is much like Blankenship, never really played a full season except for one year. Lenny Dykstra kind of works too, but he struck out at half the rate of what Hamilton is currently striking out at.

I didn't expand beyond the initial list, but the point is that Hamilton has such a unique skillset when it comes to Major Leaguers (every day players who probably aren't going to hit you 5 home runs in a season) that it is tough to find actual comparisons.

Since the beginning of 2010, minimum 1000 PA: BB%>10%, ISO<.150.


Name SB BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Jamey Carroll 28 10.7% 13.1% .051 .323 .276 .356 .327 .312
Brett Gardner 98 12.1% 16.9% .105 .323 .269 .365 .374 .345
Daric Barton 10 15.4% 16.4% .106 .296 .248 .368 .354 .328
Joe Mauer 8 11.8% 11.1% .119 .346 .315 .397 .434 .360
Kosuke Fukudome 11 12.3% 17.2% .130 .300 .258 .351 .389 .325
Chase Headley 42 10.6% 21.7% .133 .339 .274 .352 .407 .337
Jason Bay 25 10.9% 22.7% .136 .291 .237 .322 .372 .312
Bobby Abreu 50 13.2% 19.9% .139 .305 .253 .352 .392 .333
Russell Martin 18 11.6% 17.2% .142 .253 .229 .328 .371 .314
Todd Helton 1 13.2% 16.4% .144 .305 .270 .366 .414 .343
Hideki Matsui 1 10.5% 16.4% .146 .278 .252 .330 .399 .319
Justin Smoak 2 10.3% 22.2% .149 .248 .215 .297 .365 .292

In terms of raw power, I think you'd probably put everybody but Carroll and Gardner above him. Brett Gardner is easily the best comp there, right? The other guy who comes to mind from the recent past who would fit the same criteria is Luis Castillo.

Vottomatic
08-17-2012, 03:10 PM
I remember an argument on this board about Latos not being a finished project. Yet, it sure seems like some people pigeonhole minor league players, with no allowance that they can continue to progress and get better.

Hamilton has gotten better all through the minors. No reason to think he won't still keep progressing positively.

Homer Bailey
08-17-2012, 03:24 PM
I remember an argument on this board about Latos not being a finished project. Yet, it sure seems like some people pigeonhole minor league players, with no allowance that they can continue to progress and get better.

Hamilton has gotten better all through the minors. No reason to think he won't still keep progressing positively.

No one ever, ever, ever said Hamilton couldn't get better. The specific discussion at hand here is whether Hamilton can maintain his current walk rate in the major leagues, with many people providing insightful opinions both supporting why they think he can, and those providing support for why they believe he won't be able to. If you would like to contribute to this, please feel free. But don't put words in people's mouths.

mdccclxix
08-17-2012, 03:31 PM
More exuberance: if Billy is a 3 win offensive player, it's going to be an awesome ride this decade. His OBP and SB's are perhaps the perfect compliment to Votto's game.

Vottomatic
08-17-2012, 03:33 PM
More exuberance: if Billy is a 3 win offensive player, it's going to be an awesome ride this decade. His OBP and SB's are perhaps the perfect compliment to Votto's game.

Most definitely.

Based on his track record already, I see him continuing to get better. He is exactly what the Reds are missing in front of Votto.

dougdirt
08-17-2012, 08:58 PM
Hamilton has gotten better all through the minors. No reason to think he won't still keep progressing positively.

Yes, he has gotten somewhat better. But that isn't the issue at hand. The issue at hand is whether or not his skillset is going to allow him to do something that 95% of people without power have been unable to do since the 1990's, and that is walk at a high rate.

Is Billy Hamilton likely to get better at hitting? Yes.
Is Billy Hamilton likely to get better at stealing? Yes.
Is Billy Hamilton likely to get better at throwing accuracy? Yes.
Is Billy Hamilton likely to gain more home run power? No, probably not.
Is Billy Hamilton likely to carry forward a high walk rate? That is a much tougher question than the other ones and the real debate going on here and there are two sides to it.

bubbachunk
08-17-2012, 09:10 PM
I'll add one Doug

Is Billy Hamilton likely to keep being a very exciting player to watch and follow? Yep!

paulrichjr
08-17-2012, 09:13 PM
Yes, he has gotten somewhat better. But that isn't the issue at hand. The issue at hand is whether or not his skillset is going to allow him to do something that 95% of people without power have been unable to do since the 1990's, and that is walk at a high rate.

Is Billy Hamilton likely to get better at hitting? Yes.
Is Billy Hamilton likely to get better at stealing? Yes.
Is Billy Hamilton likely to get better at throwing accuracy? Yes.
Is Billy Hamilton likely to gain more home run power? No, probably not.
Is Billy Hamilton likely to carry forward a high walk rate? That is a much tougher question than the other ones and the real debate going on here and there are two sides to it.

I know you say that the fear of power leads to walks but is it possible that the fear of a walk that turns into a double or triple will result in a walk?

dougdirt
08-17-2012, 09:28 PM
I'll add one Doug

Is Billy Hamilton likely to keep being a very exciting player to watch and follow? Yep!

Depends on who you are asking. I find home runs or strikeout pitchers more exciting than fast guys.

dougdirt
08-17-2012, 09:29 PM
I know you say that the fear of power leads to walks but is it possible that the fear of a walk that turns into a double or triple will result in a walk?

Possible, sure. But Deion Sanders wasn't exactly out there drawing a bunch of walks either and he was at least as fast as Hamilton.

Brutus
08-17-2012, 09:44 PM
Possible, sure. But Deion Sanders wasn't exactly out there drawing a bunch of walks either and he was at least as fast as Hamilton.

Drawing walks is not just a product of what the pitcher does, but also a product of what the hitter does.

Even if pitchers are inclined to pitch you off the corners for whatever reason, it still requires you to recognize it's a ball and have the discipline not to swing at it anyhow.

Jamz
08-17-2012, 10:05 PM
I will disagree that Hamilton has tremendous plate discipline and a good eye. I have seen him this season, far too many times flailing out on his front foot at pitches to go that far. Solid plate discipline, I can go with that.

Yes, the conversation changed some from point A to point B, but that is what conversations do. They adapt.

At the end of the day I am just going to say that Hamilton has an incredibly unique skillset and if he winds up as an every day player in the Majors, there won't be many comps for his skillset over the last 25 years because of his complete lack of power and still higher end strikeout rates.

Can he walk 8-10% of the time? Sure, I think so. Can he walk 12-15% of the time? I highly doubt it because I don't see any reason pitchers would fear throwing him strikes and even with excellent plate discipline, you aren't going to walk that much when pitchers have no fear of you hitting the ball over the fence.

Sometimes it's not just about whether or not he can hit a homerun, or hit gaps consistently. Sometimes pitchers are just afraid of him hitting a single because then they know they have to deal with him on the basepaths. There is logic behind being afraid of giving Hamilton a good pitch. Hamilton will take singles all. day. Why? He turns singles into triples. On top of which he can turn what would be a double into a triple without stealing. His speed is so unique, and his baserunning so unique, that he causes tons of problems with the pitcher. They have that in the back of their head when pitching, too. So it's not just a matter of 'oh, this guy has no power I'm going to throw him strikes because he can't make me pay' it's 'this guy has no power, but if he hits a single he's going to wreak havoc on my head until I throw him out or he steals two bases.'

Trust me it's not as simple as just being afraid of his power.

Not to mention Hamilton has one of those frames that takes a while to add power. I know because I have a very similar frame and I've played baseball and softball for a long time. I had no power growing up, but once I hit 22 - 23 it started coming and now I can really put some hurt on the ball. That said, it's important to remember not everyone develops linearly. He could easily develop power still once he grows into his frame and polishes his swing. He is still very young in the game of baseball and the progress he's already shown should give you nothing but hope.

dougdirt
08-17-2012, 11:27 PM
There are a ton of factors that go into this. I just don't see Hamilton drawing that many walks (+10%). His plate discipline isn't elite, even if his walk rate in AA suggests it is. He expands the zone too often for me to place him in that category.

gedred69
08-18-2012, 12:07 AM
Has anybody posting here actually had the occasion to see him in action a few times this year? Reading stats are fun, but what do eye witnesses think? Last year he had 2 seasons in one. Anybody from Bakersfield or Pensacola that may have seen him play several times got anything to add?

dougdirt
08-18-2012, 12:11 AM
Has anybody posting here actually had the occasion to see him in action a few times this year? Reading stats are fun, but what do eye witnesses think? Last year he had 2 seasons in one. Anybody from Bakersfield or Pensacola that may have seen him play several times got anything to add?

I have seen him in person 5 times this year, all games in a row. I have also watched him on Milb.tv 30+ times this year.

11larkin11
08-18-2012, 02:19 AM
Sure, pitchers fear Miguel Cabrera's power when he steps up to the plate, no question.

But I think people may be severely underestimating the fear a pitcher has of a guy like Billy Hamilton on first base.

Throw up a cement mixer that goes over the wall, oh well, its one pitch, worry about the next one. Throw over to first 5 times, do a pitchout, then have Hamilton steal second and third? That really grinds a pitcher's gears and gets in his head, and can even cause a riff between batterymates.

What does all that mean? I think his walk rate could go down, but he's going to get better pitches to hit. He just needs to continue progress becoming a better hitter. I think his loss in Walks for OBP will be matched by his increase in AVG

Sea Ray
08-18-2012, 10:57 AM
A few general comments...

--What are we expecting out of this kid? Rickey Henderson? No way. I think Vinve Coleman is a reasonable comp and he was a very good player in his 20s. With that in mind, I think the Reds ought not leave him in the minors too long because his skills will likely start to erode around age 28 or so

--How many can't miss prospects are there? Not many. It's no shame that Billy is not one of those elite few

--If you're an organization who's been looking for a leadoff hitter for a decade, how can you look at Billy and not see that your prayers have been answered? OK, he's not Rickey or Tim Raines but it seems to me he's got leadoff hitter written all over him. Why wouldn't Reds fans be excited to follow this kid?

dougdirt
08-18-2012, 11:17 AM
--If you're an organization who's been looking for a leadoff hitter for a decade, how can you look at Billy and not see that your prayers have been answered? OK, he's not Rickey or Tim Raines but it seems to me he's got leadoff hitter written all over him. Why wouldn't Reds fans be excited to follow this kid?

Well I guess the answer to this would be that, until he actually does it in the Majors, he hasn't answered anything yet. Of course you can say that about anyone in the minors who hasn't done it yet. I just think that for all of the hype and substance that is actually in Hamilton's game, there are still some very strong and unanswered questions about how his offensive game can translate.

As for the fans, I can just imagine him being the next whipping boy for the fans if he doesn't come out and hit .280/.360/whatever with 70 steals. Just like Jay Bruce is because he isn't Joey Votto or just like Adam Dunn was because he wasn't Miguel Cabrera.

lollipopcurve
08-18-2012, 12:23 PM
As for the fans, I can just imagine him being the next whipping boy for the fans if he doesn't come out and hit .280/.360/whatever with 70 steals. Just like Jay Bruce is because he isn't Joey Votto or just like Adam Dunn was because he wasn't Miguel Cabrera.

Disagree. It's not about hype vs performance. It's about the type of performance. Both Dunn and Bruce (though Bruce to a far lesser extent) frustrate fans because they strike out a lot and fail to produce runs in "clutch" situations. Hamilton is, in important ways, the opposite. He creates excitement by turning nubbers into hits, singles into doubles and empty bases into stolen bases. At an elementary level, his speed appears to be effort, while a whiff from Dunn or Bruce appears to be lack of effort. Unfair, but that's what fans feel at some level, IMO. I don't see a player like Hamilton ever drawing the ire of the average fan like those guys do.

dougdirt
08-18-2012, 12:54 PM
Disagree. It's not about hype vs performance. It's about the type of performance. Both Dunn and Bruce (though Bruce to a far lesser extent) frustrate fans because they strike out a lot and fail to produce runs in "clutch" situations. Hamilton is, in important ways, the opposite. He creates excitement by turning nubbers into hits, singles into doubles and empty bases into stolen bases. At an elementary level, his speed appears to be effort, while a whiff from Dunn or Bruce appears to be lack of effort. Unfair, but that's what fans feel at some level, IMO. I don't see a player like Hamilton ever drawing the ire of the average fan like those guys do.

Maybe we will never find out, but I can certainly envision Hamilton coming up and being Michael Bourn like for his first handful of years (the .681 OPS in his first four seasons version, not this years version) and fans not really falling in love with that, infield hits or not. I talk to a lot of people about Hamilton, average fans wise, and they all are just absolutely bonkers type of giddy over him. Maybe I am reading into what they think he is going to be, but I get the feeling that they think he is in his prime Jose Reyes in the making and I just don't see that happening. And if that is their perception and he turns out to be a much lesser version of that, well, I can see them making him the whipping boy.

RedsManRick
08-18-2012, 02:55 PM
Maybe we will never find out, but I can certainly envision Hamilton coming up and being Michael Bourn like for his first handful of years (the .681 OPS in his first four seasons version, not this years version) and fans not really falling in love with that, infield hits or not. I talk to a lot of people about Hamilton, average fans wise, and they all are just absolutely bonkers type of giddy over him. Maybe I am reading into what they think he is going to be, but I get the feeling that they think he is in his prime Jose Reyes in the making and I just don't see that happening. And if that is their perception and he turns out to be a much lesser version of that, well, I can see them making him the whipping boy.

Sure, there may be some people in the RedsZone crowd who want a multiple time all-star. I don't think the average fan is going to expect anything more than a whole bunch of stolen bases and all the excitement that goes with that. They will almost undoubtedly overvalue that speed, but if he gets 50 bags, I don't think the casual fan will be upset regardless of what else he does.

Brutus
08-18-2012, 03:38 PM
Maybe we will never find out, but I can certainly envision Hamilton coming up and being Michael Bourn like for his first handful of years (the .681 OPS in his first four seasons version, not this years version) and fans not really falling in love with that, infield hits or not. I talk to a lot of people about Hamilton, average fans wise, and they all are just absolutely bonkers type of giddy over him. Maybe I am reading into what they think he is going to be, but I get the feeling that they think he is in his prime Jose Reyes in the making and I just don't see that happening. And if that is their perception and he turns out to be a much lesser version of that, well, I can see them making him the whipping boy.

I can't speak for others, but I wasn't very high on him until this year. The speed is nice, but it can only take a player so far. It's when the guy started getting on base at such a high clip that I started coming around on him. And it's the walk rate that has me up and taking notice because that leads me to believe, coupled with an expected high xBABIP going forward, he'll get on base a lot.

Sea Ray
08-19-2012, 12:49 PM
What frustrates fans on Jay Bruce is when they see him strike out on a pitches WAY out of the strike zone. By I'll add that I think the fans have not really turned on him, in fact they've really been quite patient with him.

I think the main thing that Hamilton will have to be careful of is getting caught too much stealing bases. If he doesn't maintain about an 80% success rate, fans will become frustrated. At AA, he's maintained his numbers from A+ in terms of OPS and SBs but his success rate has taken a hit. I think that's an area he needs to be aware of

REDREAD
08-20-2012, 09:38 AM
I don't know that his skillset does suggest he will walk more. .

I think Billy's high walk rate in the minors shows that he has a good grasp of the strikezone.
IF he can consistently hit major league pitching (no obvious holes in his swing that can be consistently exploited), I'd expect him to get a decent number of walks at the major league level, although not as many walks as someone like Votto.

There's some minor leaguers (like Anderson Machado) that have a good walk rate in the minors, but can't hit major league pitching.. these guys don't walk much in the majors, because they are an easy out.

At least that's my theory. :laugh: Hopefully Billy can handle major league pitching.

Benihana
08-20-2012, 09:44 AM
I can't speak for others, but I wasn't very high on him until this year. The speed is nice, but it can only take a player so far. It's when the guy started getting on base at such a high clip that I started coming around on him. And it's the walk rate that has me up and taking notice because that leads me to believe, coupled with an expected high xBABIP going forward, he'll get on base a lot.

This is pretty much how I feel. I wasn't convinced he could be an impact player in the major leagues until this year as I am generally skeptical of speed-first prospects. Specifically it wasn't until his OBP continued to soar in Pensacola. Now I can't wait for him to takeover the leadoff spot and CF job in Cincy, although I don't expect that to happen until 2014.

Sea Ray
08-20-2012, 10:35 AM
Did Billy play yesterday?

dfs
08-20-2012, 10:52 AM
Is Billy Hamilton likely to get better at hitting? Yes.
Is Billy Hamilton likely to get better at stealing? Yes.
Is Billy Hamilton likely to get better at throwing accuracy? Yes.
Is Billy Hamilton likely to gain more home run power? No, probably not.
Is Billy Hamilton likely to carry forward a high walk rate? That is a much tougher question than the other ones and the real debate going on here and there are two sides to it.

You've seen him this year.

Based on his own merits and not what the major league team needs, is Billy Hamilton going to stick at shortstop?

Gut reaction?

lollipopcurve
08-20-2012, 11:02 AM
Is Billy Hamilton likely to gain more home run power? No, probably not.

Disagree. He will get stronger. (Take a look at the shot to right-center he hit last night -- on milb.com.) He's 21 -- all guys get stronger over the course of their 20s. Hamilton is learning quickly and he will learn how to turn on certain pitches. There's wiry strength there.

dougdirt
08-20-2012, 11:26 AM
Disagree. He will get stronger. (Take a look at the shot to right-center he hit last night -- on milb.com.) He's 21 -- all guys get stronger over the course of their 20s. Hamilton is learning quickly and he will learn how to turn on certain pitches. There's wiry strength there.

No scout I have ever talked to or seen quoted anywhere seems to agree with you on this one. At least to the point where he will grow into some home run power. He might get stronger, but that may take him from 20 power to 30 power.

DFS, if he can improve the consistency in which he uses the correct arm slot, then yes, I do think he could stick at shortstop. But he has to correct it.

I uplaoded 7 minutes worth of video last night of Hamilton. Watch it. Come to your own conclusions.

http://youtu.be/bxlAwVEdcAc (Link in case you want to watch it in HD and full screen, which you can't do while embedding it on this board.

Billy Hamilton playing for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxlAwVEdcAc)

lollipopcurve
08-20-2012, 11:54 AM
He might get stronger, but that may take him from 20 power to 30 power.

That qualifies as an increase in power, which I have to assume would increase the number of HRs he'd hit.

camisadelgolf
08-20-2012, 12:09 PM
http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8259517/cincinnati-reds-prospect-billy-hamilton-fast-track

Hamilton, a Derek Jeter fan as a youth, patterns his game after Jose Reyes, another switch-hitting shortstop with a flair for putting pressure on opposing pitchers, catchers and defenses with his speed. In a Cal League game between Bakersfield and Modesto earlier this season, the opposing pitcher threw over to first base eight straight times to keep Hamilton close. Then he threw home, and Hamilton immediately burst for second and made it easily.

dougdirt
08-20-2012, 12:11 PM
That qualifies as an increase in power, which I have to assume would increase the number of HRs he'd hit.

I guess. But I don't really call going from 3 home runs to 5 or 6 much worth talking about.

mdccclxix
08-20-2012, 12:31 PM
http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8259517/cincinnati-reds-prospect-billy-hamilton-fast-track

That's a great anecdote about how Billy is able to leverage his talent in order to dominate an inning. I think that says a lot about him. Leverage is an important quality and I think he uses it at the plate as well.

dfs
08-20-2012, 12:58 PM
DFS, if he can improve the consistency in which he uses the correct arm slot, then yes, I do think he could stick at shortstop. But he has to correct it.

I uplaoded 7 minutes worth of video last night of Hamilton. Watch it. Come to your own conclusions.

Thanks for the video and sharing your impression.

The video doesn't give me warm feelings at all, but.....

but a two years ago BH was not hitting left handed. If he can learn that this quickly, I'm very hesitant to talk about what I think he can't do.

lollipopcurve
08-20-2012, 01:24 PM
but a two years ago BH was not hitting left handed. If he can learn that this quickly, I'm very hesitant to talk about what I think he can't do.

Exactly. This is an elite athlete who is learning very quickly.

dougdirt
08-20-2012, 01:30 PM
Exactly. This is an elite athlete who is learning very quickly.

To be fair guys, Hamilton started switch hitting in June of 2009 when he began playing for the GCL Reds. So it has been a little more than 3 years. He has made big improvements, particularly left handed, from 2011 to now.

Brutus
08-20-2012, 01:33 PM
To be fair guys, Hamilton started switch hitting in June of 2009 when he began playing for the GCL Reds. So it has been a little more than 3 years. He has made big improvements, particularly left handed, from 2011 to now.

Two years, three years, for any player to not pick it up until after they've began pro ball is impressive no matter how you slice it. Doug, no offense, but it's coming across that you're trying to look for ways to downplay every compliment someone has about Hamilton.

I get that you're not enamored with speed-first players, and I think that's fair. But people are excited about Hamilton and he's doing some extraordinary things. It seems to me that you feel compelled to downplay them for some reason.

dougdirt
08-20-2012, 01:40 PM
Two years, three years, for any player to not pick it up until after they've began pro ball is impressive no matter how you slice it. Doug, no offense, but it's coming across that you're trying to look for ways to downplay every compliment someone has about Hamilton.

I get that you're not enamored with speed-first players, and I think that's fair. But people are excited about Hamilton and he's doing some extraordinary things. It seems to me that you feel compelled to downplay them for some reason.

Three years is a whole lot different than two years. It is 50% more. And even with that, I noted how much improvement he has made with his swing and yet somehow what was taken from my comment was that I was poo-pooing him somehow.

Hamilton is doing some awesome things. I am not purposefully disliking parts of his game. I want him to be what Michael Bourn is right now, but at shortstop or in center. I want him to be what Brett Gardner has been he past few years for the Yankees, but in center or at shortstop. I am just not sure that he can be that because of things that I see when I watch him play.

Everyone is talking about Hamilton and they have been for a while now. With that comes my opinion on his game, both currently (or current at the time of the post) and how it projects in the future IMO. With lots of stuff out there, my opinion just gets brought up a lot. I am not going out of my way to rain on parades, but I am going to give my opinions on guys. It just so happens that Hamilton gets talked about a lot more.

Brutus
08-20-2012, 01:54 PM
Three years is a whole lot different than two years. It is 50% more. And even with that, I noted how much improvement he has made with his swing and yet somehow what was taken from my comment was that I was poo-pooing him somehow.

Hamilton is doing some awesome things. I am not purposefully disliking parts of his game. I want him to be what Michael Bourn is right now, but at shortstop or in center. I want him to be what Brett Gardner has been he past few years for the Yankees, but in center or at shortstop. I am just not sure that he can be that because of things that I see when I watch him play.

Everyone is talking about Hamilton and they have been for a while now. With that comes my opinion on his game, both currently (or current at the time of the post) and how it projects in the future IMO. With lots of stuff out there, my opinion just gets brought up a lot. I am not going out of my way to rain on parades, but I am going to give my opinions on guys. It just so happens that Hamilton gets talked about a lot more.

You opinion is fine. But you've expressed your opinion repeatedly. Every time someone new chimes in with something good to say, it seems you respond with something to downplay their enthusiasm.

Splitting hairs over two years or three years is really an unsubstantial amount. Dude, it's 365 days. For him to, at 18 years old, pick up switching hitting for the first time in his life... that's flat out impressive. It's no less impressive that it took an extra 365 days than previously mentioned. It's impressive regardless. Most kids can't do it growing up, let alone not doing it until after they've begun pro ball.

I think everyone in this thread is clear on your position, Doug. Your opinions have been heard loud and clear. There's nothing wrong with expressing them and in fact I respect them, as you've raised some very fair points. But it seems now you're going out of your way to downplay anyone's excitement. That's all I'm saying. If that's not your intent, and I'll leave that for you to decide, you may want to consider how you're coming across.

membengal
08-28-2012, 11:53 AM
He is now at 155 at-bats with a .310/.429/.413 slash line good for an .842 OPS at Pensacola.

50 stolen bases.

I really expected some struggles at AA as he adjusted to the higher league but that really has not been the case at all...

His obp at bakersfield was .413. His ops at bakersfield was .852.

Remarkably consistent as he moved from A to AA.

Edd Roush
08-28-2012, 11:58 AM
He is now at 155 at-bats with a .310/.429/.413 slash line good for an .842 OPS at Pensacola.

50 stolen bases.

I really expected some struggles at AA as he adjusted to the higher league but that really has not been the vase at all...

I really thought it was crazy to have Billy on the playoff roster just a month ago. I am not so sure anymore. Billy's speed could be a playoff game changer and I would not mind his bat off the bench. Especially since there is no real need for a Valdez or a Cairo on a playoff roster. I will be interested to see how the Reds handle this.

JKam
08-28-2012, 01:08 PM
Watching the video, towards the end, with Hamilton playing defense at shortstop has me concerned. He always waits for the ball to come to him. He never charges the ball or takes a few steps in when he has time. He also seems to take a little time to get rid of the ball. As a result a lot of the plays at first are very close. Maybe he can get away with it in the minors, but in the majors, some of those ground balls will be base hits if he doesn't attack the ball a little more.

Rojo
08-28-2012, 01:37 PM
Watching the video, towards the end, with Hamilton playing defense at shortstop has me concerned. He always waits for the ball to come to him. He never charges the ball or takes a few steps in when he has time. He also seems to take a little time to get rid of the ball. As a result a lot of the plays at first are very close. Maybe he can get away with it in the minors, but in the majors, some of those ground balls will be base hits if he doesn't attack the ball a little more.

I see what Doug is saying about arm angle. In fact I'm wondering if a move to the OF would work. He doesn't get a lot on those throws. A move to second might be in order. But you can also hide bad arms in left.

As to power, yeah, he'll get stronger but I don't see his body type filling out a lot. He's going to have channel Bret Butler.

Homer Bailey
08-28-2012, 02:09 PM
Awesome to see him continue to produce. I'm becoming more and more of a believer every day that OBP rises.

membengal
08-28-2012, 03:25 PM
Awesome to see him continue to produce. I'm becoming more and more of a believer every day that OBP rises.



Exactly. Stunning to me it is higher than the .413 he had at bakersfield while moving to a league with better pitchers and defense.

Brisco
08-28-2012, 04:23 PM
Disagree. It's not about hype vs performance. It's about the type of performance. Both Dunn and Bruce (though Bruce to a far lesser extent) frustrate fans because they strike out a lot and fail to produce runs in "clutch" situations. Hamilton is, in important ways, the opposite. He creates excitement by turning nubbers into hits, singles into doubles and empty bases into stolen bases. At an elementary level, his speed appears to be effort, while a whiff from Dunn or Bruce appears to be lack of effort. Unfair, but that's what fans feel at some level, IMO. I don't see a player like Hamilton ever drawing the ire of the average fan like those guys do.

I finally saw Billy in person here in Mississippi and what I saw reinforced the opinion I had from the long trail of stats. Billy has tremendous athletic ability, but it vastly outstrips his baseball judgment/experience.

If called up, the reason Billy would turn into a Zone whipping boy is the large number of times he gets picked off. I saw a player with very quick twitch muscles, but just not a lot of baseball instinct. On his steal in the first inning, he did not get a good jump at all but his speed covered the mistake a bit... that said, a good throw would have got him. In the field he can move quickly to a ball after he see's it, but he lacks the fielders instinct of moving to the ball from the second its hit. The players I have talked to about this say they kind of know where the ball is going to be because of the sound and angle of the bat. Billy just does not have that ability yet.

That said, this is a focused young man, but he comes from a realtively sheltered world. taylorsville is about as deep south sticks as you are going to find, even though it is not all that far from jackson. The main reason i am concerned about the call up is that he needs a little more time to mentally mature. He currently has humility, but i would say he has a tenuous grasp on it, and too much spotlight right now could really hurt.

The difference between Billy the solid major leaguer and Billy the never was will come down to the amount of work, both intellectual and physical, Billy puts in over the next 2-3 years to gain the skills he currently lacks. The spotlight could shatter his humility and focus.

Bottom line... I like the kid. I agree with every one of Doug's complaints but feel that under his CURRENT mental makeup, that these can and will be overcome/trained out of him. He listens and works and has the natural physical capability. That is all you can ask from a prospect.

I say don't mess with that by doing a premature call up.

Scrap Irony
08-28-2012, 04:45 PM
Exactly. Stunning to me it is higher than the .413 he had at bakersfield while moving to a league with better pitchers and defense.

I fully expected struggles in a pitcher's park in a tougher league as well. Nice to see his bat is proving itself against tougher competition.

Hamilton leads the Southern League in obp and (obviously) stolen bases.

His BA ranks sixth in the league.

His OPS ranks 11th.

His BB rate is the tops in the league (as far as I can tell). His K:BB ratio is nearly 1:1.

Another interesting tidbit is that Hamilton has cut his error total almost in half while at Pensacola. Obviously, the new AA field is superior to the one at Bakersfield and the lights, too, seem to shine a bit brighter. That may give hope to those that dream of Slidin' Billy patrolling the position Barry, and Davey once did. (6 errors extrapolated over an entire season would put him well into the safely above average range in relation to both all minor league SSs and upper minor league SSs with 21.) With his speed (and the range it helps provide him), all Hamilton need be is "good enough" with the arm and glove to be truly outstanding defensively. "Good enough" can be measured fairly reliably, in this instance, with the amount of errors, especially throwing miscues. He'd be, in essence, the anti-Shawon Dunston.

Brisco
08-28-2012, 04:46 PM
No scout I have ever talked to or seen quoted anywhere seems to agree with you on this one. At least to the point where he will grow into some home run power. He might get stronger, but that may take him from 20 power to 30 power.

DFS, if he can improve the consistency in which he uses the correct arm slot, then yes, I do think he could stick at shortstop. But he has to correct it.

I uplaoded 7 minutes worth of video last night of Hamilton. Watch it. Come to your own conclusions.

http://youtu.be/bxlAwVEdcAc (Link in case you want to watch it in HD and full screen, which you can't do while embedding it on this board.

Billy Hamilton playing for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxlAwVEdcAc)


Doug:

I just watched through all of this and compared it with what i got at the games here. i was wondering about your thoughts on the following:

1. Speed out of the box. I noticed two things. Billy is much faster out of the box when bunting rather than swinging. When he swings, Billy has a hitch after contact where he allows his head to briefly track the ball... most hitters have this, but when Billy does it, it causes the weight shift for his first step to be messed up. Joe Morgan always said that speed comes from your second step. He called it the power step. On leaving the box following swings, Billy never seems to get that power step. The hitch from following the ball causes his first 2 steps to be... i dont know how to describe it... but they are a bit off. The hitch is not there when he bunts or when he steals. I would train this out of him by making him take at least three steps on every foul ball. Those first steps following a swing need to get to be as instinctual as his first steps on a steal.

2. Pre-swing motion. At first glance, Billy seems all over the place pre swing, but then when i slowed down the vid and watched, he does an excellent job of getting set right before the ball arrives. Watch every swing and superimpose the vids on each other. he has an IDENTICAL freeze point. His swing is incredibly quick and flat and he hits the ball hard and where it is pitched. I found this to be more encouraging than even his speed.

3. The walks. How does a guy that no pitcher wants on the bases and without any power walk so much? At first glance i though it was just he has a great eye. I now believe that his consitent, level, and very quick swing gives him control over the entire middle of the zone and that pitchers are forced to nibble to get strikes. He seems to have a good eye for changing speeds, but be off guard from changes in location. Thus they are always looking to paint the black.

just my truly amateur thoughts from observing him. Interested in your thoughts.

Scrap Irony
08-28-2012, 04:59 PM
Doug:

I just watched through all of this and compared it with what i got at the games here. i was wondering about your thoughts on the following:

1. Speed out of the box. I noticed two things. Billy is much faster out of the box when bunting rather than swinging. When he swings, Billy has a hitch after contact where he allows his head to briefly track the ball... most hitters have this, but when Billy does it, it causes the weight shift for his first step to be messed up. Joe Morgan always said that speed comes from your second step. He called it the power step. On leaving the box following swings, Billy never seems to get that power step. The hitch from following the ball causes his first 2 steps to be... i dont know how to describe it... but they are a bit off. The hitch is not there when he bunts or when he steals. I would train this out of him by making him take at least three steps on every foul ball. Those first steps following a swing need to get to be as instinctual as his first steps on a steal.

2. Pre-swing motion. At first glance, Billy seems all over the place pre swing, but then when i slowed down the vid and watched, he does an excellent job of getting set right before the ball arrives. Watch every swing and superimpose the vids on each other. he has an IDENTICAL freeze point. His swing is incredibly quick and flat and he hits the ball hard and where it is pitched. I found this to be more encouraging than even his speed.

3. The walks. How does a guy that no pitcher wants on the bases and without any power walk so much? At first glance i though it was just he has a great eye. I now believe that his consitent, level, and very quick swing gives him control over the entire middle of the zone and that pitchers are forced to nibble to get strikes. He seems to have a good eye for changing speeds, but be off guard from changes in location. Thus they are always looking to paint the black.

just my truly amateur thoughts from observing him. Interested in your thoughts.

Love his swing, especially that he's willing to sacrifice power for contact. He's willingly implementing his speed as a primary weapon by using a short, quick stroke to the ball. It's a two-strike approach at all times, pretty much.

IMO, his patience/ eye is for real. He reminds me a great deal of mid-career Dave Collins, actually. Their minor league numbers are similar, though Hamilton's speed numbers are much, much better. I'd gladly take that from SS and Hamilton for a decade or so.

Sea Ray
08-28-2012, 05:11 PM
Didn't he go to AA at about the All Star break? And he's already at 50 SBs? Is it just me or is that just nuts?

redsfandan
08-28-2012, 05:14 PM
I see what Doug is saying about arm angle. In fact I'm wondering if a move to the OF would work. He doesn't get a lot on those throws. A move to second might be in order. But you can also hide bad arms in left.

As to power, yeah, he'll get stronger but I don't see his body type filling out a lot. He's going to have channel Bret Butler.

That's why I'm thinking that IF his throwing mechanics don't get straightened out he'll probably end up in left.


I fully expected struggles in a pitcher's park in a tougher league as well. Nice to see his bat is proving itself against tougher competition.

Hamilton leads the Southern League in obp and (obviously) stolen bases.

His BA ranks sixth in the league.

His OPS ranks 11th.

His BB rate is the tops in the league (as far as I can tell). His K:BB ratio is nearly 1:1.

Another interesting tidbit is that Hamilton has cut his error total almost in half while at Pensacola. Obviously, the new AA field is superior to the one at Bakersfield and the lights, too, seem to shine a bit brighter. That may give hope to those that dream of Slidin' Billy patrolling the position Barry, and Davey once did. (6 errors extrapolated over an entire season would put him well into the safely above average range in relation to both all minor league SSs and upper minor league SSs with 21.) With his speed (and the range it helps provide him), all Hamilton need be is "good enough" with the arm and glove to be truly outstanding defensively. "Good enough" can be measured fairly reliably, in this instance, with the amount of errors, especially throwing miscues. He'd be, in essence, the anti-Shawon Dunston.

I don't see how a "good enough" defender can also be considered outstanding defensively.

I'd also take the error totals with a grain of salt.

Scrap Irony
08-28-2012, 05:45 PM
I don't see how a "good enough" defender can also be considered outstanding defensively.

I'd also take the error totals with a grain of salt.

With his range capabilities, Hamilton will get to more balls than most other shortstops. An average glove with an average arm and phenomenal range would grade out as a positive defensive player in any metric used. Ozzie Smith, for example, had many seasons wherein he amassed 20 errors or would have over the course of a true 150-game season. His range, however, made him a Hall of Famer.

(This is not to say Hamilton will be like Ozzie Smith defensively. But, were he to keep his error total in that 20-25 spread, I'd insist his speed and range would make him well above average as a SS.)

A SS that grades out as a defensive plus guy with a .300-ish BA-capable bat and an obp that approaches .375, not to mention the possibility of 100+ stolen bases? Yes, please.

redsfandan
08-28-2012, 05:59 PM
With his range capabilities, Hamilton will get to more balls than most other shortstops. An average glove with an average arm and phenomenal range would grade out as a positive defensive player in any metric used. Ozzie Smith, for example, had many seasons wherein he amassed 20 errors or would have over the course of a true 150-game season. His range, however, made him a Hall of Famer.

(This is not to say Hamilton will be like Ozzie Smith defensively. But, were he to keep his error total in that 20-25 spread, I'd insist his speed and range would make him well above average as a SS.)

A SS that grades out as a defensive plus guy with a .300-ish BA-capable bat and an obp that approaches .375, not to mention the possibility of 100+ stolen bases? Yes, please.

How is he defensively now? Have you seen any scouting reports that say that he's truly outstanding defensively?

And you do realize that paying too much attention to error totals can be misleading?

(By the way, I think Ozzie's back flips probably played into his reputation and HOF election.)

Scrap Irony
08-28-2012, 06:10 PM
How is he defensively now? Have you seen any scouting reports that say that he's truly outstanding defensively?

And you do realize that paying too much attention to error totals can be misleading?

(By the way, I think Ozzie's back flips probably played into his reputation and HOF election.)

IMO, his defense needs work. Consistency in throwing across the diamond is a key. His glove has a bit of iron in it as well. But I'll gladly live with 20-25 errors if he can give me range that he's exhibited in spurts in the minors. Fwiw, I've seen a couple recent scouting reports that say he's capable at short. Nothing more.)

I point to the error total as a way of measuring his throwing tendencies and the metal work in his leather. His range is going to be fine. More than that, IMO. The improvement he's shown in his arm and glove since moving up to AA has been promising. The error total, in his case, is fairly relevant to whether he sticks there.

redsfandan
08-28-2012, 06:20 PM
IMO, his defense needs work. Consistency in throwing across the diamond is a key. His glove has a bit of iron in it as well. But I'll gladly live with 20-25 errors if he can give me range that he's exhibited in spurts in the minors. Fwiw, I've seen a couple recent scouting reports that say he's capable at short. Nothing more.)

I point to the error total as a way of measuring his throwing tendencies and the metal work in his leather. His range is going to be fine. More than that, IMO. The improvement he's shown in his arm and glove since moving up to AA has been promising. The error total, in his case, is fairly relevant to whether he sticks there.

Well, I'm not picking on you Scrap but I think some baseball/Reds fans have been blinded by his speed into delevoping one heck of a man crush.

Brutus posted that Doug has been going out of his way to downplay anyone's excitement. I think Doug has just been trying to bring people back to earth a little bit as far as expectations for Hamilton go. He's still a prospect which means that he's pretty much all potential until he proves in the majors otherwise.

Steve4192
08-28-2012, 07:47 PM
That's why I'm thinking that IF his throwing mechanics don't get straightened out he'll probably end up in left.

Billy shouldn't even step foot on a major league diamond until he sorts out those mechanics. His bat will play at SS/CF, but his lack of power would really hurt his value if he gets shifted to LF.

Scrap Irony
08-28-2012, 08:13 PM
Well, I'm not picking on you Scrap but I think some baseball/Reds fans have been blinded by his speed into delevoping one heck of a man crush.

Brutus posted that Doug has been going out of his way to downplay anyone's excitement. I think Doug has just been trying to bring people back to earth a little bit as far as expectations for Hamilton go. He's still a prospect which means that he's pretty much all potential until he proves in the majors otherwise.

With all due respect, doug's been just about as wrong on Hamilton as is humanly possible so far.

And if a kid with a ceiling of .300+/.400+/.425 with plus SS defense isn't something to get excited about, I don't know what is.

I see very few posters on Redszone that think Hamilton's going to be an All-Star next season or something like that. Many have (rightly, IMO) pointed to his superior BB rate, BB:K ratio, BA, obp, speed, and improving glove as proof positive of a true difference-maker in the one spot the Reds are lacking: leadoff. Major league equivalent hitters include Rafael Furcal, Juan Pierre, Brett Butler, Dave Collins, Otis Nixon, and Willie Wilson-- there's not a Hall of Famer in that group and very few All-Star nods.

Finally, I disagree that doug should "bring people back down to earth" on anyone. He should give his opinion without bias. IMO, doug tends to downgrade speed guys because he sees very little value in it. Others have disagreed with him on that for the five years he's been on the board and writing about prospects. In Hamilton's case, you have a guy who's got an 80 tool-- a true top of the line tool. It's one many national writers and prospect pundits have noted-- why shouldn't fans be excited about that?

dougdirt
08-28-2012, 08:19 PM
Until Hamilton goes out and does something in the Majors, it is insane to suggest I have been "about as wrong as humanly possible" on him so far. Given that I ranked him #1 in the entire Reds system and ranked him inside the Top 50 prospects in the game, I really find it hard to believe that it is hard to be the worst humanly possible in my assessment of him. I also have said that he could compete for future MVP awards if things go right for him.

So I would suggest that you do a little more research before you decide to try and throw my opinions out as the worst humanly possible.

I am not going to get into any more of your post because I don't feel like spelling out why fans should be hesitant on Hamilton right now for the 100th time.

OGB
08-29-2012, 12:56 AM
Until Hamilton goes out and does something in the Majors, it is insane to suggest I have been "about as wrong as humanly possible" on him so far. Given that I ranked him #1 in the entire Reds system and ranked him inside the Top 50 prospects in the game, I really find it hard to believe that it is hard to be the worst humanly possible in my assessment of him. I also have said that he could compete for future MVP awards if things go right for him.

So I would suggest that you do a little more research before you decide to try and throw my opinions out as the worst humanly possible.

I am not going to get into any more of your post because I don't feel like spelling out why fans should be hesitant on Hamilton right now for the 100th time.

I don't always agree with you, Doug, but I'll always acknowledge that you study the game (particularly the minors) far more than I do. Because of that, I have a lot of respect for your opinion. To that I'll add that it is refreshing to see someone who is able to evaluate the prospects of his favorite team objectively when the overall tone of this board is one of rampant, ridiculous optimism. It always makes me laugh when people post something about a projected Reds lineup and rotation two or three years from now and more than half of the players are still playing in AA or lower.

Brutus
08-29-2012, 01:14 AM
I don't always agree with you, Doug, but I'll always acknowledge that you study the game (particularly the minors) far more than I do. Because of that, I have a lot of respect for your opinion. To that I'll add that it is refreshing to see someone who is able to evaluate the prospects of his favorite team objectively when the overall tone of this board is one of rampant, ridiculous optimism. It always makes me laugh when people post something about a projected Reds lineup and rotation two or three years from now and more than half of the players are still playing in AA or lower.

I don't see any of this "ridiculous, rampant optimism" you speak of. If Hamilton only projects as a .750 OPS bat with 80 steals, he would be of enormous value. One doesn't even have to expect power to ever develop to hope for a .350/.400/.750 situation.

If he sustains a 10-12% walk rate, and around 18% strikeout rate, he'll fit in the above line. And that's not really ridiculously optimistic to expect.

camisadelgolf
08-29-2012, 01:22 AM
I don't see any of this "ridiculous, rampant optimism" you speak of. If Hamilton only projects as a .750 OPS bat with 80 steals, he would be of enormous value. One doesn't even have to expect power to ever develop to hope for a .350/.400/.750 situation.

If he sustains a 10-12% walk rate, and around 18% strikeout rate, he'll fit in the above line. And that's not really ridiculously optimistic to expect.
I agree that "ridiculous, rampant optimism" probably isn't the best way to put it, but what RedsZone lacks that every non-Reds baseball forum has is a healthy number of 'pessimists' in regards to Billy Hamilton. It's not that too many people are expecting him to be the next Rickey Henderson so much as it is the lack of people who think he might become the next Brian Hunter (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/huntebr02.shtml).

RedsManRick
08-29-2012, 02:30 AM
I agree that "ridiculous, rampant optimism" probably isn't the best way to put it, but what RedsZone lacks that every non-Reds baseball forum has is a healthy number of 'pessimists' in regards to Billy Hamilton. It's not that too many people are expecting him to be the next Rickey Henderson so much as it is the lack of people who think he might become the next Brian Hunter (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/huntebr02.shtml).

Or the next Tony Womack...

fearofpopvol1
08-29-2012, 02:54 AM
I agree that "ridiculous, rampant optimism" probably isn't the best way to put it, but what RedsZone lacks that every non-Reds baseball forum has is a healthy number of 'pessimists' in regards to Billy Hamilton. It's not that too many people are expecting him to be the next Rickey Henderson so much as it is the lack of people who think he might become the next Brian Hunter (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/huntebr02.shtml).

Even though I'm far from any kind of expert, I am not as high on Hamilton as most are, even though I do think he's 1 of the best prospects in the system. I am however happy and impressed with the amount of improvements he's made this year, but I think the defense is a real issue for him. Even though he's lightening fast, he has to be a better base stealer and read pitchers better for that speed to have the same value too. I'm not sure he can maintain that walk rate either, but I think he can still walk at a decent clip.

If he continues putting up similar numbers at Louisville and improves his defense significantly, I'll have complete faith.

Brutus
08-29-2012, 03:40 AM
I agree that "ridiculous, rampant optimism" probably isn't the best way to put it, but what RedsZone lacks that every non-Reds baseball forum has is a healthy number of 'pessimists' in regards to Billy Hamilton. It's not that too many people are expecting him to be the next Rickey Henderson so much as it is the lack of people who think he might become the next Brian Hunter (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/huntebr02.shtml).

Maybe, but that just means a lot of people have realistic expectations of his ceiling. I guess I don't understand why the lack of pessimism is considered a bad thing, especially if people are at least being rational -- which it seems to me they are.

Should we have a quota on pessimists? lol

I wasn't high on Hamilton until this year, though I've probably said that several times in the past month. But he's winning me over not because of being overly optimistic but because he's proving himself on the field by showing improvements in areas that historically translate to success. Honestly, I don't think people should expect him to be a bust. Not that it's not possible, but he's showing signs of being a legitimate top-tier prospect.

mth123
08-29-2012, 04:29 AM
I don't see any of this "ridiculous, rampant optimism" you speak of. If Hamilton only projects as a .750 OPS bat with 80 steals, he would be of enormous value. One doesn't even have to expect power to ever develop to hope for a .350/.400/.750 situation.

If he sustains a 10-12% walk rate, and around 18% strikeout rate, he'll fit in the above line. And that's not really ridiculously optimistic to expect.

I'd call .750 OPS and 80 Steals pretty darned optimistic. The fact that you qualify it with "only" seems to make it "ridiculous, rampant optimism" IMO. Kid's in AA for half a season. Its still a long way to the major leagues.

This season has been a big step forward for Hamilton. I'm very encouraged by his bat. The steals don't mean so much to me and seem more like a sideshow IMO, but that slash line has him up at the top of my prospect list. Still, he's far from a sure thing. Better players with better stats have completely washed out at the big league level. People act like he's an impact lead-off guy at minimum and I think the downside is much lower than that. It is with every minor leaguer who has never played a day in the big leagues.

Brutus
08-29-2012, 05:06 AM
I'd call .750 OPS and 80 Steals pretty darned optimistic. The fact that you qualify it with "only" seems to make it "ridiculous, rampant optimism" IMO. Kid's in AA for half a season. Its still a long way to the major leagues.

This season has been a big step forward for Hamilton. I'm very encouraged by his bat. The steals don't mean so much to me and seem more like a sideshow IMO, but that slash line has him up at the top of my prospect list. Still, he's far from a sure thing. Better players with better stats have completely washed out at the big league level. People act like he's an impact lead-off guy at minimum and I think the downside is much lower than that. It is with every minor leaguer who has never played a day in the big leagues.

He's 21 and has nearly an .850 OPS at Double-A and you think projecting 100 points lower at the major league level is "ridiculous, rampant optimism?" A .290 average, .100 ISO and 8-9% walk rate translates into a .750 OPS. It's not a sure thing but it's not far-fetched. Again, he's 21 and has nearly an .850 OPS in AA. There are less than a dozen players in all of Double-A this year carrying an .850 OPS.

You're going to have to explain how on earth that's ridiculous optimism.

redsfandan
08-29-2012, 06:12 AM
With all due respect, doug's been just about as wrong on Hamilton as is humanly possible so far.

And if a kid with a ceiling of .300+/.400+/.425 with plus SS defense isn't something to get excited about, I don't know what is.

I see very few posters on Redszone that think Hamilton's going to be an All-Star next season or something like that. Many have (rightly, IMO) pointed to his superior BB rate, BB:K ratio, BA, obp, speed, and improving glove as proof positive of a true difference-maker in the one spot the Reds are lacking: leadoff. Major league equivalent hitters include Rafael Furcal, Juan Pierre, Brett Butler, Dave Collins, Otis Nixon, and Willie Wilson-- there's not a Hall of Famer in that group and very few All-Star nods.

Finally, I disagree that doug should "bring people back down to earth" on anyone. He should give his opinion without bias. IMO, doug tends to downgrade speed guys because he sees very little value in it. Others have disagreed with him on that for the five years he's been on the board and writing about prospects. In Hamilton's case, you have a guy who's got an 80 tool-- a true top of the line tool. It's one many national writers and prospect pundits have noted-- why shouldn't fans be excited about that?

I didn't say he isn't a prospect to get excited about. I just think some people are making the same mistake with Billy that is made with a lot of prospects. And that is that (some) people start dreaming about what kind of player the prospect could become if he improves this or that and they just get carried away with it.

I've never thought that Doug downgrades speed guys. My impression has been that he just didn't think that speed alone boosted the value of a prospect as much as what others thought. I can understand that. If I were to pick one tool for a prospect to be an 80 in it wouldn't be speed. Imo, the hit tool, power, and defense, mean more.

redsfandan
08-29-2012, 06:18 AM
I don't see any of this "ridiculous, rampant optimism" you speak of.
I do.


Maybe, but that just means a lot of people have realistic expectations of his ceiling. I guess I don't understand why the lack of pessimism is considered a bad thing, especially if people are at least being rational -- which it seems to me they are.

When I see posts that say he'll be 'truly outstanding defensively' or that he'll develop any kind of real power that doesn't sound realistic or rational to me. That sounds like someone spending too much time dreaming about what ifs.

Cooper
08-29-2012, 06:24 AM
I just want to get some confirmation on the vaule of steals -- this is what i have read:

1. guy steals 100 bases
2. gets caught 25 times
3. you double the amount of bases caught 25 x2 and subtract that from 100 bases stolen = 50 bases and then you multiplay that by .66 = 33.

At that point you can then add those bases to the players total bases and come up with a SLG%.

With Hamilton @ AA: 50 sb x 15(2)= 20 bases x .66 = 13 bases. You add that on to his total bases of 64 + 13 = 77 divided by 155 at-bats =

.498 SLG% along with a .429 OBA. I'm not sure the numbers make sense but if they do -you have a very valuable player.

Let's do his combined totals for the year: 154-72= 82 x.66= 54 +212= 266 total bases divided by 492 = .541 SLG + .418 OB% = .959 OPS

Are these values correct? Is this what his sorta true value is ??? i don't have enough sabermetric knowledge to know anymore -i've gotten old and have kept up with things as much as i used to.

mth123
08-29-2012, 06:55 AM
He's 21 and has nearly an .850 OPS at Double-A and you think projecting 100 points lower at the major league level is "ridiculous, rampant optimism?" A .290 average, .100 ISO and 8-9% walk rate translates into a .750 OPS. It's not a sure thing but it's not far-fetched. Again, he's 21 and has nearly an .850 OPS in AA. There are less than a dozen players in all of Double-A this year carrying an .850 OPS.

You're going to have to explain how on earth that's ridiculous optimism.

Your original post says


If he sustains a 10-12% walk rate, and around 18% strikeout rate, he'll fit in the above line. And that's not really ridiculously optimistic to expect.

The math based on the assumptions isn't where I'm having the issue. The IF itself to me is wildly optimistic. The 10 to 12% walk rate and 18% K Rate at the big league level are both still optimistic assumptions. We seem to forget that the two little letters "IF" in the front of the assumption carries the possibility that those things may not happen.

There are 38 qualifiers in the NL with an OPS of at least .750. To assume that a guy with a half a season in AA will be in that fairly select group seems wildly optimistic IMO. It's not impossible. It's worth giving a chance and finding out. But hitting in the big leagues and hitting in AA are not the same thing.

Trust me, I'm dreaming about it too. But I'm not assuming its automatic. I'd certainly give him a serious look at a spot where the Reds have a need (hint: its in the OF and not at SS), but I wouldn't deal a solid player to create a spot for him. I don't think it will take all that long to convert to CF. I'd begin that process no later than next spring with an eye on Hamilton getting the call by Memorial Day unless Stubbs takes a huge step forward. I'd probably start him out platooning with Stubbs. In AA, his OPS vs RHP is .893 vs only .727 vs. LHP. He seems a nice fit with Stubbs in a platoon until he can grab the job full time. That would be a low risk way to break him in. The Reds have gotten little from CF against RHP anyway. If he tanks, it doesn't make the team much worse off.

scott91575
08-29-2012, 07:02 AM
Your original post says



The math based on the assumptions isn't where I'm having the issue. The IF itself to me is wildly optimistic. The 10 to 12% walk rate and 18% K Rate at the big league level are both still optimistic assumptions. We seem to forget that the two little letters "IF" in the front of the assumption carries the possibility that those things may not happen.

There are 38 qualifiers in the NL with an OPS of at least .750. To assume that a guy with a half a season in AA will be in that fairly select group seems wildly optimistic IMO. It's not impossible. It's worth giving a chance and finding out. But hitting in the big leagues and hitting in AA are not the same thing.

Trust me, I'm dreaming about it too. But I'm not assuming its automatic. I'd certainly give him a serious look at a spot where the Reds have a need (hint: its in the OF and not at SS), but I wouldn't deal a solid player to create a spot for him. I don't think it will take all that long to convert to CF. I'd begin that process no later than next spring with an eye on Hamilton getting the call by Memorial Day unless Stubbs takes a huge step forward. I'd probably start him out platooning with Stubbs. In AA, his OPS vs RHP is .893 vs only .727 vs. LHP. He seems a nice fit with Stubbs in a platoon until he can grab the job full time. That would be a low risk way to break him in. The Reds have gotten little from CF against RHP anyway. If he tanks, it doesn't make the team much worse off.

Just a note on platooning him. He didn't start switch hitting until after he was drafted. I would not want to stunt his growth hitting right handed by bringing him up and not allowing him to go against left handers. I know people are really excited about this kid, but he needs at least another year in the minors to hone his hitting and even more his defensive abilities. If he is to be called up early, I would in no way want him to platoon.

Brutus
08-29-2012, 07:30 AM
Your original post says



The math based on the assumptions isn't where I'm having the issue. The IF itself to me is wildly optimistic. The 10 to 12% walk rate and 18% K Rate at the big league level are both still optimistic assumptions. We seem to forget that the two little letters "IF" in the front of the assumption carries the possibility that those things may not happen.

There are 38 qualifiers in the NL with an OPS of at least .750. To assume that a guy with a half a season in AA will be in that fairly select group seems wildly optimistic IMO. It's not impossible. It's worth giving a chance and finding out. But hitting in the big leagues and hitting in AA are not the same thing.

Trust me, I'm dreaming about it too. But I'm not assuming its automatic. I'd certainly give him a serious look at a spot where the Reds have a need (hint: its in the OF and not at SS), but I wouldn't deal a solid player to create a spot for him. I don't think it will take all that long to convert to CF. I'd begin that process no later than next spring with an eye on Hamilton getting the call by Memorial Day unless Stubbs takes a huge step forward. I'd probably start him out platooning with Stubbs. In AA, his OPS vs RHP is .893 vs only .727 vs. LHP. He seems a nice fit with Stubbs in a platoon until he can grab the job full time. That would be a low risk way to break him in. The Reds have gotten little from CF against RHP anyway. If he tanks, it doesn't make the team much worse off.

There are only about 12 guys in Double-A hitting at least .850, so why should I be pessimistic that a guy can be one of about 40 in the Majors hitting .750 at some point in his career? I think that sort of logic is showing that it's not I who's being ridiculous.

I didn't "forget" about the letters "if" being in front of the word. If means exactly what it means... if, hence the recognition that it's not automatic. Nonetheless, those aren't outrageous peripherals considering what he's doing now. Walk and strikeout rates do translate from minors to majors relatively well. Guys that take walks in the minors typically also draw them in the majors. So those peripherals aren't "ridiculous." Walks and strikeouts correlate to the majors better than anything.

But again, he doesn't even need to crack 10% walk rate to get to .750. A line of .290/.350/.400 can be achieved with roughly an 8-9% walk rate and .110 ISO. But I suppose you're going to say that's ridiculously optimistic too? It's not, but embellish if you must. On the contrary, it's actually extremely reasonable given his current line. Not a guarantee, no, but not wildly optimistic.

Frankly, I'm being extremely analytical about this. I have not even remotely been high on Hamilton until this year. And the only reason I'm high on him is not because of some perception that he'll be something he's not. It's because he's improved tremendously in areas that are usually very steady in translating to MLB success.

Brutus
08-29-2012, 07:39 AM
By the way, while they're certainly not perfect, minor league equivalencies do a decent job of forecasting players to the next level. Hamilton's MLE's, based on Double-A, forecast a current MLB line of:

.270/.346/.358/.706 (9.4% walk rate)

That's to say that right now, as a rookie, Hamilton would project to have roughly a .706 OPS based on his current production in AA.

So my .750 threshold for 3-4 years down the road should not at all be too unrealistic.

mdccclxix
08-29-2012, 09:52 AM
I don't expect AAA to hurt Billy's numbers unless pitching gets the better of him. The park effect in LOU should have nothing to say about Billy's game, which isn't over the fence.

OGB
08-29-2012, 10:00 AM
I don't see any of this "ridiculous, rampant optimism" you speak of. If Hamilton only projects as a .750 OPS bat with 80 steals, he would be of enormous value. One doesn't even have to expect power to ever develop to hope for a .350/.400/.750 situation.

If he sustains a 10-12% walk rate, and around 18% strikeout rate, he'll fit in the above line. And that's not really ridiculously optimistic to expect.

I don't mean just about Hamilton, I mean in general. Check out some of the threads where people project the Reds lineup for 2014 or 2015. You'll see plenty of people putting players likw Robert Stephenson and Yorman Rodriguez as starters in Cincy by then.

Hell, I've always been a fan of Yorman, but as a betting man, if you asked me to put money on his future prospects at this point, I'd wager on him never becoming a full time starter at the big league level. I only hope I'm way off base.

Back to the ridiculous optimism, there was a Sun Deck thread earlier this season where someone insisted it would be a borderline disappointment if this team didn't win over 100 games because "they had that much talent." It was then pointed out to the OP how few teams have won 100 games in baseball history.

bellhead
08-29-2012, 12:36 PM
In John Fay's blog today someone said Billy may have a Brett Butler type of career.

dougdirt
08-29-2012, 12:41 PM
Brett Butler's K rate in the Majors was 9.5%. Billy Hamilton is striking out roughly twice as often as that.

Rojo
08-29-2012, 01:58 PM
Brett Butler's K rate in the Majors was 9.5%. Billy Hamilton is striking out roughly twice as often as that.

Butler didn't play pro ball until he was 22.

Rojo
08-29-2012, 02:18 PM
The odds are always stacked against a minor leaguer. They're especially stacked against a player with some questionable tools -- and Hamilton has those. His arm looks "short" to me and he doesn't have any power and I don't know if he'll grow into any.

However, he's done just about everything you want a player like Billy Hamilton to do. How many burners (frustratingly) never learn to walk? How many never learn to bunt, slap, chop their way on base? Billy does those things and turned them into very good numbers. And, despite my reservations, he hasn't played himself off of SS yet.

Brutus
08-29-2012, 03:38 PM
I don't mean just about Hamilton, I mean in general. Check out some of the threads where people project the Reds lineup for 2014 or 2015. You'll see plenty of people putting players likw Robert Stephenson and Yorman Rodriguez as starters in Cincy by then.

Hell, I've always been a fan of Yorman, but as a betting man, if you asked me to put money on his future prospects at this point, I'd wager on him never becoming a full time starter at the big league level. I only hope I'm way off base.

Back to the ridiculous optimism, there was a Sun Deck thread earlier this season where someone insisted it would be a borderline disappointment if this team didn't win over 100 games because "they had that much talent." It was then pointed out to the OP how few teams have won 100 games in baseball history.

Do I think that fans tend to, as a generalization, overvalue their prospects? Yes. I do think that's true and it's true here.

I just haven't seen any unrealistic expectations for Hamilton specifically. Maybe there have been and I missed them, but I don't think .750 is unrealistic in terms of my own expectations.

bellhead
08-29-2012, 06:02 PM
Brett Butler's K rate in the Majors was 9.5%. Billy Hamilton is striking out roughly twice as often as that.

He's lowered his strikeout rate every year and increased his walk rate, maybe he'll hit that mark by his 3rd or 4th year in the majors.

Scrap Irony
08-29-2012, 07:19 PM
Brett Butler's K rate in the Majors was 9.5%. Billy Hamilton is striking out roughly twice as often as that.

Hamilton's 2012 K rate is 18.4%. His career K rate is just over 20%.

Willie Wilson struck out around 20% of the time in his minor league career.
Mookie Wilson struck out around 15% of the time.
Ron LeFlore struck out around 20% of his ABs over the course of his career.
Devon White struck out 21.2% of his minor league ABs.
Marquis Grissom struck out only 12% of his minor league ABs.
Lou Brock struck out 15.4% of his major league ABs. (His minor league K numbers have been lost in the ether of baseball statistics.)
Roberto Kelly struck out around 16% of his minor league ABs.
Vince Coleman struck out around 17% of the time he stepped to the minor league plate.
Omar Moreno topped the 20% mark in minor league K rate as well.
Al Bumbry topped 18% in his minor league numbers.

Everyone's different. Hamilton's learned how to switch hit, he started at a much younger age, and he's had a long, long way to go. The progress he's made has been substantial. None of that seems to gain much weight, though, in favor of an assumption (pitchers will suddently throw him strikes at higher levels) that's both impossible to prove and has proven largely wrong over the history of the game.

For the most part, the BB rate a minor league guy has will be close to his major league BB rate.

For the most part, the K rate a minor league guy has will be close to his major league K rate.

More credence and emphasis should be given to higher level numbers.

All of these trend positively for Hamilton.

Whether that's blind-eyed optimism or not, I suppose I'll let the others decide. I don't particularly care what they think of my opinion anyway. Ultimately, someone will be proven right and someone else wrong.

FTR, I may be full of hot air in thinking Hamilton is indeed a legitimate upper level prospect. That, at his ceiling, he's a game-changer. That, in his most likely iteration, he's a leadoff hitter that will provide above average obp and speed-adjusted wRC+.

Ultimately, we'll all see one way or another.

fearofpopvol1
08-29-2012, 08:04 PM
The thing to remember is that everyone here wants and hopes Hamilton turns out to be a stud. No one is rooting against him and those that are skeptical want to be wrong!

camisadelgolf
08-29-2012, 08:41 PM
The thing to remember is that everyone here wants and hopes Hamilton turns out to be a stud. No one is rooting against him and those that are skeptical want to be wrong!
Exactly. I think I can safely speak for Doug when I say that he would rather eat crow than watch Hamilton turn into less than what the optimists expect him to be.

texasdave
08-29-2012, 09:21 PM
There are enough Billy Hamilton threads floating around so I will just post this here.

Slidin' Billy was named California League MVP. He was the only Blaze player to make the postseason All-Star squad.


Reds shortstop Billy Hamilton earned Most Valuable Player honors for his huge season with Class A Advanced Bakersfield.

http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120829&content_id=37544934&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb

dougdirt
08-29-2012, 11:16 PM
He's lowered his strikeout rate every year and increased his walk rate, maybe he'll hit that mark by his 3rd or 4th year in the majors.

No, he hasn't. He lowered it from GCL to Billings, then went up in Dayton, then down in Bakersfield and now up again now that he is in Pensacola.

26.1%
17.7%
21.8%
17.9%
19.6%

That is his strikeout rate by level. Down, up, down, up. Lowest rate of his career was in Billings.

dougdirt
08-29-2012, 11:20 PM
Hamilton's 2012 K rate is 18.4%. His career K rate is just over 20%.

Willie Wilson struck out around 20% of the time in his minor league career.
Mookie Wilson struck out around 15% of the time.
Ron LeFlore struck out around 20% of his ABs over the course of his career.
Devon White struck out 21.2% of his minor league ABs.
Marquis Grissom struck out only 12% of his minor league ABs.
Lou Brock struck out 15.4% of his major league ABs. (His minor league K numbers have been lost in the ether of baseball statistics.)
Roberto Kelly struck out around 16% of his minor league ABs.
Vince Coleman struck out around 17% of the time he stepped to the minor league plate.
Omar Moreno topped the 20% mark in minor league K rate as well.
Al Bumbry topped 18% in his minor league numbers.

Everyone's different. Hamilton's learned how to switch hit, he started at a much younger age, and he's had a long, long way to go. The progress he's made has been substantial. None of that seems to gain much weight, though, in favor of an assumption (pitchers will suddently throw him strikes at higher levels) that's both impossible to prove and has proven largely wrong over the history of the game.

For the most part, the BB rate a minor league guy has will be close to his major league BB rate.

For the most part, the K rate a minor league guy has will be close to his major league K rate.

More credence and emphasis should be given to higher level numbers.

All of these trend positively for Hamilton.

Whether that's blind-eyed optimism or not, I suppose I'll let the others decide. I don't particularly care what they think of my opinion anyway. Ultimately, someone will be proven right and someone else wrong.

FTR, I may be full of hot air in thinking Hamilton is indeed a legitimate upper level prospect. That, at his ceiling, he's a game-changer. That, in his most likely iteration, he's a leadoff hitter that will provide above average obp and speed-adjusted wRC+.

Ultimately, we'll all see one way or another.

All of that because I said that Butler struck out half as often as Hamilton does?

Look, I get that Hamilton learned to switch hit as a pro (or really close to it) and that he started out as a pro much younger, but he isn't going to literally cut his strikeout rate in half. People just don't do that. He can absolutely be successful without doing it. But Brett Butler is not a good comp for him.

camisadelgolf
08-29-2012, 11:56 PM
All of that because I said that Butler struck out half as often as Hamilton does?

Look, I get that Hamilton learned to switch hit as a pro (or really close to it) and that he started out as a pro much younger, but he isn't going to literally cut his strikeout rate in half. People just don't do that. He can absolutely be successful without doing it. But Brett Butler is not a good comp for him.
Barry Bonds cut his strikeout rate by more than 2/3. ;)

REDREAD
08-30-2012, 01:05 PM
No, he hasn't. He lowered it from GCL to Billings, then went up in Dayton, then down in Bakersfield and now up again now that he is in Pensacola.

26.1%
17.7%
21.8%
17.9%
19.6%

That is his strikeout rate by level. Down, up, down, up. Lowest rate of his career was in Billings.

It's still trending in a positive (ie, favorable + downward) direction.
If he was able to have a lower K ratio in Bakersfield as opposed to Dayton, that's a good thing, isn't it?

He's been in AA for a limited time, I'm not sure the 2% difference is significant. It will be interesting to see what his ratio is next year.

I'm extremely impressed that Billy's offensive numbers have pretty much stayed the same from his promotion to AA (albeit, a small sample size).
That's made me even more optimistic about his future.

bubbachunk
08-30-2012, 01:10 PM
It's still trending in a positive (ie, favorable + downward) direction.
If he was able to have a lower K ratio in Bakersfield as opposed to Dayton, that's a good thing, isn't it?

He's been in AA for a limited time, I'm not sure the 2% difference is significant. It will be interesting to see what his ratio is next year.

I'm extremely impressed that Billy's offensive numbers have pretty much stayed the same from his promotion to AA (albeit, a small sample size).
That's made me even more optimistic about his future.

There is absolutely no trending in those numbers and the past 4 years are perfectly inline statistically speaking. The one outlier would be the first year at 26%

REDREAD
08-30-2012, 01:42 PM
There is absolutely no trending in those numbers and the past 4 years are perfectly inline statistically speaking. The one outlier would be the first year at 26%

It depends on your point of view.
If he's moving to a harder level and maintaining the same rate or a slightly lower rate, isn't that improving?

I actually agree with Doug on one thing.. If his rate at Bakerfield was 17%, and it's 19% now, that might mean Billy is struggling as he advances.. We will have to see how that plays out with more playing time.

Also, the 26% is not an outlier. It actually happened. Billy has improved.
He didn't strike out 26% of the time in his first year due to random fluctations or sampling error.

bubbachunk
08-30-2012, 04:11 PM
Actually I did chart the rates and none of them are out of control. Even if you make control limits based on the last 4 points the 26.1% would still fall inside the limits.

If you want to claim that due to league advancedment his rates have actually trended then you need some way to normalize the data for such a factor. Because as far as statistics are concerned when you are doing an I-chart 17% at low A=17% at high A.

Lastly, it statisically would not be surprising if next year if he struck out at over the prevous 26% rate. It would be within the limits of his past results.

Scrap Irony
08-30-2012, 08:20 PM
Brett Butler is not a good comp for him.

If you're talking pure numbers (and it's hard to tell if you are), I'd agree, as Butler didn't hit the upper minors until he was 24.

But their style of play is very similar.

Both attempt to use the bunt as a weapon not only for infield hits, but as a way to boost doubles and triples down the lines.

Both sacrifice power for BA and won't swing at pitches out of the zone.

Both utilize speed as their primary weapon.

If style of play counts, Butler is the type of player Hamilton looks to be patterning his game after.

RedsManRick
09-01-2012, 02:39 PM
What's crazy about Brett Butler is how flat/plateaued his career was. At this best, he hit .300/.400/.400. I don't think Hamilton will strike out as little or walk as much, but it has a nice prime of .280/.350/.380, plays good up-the-middle defense and steals 60+ bags at an 80% clip, that's a very valuable player.

Maybe Carl Crawford with a little less power is a better comp.

corkedbat
09-01-2012, 03:22 PM
Even if their intent is to keep Billy at SS for now, I'd still send him to the Fall Instructional League and/or the Arizona Fall League to get his feet wet in CF just to open up options a bit.

Dan
09-02-2012, 10:25 AM
Strikeout rate is irrelevant without taking into account the walk rate as well. BH walls nearly as much as he strikes out. That is a good thing, and bodes well, no matter his stand alone strikeout rate.