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View Full Version : Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL



Caveman Techie
11-21-2012, 11:03 AM
according to Sports Illustrated/Verducci.

Here is the link to the article http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/11/20/arizona-fall-league-top-prospects/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

mattfeet
11-21-2012, 11:31 AM
Nice!

Scrap Irony
11-21-2012, 11:33 AM
What I like to hear is Verducci's talk of his gap power. As I keep insisting, he's not a guy with 20 power-- he's got a line drive stroke that will help (along with the best speed in baseball) produce a bunch of extra base hits.

mattfeet
11-21-2012, 11:44 AM
What I like to hear is Verducci's talk of his gap power. As I keep insisting, he's not a guy with 20 power-- he's got a line drive stroke that will help (along with the best speed in baseball) produce a bunch of extra base hits.

Agreed. His first AB in the AFL Champ Game was a nice demonstration of what he could bring to the table. He DOES need to work on his routes, but I think he's going to be a nice fit.

MartyFan
11-21-2012, 12:29 PM
Just pondering this...Hamilton took REALLY WELL to CF in the AFL...DiDi has a really solid arm at SS and is sighted a few times in the AFL as giving the Reds an option or two at SS...

Wild wondering starts here.

Could the Reds be confident enough in these two to bring them up to the MLB level this coming season???

Didi at SS
Cozart at 3B
Hamilton in CF
Frazier in LF

I know it sounds crazy but defensively it would be pretty sound and as for run production??? well, that is the mystery.

Frazier is a RH bat with decent power.
Hamilton the top of the order bat.

Cozart is a good defender and could more than likely transition to 3B.

Didi is what I described above.

That would put the MLB starting roster under control for YEARS...is it quality enough to win???

Not saying they will or should do this but interesting to let your mind wonder sometimes.

PuffyPig
11-21-2012, 12:31 PM
Cozart's bat at thirdbase is well below average. At SS he's doable.

Better to flip Cozart for a 3B, as his value is much greater as a SS.

MikeThierry
11-21-2012, 12:37 PM
What type of hitter do you see Hamilton developing into? An Ichiro type?

MikeThierry
11-21-2012, 12:41 PM
The other thing I'm looking at with his minor league stats is the amount of strikeouts he has. Do you all think he's going to be a strikeout machine in the majors or will he be able to correct that?

*BaseClogger*
11-21-2012, 12:54 PM
The other thing I'm looking at with his minor league stats is the amount of strikeouts he has. Do you all think he's going to be a strikeout machine in the majors or will he be able to correct that?

I think Michael Bourn has been cited as the best comp, albeit with a bit more speed/power...

MikeThierry
11-21-2012, 01:00 PM
I think Michael Bourn has been cited as the best comp, albeit with a bit more speed/power...

That would be great if he could put up the epic defense of a Michael Bourn.

dougdirt
11-21-2012, 02:09 PM
What type of hitter do you see Hamilton developing into? An Ichiro type?

If all goes well, Michael Bourn. Someone mentioned earlier with more power, but I don't see that. More speed, sure. But I don't see the more power part happening.

MrRedLegger
11-21-2012, 02:24 PM
If all goes well, Michael Bourn. Someone mentioned earlier with more power, but I don't see that. More speed, sure. But I don't see the more power part happening.

How much power can a 160-lb man yield? Luckily, he doesn't have a big need for it.

*BaseClogger*
11-21-2012, 02:26 PM
How much power can a 160-lb man yield? Luckily, he doesn't have a big need for it.

Alfonso Soriano?

dougdirt
11-21-2012, 02:37 PM
How much power can a 160-lb man yield? Luckily, he doesn't have a big need for it.

Everyone has a need for power. It makes players better. It makes their BABIP less important to be productive. He simply doesn't have the swing and strength for it.

PuffyPig
11-21-2012, 04:08 PM
The other thing I'm looking at with his minor league stats is the amount of strikeouts he has. Do you all think he's going to be a strikeout machine in the majors or will he be able to correct that?


As long as you walk lots the K's won't matter.

Many players K alot because they work the count deep and also walk tons. Dunn comes to mind.

Stubbs just seems to K. Hamilton is, I believe, trying to walk lots to take advantage of his speed.

VR
11-21-2012, 09:46 PM
He Ops'ed .635.....which means it wasn't based on lighting up the league. I think that in itself is encouraging.

traderumor
11-21-2012, 10:09 PM
He Ops'ed .635.....which means it wasn't based on lighting up the league. I think that in itself is encouraging.
I'm not following what is encouraging about a .635 OPS.

757690
11-21-2012, 10:09 PM
He Ops'ed .635.....which means it wasn't based on lighting up the league. I think that in itself is encouraging.

I think Hamilton's stats are kinda irrelevant, like many top prospects. Like guys like Trout, Harper, Rizzo, Alonso and so many others, it takes watching him play to fully appreciate how good he is. Everyone who sees him, sees a future major leaguer. His stats are going to fluxuate as he learns, matures and gets better, so they don't tell us nearly as just watching him play. That tells us that he's special.

traderumor
11-21-2012, 10:12 PM
I think Hamilton's stats are kinda irrelevant, like many top prospects. Like guys like Trout, Harper, Rizzo, Alonso and so many others, it takes watching him play to fully appreciate how good he is. Everyone who sees him, sees a future major leaguer. His stats are going to fluxuate as he learns, matures and gets better, so they don't tell us nearly as just watching him play. That tells us that he's special.Well, they may be in this case due to sample size, but I don't think his minor league history is irrelevant. I'd say making any bold predictions based on AFL play is not particularly relevant.

VR
11-22-2012, 02:23 AM
I think Hamilton's stats are kinda irrelevant, like many top prospects. Like guys like Trout, Harper, Rizzo, Alonso and so many others, it takes watching him play to fully appreciate how good he is. Everyone who sees him, sees a future major leaguer. His stats are going to fluxuate as he learns, matures and gets better, so they don't tell us nearly as just watching him play. That tells us that he's special.

Pre-cisely.

dougdirt
11-22-2012, 02:56 AM
I'd say making any bold predictions based on AFL play is not particularly relevant.

Correct. Mike Trout was TERRIBLE last season in the AFL. Had a 7-1 strikeout to walk ratio. Didn't hit. Just brutal. This year, he was easily the best player in baseball.

And no, I am in no way comparing Hamilton to Trout. Just that stats, particularly when you get to November, in a small sample size, mean very little.

RedsManRick
11-22-2012, 12:47 PM
In a given year, the MLB leader in baserunning runs adds about 10-12 runs on the bases. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hamilton add 15+ runs. If he plays plus defense and puts up a .270/.330/.350 line, that's something like 5 wins.

M2
11-23-2012, 03:02 AM
In a given year, the MLB leader in baserunning runs adds about 10-12 runs on the bases. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hamilton add 15+ runs. If he plays plus defense and puts up a .270/.330/.350 line, that's something like 5 wins.

Hamilton may be the guy who causes the numbers community to fall deeply in love with the running game. Speed may even become the new hip thing, especially because younger players tend to be faster and they make less money (e.g. don't pay for Grandpa Twentyhomers when Swifty McZoom in AAA can generate more value with his legs).

Cooper
11-23-2012, 04:16 AM
Wondering also if we are getting to the tipping point with catchers not being able to throw -from what i understand the 1950's were full of catchers who could not throw real well, but it didn't matter -no one attempted to take advantage of this limitation. Maury Wills comes along and exposes it and all the sudden catcher's defense becomes important part of what is needed. Kind of cool how the games changes.

Dan
11-23-2012, 10:10 AM
As long as you walk lots the K's won't matter.

Many players K alot because they work the count deep and also walk tons. Dunn comes to mind.

Stubbs just seems to K. Hamilton is, I believe, trying to walk lots to take advantage of his speed.

I've been saying the same thing for years. A 2-1 K-BB ratio or better to me indicates a player that's going to be successful.

Vottomatic
11-23-2012, 11:08 AM
I'd make him the starting CFer next season and pay Votto additional money to mentor Hamilton's plate discipline/hitting. :thumbup:

MikeThierry
11-23-2012, 01:42 PM
I've been saying the same thing for years. A 2-1 K-BB ratio or better to me indicates a player that's going to be successful.

I was sort of thinking the same thing. Strikeouts, at least in my eyes, are the one stat that isn't really dependent on the league that player is in. It's a sign of approach, which translates at all levels. It gives me hope that a guy like Oscar Tavera (10.5% K rate) will have a measure of success in the big leagues. I think a guy with a low K rate will at the very least project to be a middle of the road big league player.

M2
11-23-2012, 09:21 PM
Make a list of the worst hitters ever and you will find it is also a list of guys with low K rates. Then go to the league SLG leaders in any given years and you'll see Ks aplenty.

Superdude
11-23-2012, 11:50 PM
Make a list of the worst hitters ever and you will find it is also a list of guys with low K rates. Then go to the league SLG leaders in any given years and you'll see Ks aplenty.

Once you hit the pros, production is all that matters. In the minors though, K's are a huge red flag IMO.

Steve4192
11-24-2012, 09:01 AM
Once you hit the pros, production is all that matters. In the minors though, K's are a huge red flag IMO.

Meh.

Guys who strikeout in the majors also strikeout in the minors. The days of Joe DiMaggio types who are crazy productive and never strikeout are long gone. Those guys don't exist anymore.

That said, I will agree that K's are a mildly useful player evaluation tool. If a guy is putting up fantastic batting averages in the minors AND strikes out a ton, that is definitely an indicator that he might not be able to replicate his success in the majors. Of course, batting average isn't terribly important in the grand scheme of things, so the predictive value of K's in regards to BA is limited. However, it does become more important if the player in question is strongly BA dependent (no power or walks).

How does this apply to Billy Hamilton? Not much IMO. For one, Billy's strikeout rate is decent. He's not particularly difficult to strikeout, but he's not particularly easy to strikeout either. He's also not a completely BA dependent hitter. He delivers 30-40 XBH per season and has a very good walk rate. I know some folks think those walks will disappear once he hits the majors, but I'm not so sure. Almost all of the walk-averse slap hitting speedsters whose I have looked up were just as walk-averse in the minor leagues. Their walks didn't disappear as major league pitchers challenged them. They never walked. As long as Hamilton maintains his current approach at the plate, I think his walk rate will carry over to the big leagues.

lollipopcurve
11-24-2012, 09:39 AM
The BBs and the Ks go together, to an extent. Because Hamilton is willing to take pitches and get to two strikes, his ABs are more likely to result in walks or Ks. The BBs will go down in the bigs, for sure, so he's going to have to develop a little peskier two strike approach in order to bring the Ks down too, I would think.

Steve4192
11-24-2012, 10:44 AM
The BBs and the Ks go together, to an extent. Because Hamilton is willing to take pitches and get to two strikes, his ABs are more likely to result in walks or Ks. The BBs will go down in the bigs, for sure, so he's going to have to develop a little peskier two strike approach in order to bring the Ks down too, I would think.

Not sure I agree.

Hamilton's strikeout rate actually DROPPED as he got more selective at the plate and took more walks. Not swinging at the pitcher's pitch is a tried-and-true method to make better contact.

I'm also not sold on his BB rate plummeting once he hits the bigs. As I mentioned, most of the speedsters who are allergic to walks in the majors were just as allergic to them in the minors. Selective slap-hitting speedsters like Brett Butler and Luis Castillo were able to carry their quality walk rates from the minors into the majors. I see no reason to believe Hamilton cannot do the same.

Scrap Irony
11-24-2012, 10:57 AM
The BBs will go down in the bigs, for sure...

I agree that this sounds like it ought to be true.

Looking at specific players that are similar to Hamilton in terms of speed and power (Willie Wilson, Brett Butler, Juan Pierre, Kenny Lofton, Rafael Furcal, Vince Coleman, Dee Gordon, Omar Moreno), that just isn't true. A few increase. Some actually improve their BB:K rate at the major league level. Most stay around the same.

lollipopcurve
11-24-2012, 11:30 AM
Looking at specific players that are similar to Hamilton in terms of speed and power (Willie Wilson, Brett Butler, Juan Pierre, Kenny Lofton, Rafael Furcal, Vince Coleman, Dee Gordon, Omar Moreno), that just isn't true. A few increase. Some actually improve their BB:K rate at the major league level. Most stay around the same.

Yeah, I'm just conjecturing here. I will guess that Hamilton's walk rate decreases initially. His K rate will remain high, especially if he's promoted soon. Over time, he'll work to bring it down.

Steve4192
11-24-2012, 12:03 PM
Yeah, I'm just conjecturing here. I will guess that Hamilton's walk rate decreases initially. His K rate will remain high, especially if he's promoted soon. Over time, he'll work to bring it down.

Hamilton doesn't have a 'high' K rate. He has been about league average at every stop in the minors. He K's in about 20% of plate appearances for his career, which is right in line with the average for each league he has played in. As a matter of fact, he was slightly better than average this year thanks to his 18% K rate while with Bakersfield. Though it bounced back up 20% once he was promoted to Pensacola, his K:BB ratio held steady thanks to a similar jump in his walk rate.

lollipopcurve
11-24-2012, 12:49 PM
Hamilton doesn't have a 'high' K rate. He has been about league average at every stop in the minors. He K's in about 20% of plate appearances for his career, which is right in line with the average for each league he has played in. As a matter of fact, he was slightly better than average this year thanks to his 18% K rate while with Bakersfield. Though it bounced back up 20% once he was promoted to Pensacola, his K:BB ratio held steady thanks to a similar jump in his walk rate.

Good info. To my eyes, he's got a pretty big swing for the kind of player he is. That'll probably bring some power with the Ks. Some may brand him a slap guy who should cut down his swing, and I'd like to see him sacrifice power with two strikes, but at this point there are not likely to be big changes in his mechanics.

dougdirt
11-24-2012, 01:04 PM
Hamilton doesn't have a 'high' K rate. He has been about league average at every stop in the minors. He K's in about 20% of plate appearances for his career, which is right in line with the average for each league he has played in. As a matter of fact, he was slightly better than average this year thanks to his 18% K rate while with Bakersfield. Though it bounced back up 20% once he was promoted to Pensacola, his K:BB ratio held steady thanks to a similar jump in his walk rate.

Sure, Hamilton doesn't have a high K rate..... except for when you compare him to other players who have no power, in which case he has a very high K rate. If he is going to have value at the plate, he can't strike out 20% of the time in the Majors.

Steve4192
11-24-2012, 01:23 PM
Sure, Hamilton doesn't have a high K rate..... except for when you compare him to other players who have no power, in which case he has a very high K rate. If he is going to have value at the plate, he can't strike out 20% of the time in the Majors.

I'm comparing him to the league as a whole, not individual players.

Also, for a guy you claim has no power, his slugging percentage sure does not support that opinion. His SLG was a tiny bit better than league average in the Pioneer, California, and Southern leagues and a tiny bit worse than average in the Midwest league. The only time he has been significantly worse than league average was his pathetic 2009 pro debut in the GCL. He's never going to be a home run threat, but he delivers enough extra base pop to keep pitchers honest.

dougdirt
11-24-2012, 01:28 PM
I'm comparing him to the league as a whole, not individual players.

Also, for a guy you claim has no power, his slugging percentage sure does not support that opinion. His SLG was a tiny bit better than league average in the Pioneer, California, and Southern leagues and a tiny bit worse than average in the Midwest league. The only time he has been significantly worse than league average was his pathetic 2009 pro debut in the GCL. He's never going to be a home run threat, but he delivers enough extra base pop to keep pitchers honest.

He has 7 career home runs in 4 minor league seasons and 3 or 4 of those are inside the park home runs. He has no power. He has a lot of speed and can turn singles into doubles, doubles into triples and a triple a year into a home run. Pitchers won't fear throwing him dead read middle of the zone fastballs.

This season he played in two incredibly friendly home run ballparks. He hit one baseball over the fence.

Steve4192
11-24-2012, 01:55 PM
He has 7 career home runs in 4 minor league seasons and 3 or 4 of those are inside the park home runs. He has no power. He has a lot of speed and can turn singles into doubles, doubles into triples and a triple a year into a home run. Pitchers won't fear throwing him dead read middle of the zone fastballs.

This season he played in two incredibly friendly home run ballparks. He hit one baseball over the fence.

I agree he lacks home run power. That doesn't mean he lacks extra base power. Doubles and triples matter too.

The notion that none of Billy's doubles and triples are legit because of his speed is poppycock. You still have to drive the ball into the gaps or down the lines to get an extra base hit no matter how fast you are. He might get a couple cheap doubles where he plops a ball in front of the fielder and catches him napping, but the vast majority of his extra base hits are legit drives that cause the fielder to run laterally or backwards, negating their ability to make a strong throw into the infield.

dougdirt
11-24-2012, 01:58 PM
I agree he lacks home run power. That doesn't mean he lacks extra base power. Doubles and triples matter too.

The notion that none of Billy's doubles and triples only come because of his speed is poppycock. You still have to drive the ball into the gaps or down the lines to get an extra base hit no matter how fast you are. He might get a couple cheap doubles where he plops a ball in front of the fielder and catches his napping, but the vast majority of his extra base hits are legit drives that cause the fielder to run laterally or backwards, negating their ability to make a strong throw into the infield.

Pitchers aren't scared to give up doubles.

Of course some of his doubles and triples are in the gaps. But pitchers aren't going out and fearing throwing a strike to a guy who isn't taking you deep. That means some of his walks will dry up. That means he is going to need to make more contact to remain a quality hitter.

The key for Hamilton is going to be just how many walks he can maintain at the MLB level.

TOBTTReds
11-24-2012, 01:59 PM
He has 7 career home runs in 4 minor league seasons and 3 or 4 of those are inside the park home runs. He has no power. He has a lot of speed and can turn singles into doubles, doubles into triples and a triple a year into a home run. Pitchers won't fear throwing him dead read middle of the zone fastballs.

This season he played in two incredibly friendly home run ballparks. He hit one baseball over the fence.

This.

He's a guy no pitcher should ever walk. There should be no fear in throwing him strikes.

EDIT to add: This isn't an insult, but they will make him earn his way on. Juan Pierre's scouting reports were always "throw him high fastballs to get him to hit the ball in the air. Throw him strikes." Hamilton's opponents will get similar instructions.

Steve4192
11-24-2012, 02:07 PM
The current major leaguer whose game is most similar to Billy's IMO is Michael Bourn. Bourne also struck out about 20% of the time in the minors and never cracked more than six home runs in a season. But he made up for those shortcomings at the plate by lacing doubles and triples all over the field and drawing his fair share of walks. Billy is doing the exact same things as Bourn and is doing it at a younger age. Bourne is still striking out a bunch and putting up quality offensive seasons despite his lack of HR power. There is no reason Billy can't do the same.

Steve4192
11-24-2012, 02:11 PM
This.

He's a guy no pitcher should ever walk. There should be no fear in throwing him strikes.

EDIT to add: This isn't an insult, but they will make him earn his way on. Juan Pierre's scouting reports were always "throw him high fastballs to get him to hit the ball in the air. Throw him strikes." Hamilton's opponents will get similar instructions.

The same could be said of Brett Butler. Or Luis Castillo. Or Michael Bourn. Regardless of whether a guy can hit the ball out of the park or not, good plate discipline will yield it's fair share of walks. As long as pitchers aren't knocking the bat out of his hands, Billy should be able to maintain a decent walk rate if he maintains his current approach.

dougdirt
11-24-2012, 02:41 PM
The current major leaguer whose game is most similar to Billy's IMO is Michael Bourn. Bourne also struck out about 20% of the time in the minors and never cracked more than six home runs in a season. But he made up for those shortcomings at the plate by lacing doubles and triples all over the field and drawing his fair share of walks. Billy is doing the exact same things as Bourn and is doing it at a younger age. Bourne is still striking out a bunch and putting up quality offensive seasons despite his lack of HR power. There is no reason Billy can't do the same.

Bourn is a decent comp, but let's be sure to note that Bourn hit more baseballs over the fence every full season he had in the minors than Hamilton has in his professional career. There is a difference between the lack of power of Hamilton and the lack of power of Bourn. Here is the difference though, we have seen that Bourn has been able to translate that skillset. We don't know if Hamilton can. A lot of guys with their profile haven't been able to. Until Hamilton shows that he can, people are going to be rightfully skeptical.

Steve4192
11-24-2012, 02:52 PM
Bourn is a decent comp, but let's be sure to note that Bourn hit more baseballs over the fence every full season he had in the minors than Hamilton has in his professional career. There is a difference between the lack of power of Hamilton and the lack of power of Bourn.

LOL

Talk about a specious argument just for the sake of being argumentative.

I doubt pitchers 'feared' Bourne's five HR power any more than they 'fear' Hamilton's two HR power. Two or three extra HR a year are meaningless. Neither guy is a HR threat in any way, shape or form. But that doesn't mean they aren't threats with the bat. Both Bourn and Hamilton hit lots of doubles and triples, and while pitchers might not fear doubles/triples as much as HR, they are still wary of giving them up.

dougdirt
11-24-2012, 02:56 PM
LOL

I doubt pitchers 'feared' Bourne's five HR power any more than they 'fear' Hamilton's two HR power. Two or three extra HR a year are meaningless. Neither guy is a HR threat in any way, shape or form. But that doesn't mean they aren't threats with the bat. Both Bourn and Hamilton hit lots of doubles and triples, and while pitchers might not fear doubles/triples as much as HR, they are still wary of giving them up.

I don't think they fear Bourn either. That wasn't really my point, it was that we know that Bourn was able to translate his skills and we don't know if Hamilton can yet.

I simply brought up Bourns power as a comparison as to just how little power Hamilton actually has. Bourn has no power at all. Yet he had more home runs each season go over the fence than Hamilton has in his entire career.

Scrap Irony
11-24-2012, 05:24 PM
Tom Verducci:

Hamilton, a former shortstop, took well to the transition to centerfield, and he is much more than a slap hitter. He does have gap power from both sides of the plate.

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/11/20/arizona-fall-league-top-prospects/index.html#ixzz2DAuSnMXV

Unnamed American League scout, from an ESPN article:

"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."

Same article:

He puts the right swing on the ball to generate lots of line drives..

From another Sports Illustrated article:

"He can swing the bat," says Griffey. "If [the Reds] do decide to call him up, I know he can handle the job really well, and it's not just pinch hitting and pinch running. He can play. Billy can handle the bat pretty good."

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/albert_chen/07/23/billy-hamilton-reds-stolen-base-record/index.html#ixzz2DAymhbqj

Again, Hamilton has power. It's not great power, but, mixed with his speed, the power he does have plays up to a significant degree. That will allow him to out-slug his true power score almost every year.

If you look at the minor league power numbers of guys like Dee Gordon and other no-hit or light-hitting guys with monster speed, you'll see they didn't hit with power in the minors either. Yet, Hamilton has shown himself as an above average slugger.

Again, while he's certainly not a threat to hit double figures in homers, he does have decent minor league power. If that power continues as he moves up the ladder, no one knows. But he's got it.

Superdude
11-24-2012, 05:29 PM
I don't think they fear Bourn either. That wasn't really my point, it was that we know that Bourn was able to translate his skills and we don't know if Hamilton can yet.

I simply brought up Bourns power as a comparison as to just how little power Hamilton actually has. Bourn has no power at all. Yet he had more home runs each season go over the fence than Hamilton has in his entire career.

That's a good point about the translation of his numbers. To me, his value is very tied up in how his walks and BABIP hold up at the big league level. If pitchers start pounding strikes up in the zone and major league infielders are significantly more successful at turning his groundballs into outs, we could see some struggles IMO. We really won't know until he gets up here.

dougdirt
11-24-2012, 05:38 PM
When a scout says you are strong enough to defend yourself at the plate it tells you all that you need to know about how little power someone has. He has a career minor league IsoP of .100 despite playing in three very friendly home run ballparks (Billings, Bakersfield and Pensacola).

He had 0 home runs in 2009 with the GCL Reds.
He had 2 home runs in 2010 with Billings. One left the park.
He had 3 home runs in 2011 with Dayton. Two left the park.
He had 2 home runs in 2012, one with Bakersfield and one with Pensacola. One left the park.

How people can continue to sit back and say he has power boggles my mind. He doesn't. At all. Yes, he has more power than Norris Hopper did. That doesn't mean he has power though. He has 1711 career plate appearances and has hit the ball over the fence four times.

He can succeed with that, but the guy simply doesn't have power.

Steve4192
11-24-2012, 06:35 PM
When a scout says you are strong enough to defend yourself at the plate it tells you all that you need to know about how little power someone has. He has a career minor league IsoP of .100 despite playing in three very friendly home run ballparks (Billings, Bakersfield and Pensacola).

He had 0 home runs in 2009 with the GCL Reds.
He had 2 home runs in 2010 with Billings. One left the park.
He had 3 home runs in 2011 with Dayton. Two left the park.
He had 2 home runs in 2012, one with Bakersfield and one with Pensacola. One left the park.

How people can continue to sit back and say he has power boggles my mind. He doesn't. At all. Yes, he has more power than Norris Hopper did. That doesn't mean he has power though. He has 1711 career plate appearances and has hit the ball over the fence four times.

He can succeed with that, but the guy simply doesn't have power.

Why do you keep turning this into an argument about home runs? No one is saying he has home run power. Everyone agrees with you on that count.

Where we don't agree is on his ability to generate extra base power. Billy has more than enough life in his bat to shoot the ball between outfielders and make them turn their hips. The guy had 38 extra base hits this year. Those weren't all wacky Billy Hamilton infield doubles and triples. The vast majority of them were legit line drives where Billy squared the ball up on the barrel of the bat and drove it.

dougdirt
11-24-2012, 06:52 PM
If you can't hit the ball over the fence, then you don't have power. If you want to refer to power as something other than home runs, you can, but it isn't. Hamilton can hit the ball into the gaps. Great. He is a professional baseball player. He better be able to do that. Everyone else can do it too.

I keep talking about home run power, because if you don't show it, pitchers have no reason to not just pound the strikezone. And if they pound the strikezone, you aren't going to walk and you are going to have to hit the ball. Hamilton has shown that he can be struck out, and often. So it comes down to what can he do to make up for this? Can he still walk enough? Can he lower the strikeouts? He is going to need to do one of those two things if he is going to succeed offensively.

Scrap Irony
11-24-2012, 07:13 PM
If you can't hit the ball over the fence, then you don't have power. If you want to refer to power as something other than home runs, you can, but it isn't. Hamilton can hit the ball into the gaps. Great. He is a professional baseball player. He better be able to do that. Everyone else can do it too.

I keep talking about home run power, because if you don't show it, pitchers have no reason to not just pound the strikezone. And if they pound the strikezone, you aren't going to walk and you are going to have to hit the ball. Hamilton has shown that he can be struck out, and often. So it comes down to what can he do to make up for this? Can he still walk enough? Can he lower the strikeouts? He is going to need to do one of those two things if he is going to succeed offensively.

You keep insisting pitchers are going to somehow hammer him worse than other hitters, yet ignore evidence that shows hitters just like him in the past. The BB rates of those players didn't go down. Why would Hamilton's BB rate be the only one to change?

dougdirt
11-24-2012, 07:30 PM
You keep insisting pitchers are going to somehow hammer him worse than other hitters, yet ignore evidence that shows hitters just like him in the past. The BB rates of those players didn't go down. Why would Hamilton's BB rate be the only one to change?

Plenty of guys walk rates go down in the Majors from where they were in the minors. And pitchers will "hammer him worse", at least in pounding the zone, because there should be no fear in throwing him a right down the middle fastball.

lollipopcurve
11-24-2012, 08:38 PM
there should be no fear in throwing him a right down the middle fastball.

Very rarely do major league pitchers pitch anybody that way. They stay out of the middle of the plate as much as possible, especially with fastballs. Thinking Hamilton will be pitched that way is naive, at best.

Superdude
11-24-2012, 08:39 PM
Plenty of guys walk rates go down in the Majors from where they were in the minors. And pitchers will "hammer him worse", at least in pounding the zone, because there should be no fear in throwing him a right down the middle fastball.

This point still intrigues me though. You would think that when facing a guy like Hamilton that can't hurt you and is pesky on the base paths, throwing anything but strikes would be a borderline sin, but Michael Bourn's always walked quite a bit. Brett Gardner walks a lot. Granted, these guys have marginally more power than Hamilton, but I doubt five homers is enough to substantially change a pitcher's strategy.

dougdirt
11-24-2012, 09:02 PM
Very rarely do major league pitchers pitch anybody that way. They stay out of the middle of the plate as much as possible, especially with fastballs. Thinking Hamilton will be pitched that way is naive, at best.

And most Major Leaguers can hit that pitch over the fence.

757690
11-24-2012, 09:08 PM
If you can't hit the ball over the fence, then you don't have power. If you want to refer to power as something other than home runs, you can, but it isn't. Hamilton can hit the ball into the gaps. Great. He is a professional baseball player. He better be able to do that. Everyone else can do it too.

I keep talking about home run power, because if you don't show it, pitchers have no reason to not just pound the strikezone. And if they pound the strikezone, you aren't going to walk and you are going to have to hit the ball. Hamilton has shown that he can be struck out, and often. So it comes down to what can he do to make up for this? Can he still walk enough? Can he lower the strikeouts? He is going to need to do one of those two things if he is going to succeed offensively.

From a pitchers standpoint, the difference between giving up a double and a home run is minimal. They both clear the bases, most of the time with a double, all of the time with a HR. That's what a pitcher worries most about with runners in base.

The biggest difference is with the bases empty. But let's be honest, a ball to wall hit by Hamilton is going to be a triple. I've seen him turn it into an inside the park Homer a few times.

Basically, if Hamilton can drive the ball to the wall, pitchers will fear him, or at least they should.

mth123
11-24-2012, 09:22 PM
From a pitchers standpoint, the difference between giving up a double and a home run is minimal. They both clear the bases, most of the time with a double, all of the time with a HR. That's what a pitcher worries most about with runners in base.

The biggest difference is with the bases empty. But let's be honest, a ball to wall hit by Hamilton is going to be a triple. I've seen him turn it into an inside the park Homer a few times.

Basically, if Hamilton can drive the ball to the wall, pitchers will fear him, or at least they should.

OTOH, if they walk him its likely he ends up on third anyway. Let him hit it and he'll be out over 50% of the time. Walking him would result in him on base every time. They'll catch him trying to steal occassionally, but not at the same rate he'd be out if they throw him a cookie.

If there are guys on base in front of him, they'll be more careful to prevent driving in runners, but if they walk him then, he won't be able to run anyway.

Wonderful Monds
11-24-2012, 10:20 PM
And most Major Leaguers can hit that pitch over the fence.

And Hamilton would drive it to the wall for a bases clearing double with runners on, or a triple maybe even a ITPHR without runners.

I've read two of the more ridiculous assertions I've ever read on RedsZone in this thread and they are 1, that a pitcher does not care about giving up a double, and 2, that Billy Hamilton could not AT LEAST hit a fastball dead down the middle for a line drive.

Superdude
11-24-2012, 10:28 PM
And most Major Leaguers can hit that pitch over the fence.

Michael Bourn couldn't up until last year, but he wasn't getting BP fastballs. Do you think ego could play into it? Maybe a lot of pitchers aren't too keen to the idea of letting a guy like Bourn or Hamilton take their best hack at a hitters pitch.

dougdirt
11-25-2012, 01:52 AM
And Hamilton would drive it to the wall for a bases clearing double with runners on, or a triple maybe even a ITPHR without runners.

I've read two of the more ridiculous assertions I've ever read on RedsZone in this thread and they are 1, that a pitcher does not care about giving up a double, and 2, that Billy Hamilton could not AT LEAST hit a fastball dead down the middle for a line drive.

I don't think anyone has said Hamilton couldn't hit a dead down the middle fastball for a line drive. But I have seen plenty of guys miss that pitch too. It isn't that Hamilton can't hit it, it is that pitchers shouldn't be scared to throw it to him. Of course pitchers CARE about giving up a double, but Billy Hamilton isn't out there pounding out extra-base hits. He played in two very friendly hitter parks this season and didn't have 40 XBH with 600 trips to the plate.

I am done arguing about this. Pitchers shouldn't fear throwing pitches to Hamilton that they should fear throwing most other Major Leaguers because he can't do with it what they can. Because of that, I think we need to take more of a wait and see with his walk rate.

kpresidente
11-25-2012, 10:56 AM
How people can continue to sit back and say he has power boggles my mind. He doesn't. At all. Yes, he has more power than Norris Hopper did.

I'll take Norris Hopper's OBP from Hamilton :)

REDREAD
11-26-2012, 02:02 AM
I don't think they fear Bourn either. That wasn't really my point, it was that we know that Bourn was able to translate his skills and we don't know if Hamilton can yet. .

If he can hit ML pitching for a decent average, he will get his share of walks, due to his good batting eye. If ML pitchers can overpower him or find a hole, then I agree with you Doug, the selective batting eye isn't as useful. The same could be said for any prospect.

Most pitchers do not want to put a speedy guy like Hamilton on base (especially to lead off the game).. He should get decent pitches to hit, even though he has no power.

Superdude
11-26-2012, 02:52 AM
Most pitchers do not want to put a speedy guy like Hamilton on base (especially to lead off the game).. He should get decent pitches to hit, even though he has no power.

I think that's the whole point. If pitchers make him earn his way on, Hamilton hasn't yet displayed the kind of contact ability to hold up a decent OBP on batting average alone.

REDREAD
11-26-2012, 11:07 AM
I think that's the whole point. If pitchers make him earn his way on, Hamilton hasn't yet displayed the kind of contact ability to hold up a decent OBP on batting average alone.

I guess I am talking in a general sense.

Think about Anderson Machado (painful memory, I know). He had a high BB rate in the minors, but it dropped off in the majors because he could not hit ML pitching.

I have no numbers to back this up, but here's my theory on walks.
Some situations, the pitcher doesn't mind walking the batter.. (like walking Hannigan with men in scoring position with pitcher on deck, walking Dunn when he's the go ahead runner and EdE is on deck)... However, most pitchers try to minimize walks... So if a hitter has a good batting eye and can competently handle ML pitching, he will get his share of walks.

Now, I don't know if Billy will be able to handle ML pitching for sure, but I'm optimistic. I don't think a pitcher will want to walk him under any circumstances due to his speed, but I think he will get his share of unintentional walks (like most hitters). His minor league numbers seems to indicate that he takes a lot of pitches and shows patience. That's promising.
If Billy has a hole in his swing that ML pitchers can exploit, then his batting eye won't make a difference.. ML pitchers will exploit that, and he won't get many walks.

So in other words, I don't think Billy's lack of power will hurt his OBP at all.
Naturally, he'll walk less than Votto, but there's no reason that he can't walk at the rate of an average ML player (or perhaps slightly better). So, I guess I am partially agreeing with you and Doug.. He's not going to be elite at drawing walks, but he should be fine.

Hoosier Red
11-26-2012, 11:54 AM
Now, I don't know if Billy will be able to handle ML pitching for sure, but I'm optimistic. I don't think a pitcher will want to walk him under any circumstances due to his speed, but I think he will get his share of unintentional walks (like most hitters). His minor league numbers seems to indicate that he takes a lot of pitches and shows patience. That's promising.
If Billy has a hole in his swing that ML pitchers can exploit, then his batting eye won't make a difference.. ML pitchers will exploit that, and he won't get many walks.



I basically agree with this assessment. I think a lot of it has to do with a pitcher's willingness to challenge him.

When a pitcher is facing Joey Votto, especially with a runner on base, the pitcher knows he better "paint it black" because any pitch that sees too much of the plate is liable to get deposited in the home bullpen at GABP. Of course not every pitch will be so violently sent back, but a large enough number of them will that a pitcher knows if he's going to err, it will be on the outside of the strikezone. If a pitcher gets through an at bat with Votto and walks him, it's often times the "least bad" thing that can happen.

With Hamilton on the other hand, a walk is often times the worst thing that can happen. It puts him on base, he's liable to steal a bag, or two, and all of a sudden, a walk is a triple. So a pitcher is not as likely to be pitching to the absolute corners of the strike zone, instead, if he misses his location, he'll miss in the strike zone until Hamilton shows that Hamilton hitting is more fearsome than Hamilton watching.

Steve4192
11-26-2012, 02:39 PM
I basically agree with this assessment. I think a lot of it has to do with a pitcher's willingness to challenge him.

When a pitcher is facing Joey Votto, especially with a runner on base, the pitcher knows he better "paint it black" because any pitch that sees too much of the plate is liable to get deposited in the home bullpen at GABP. Of course not every pitch will be so violently sent back, but a large enough number of them will that a pitcher knows if he's going to err, it will be on the outside of the strikezone. If a pitcher gets through an at bat with Votto and walks him, it's often times the "least bad" thing that can happen.

With Hamilton on the other hand, a walk is often times the worst thing that can happen. It puts him on base, he's liable to steal a bag, or two, and all of a sudden, a walk is a triple. So a pitcher is not as likely to be pitching to the absolute corners of the strike zone, instead, if he misses his location, he'll miss in the strike zone until Hamilton shows that Hamilton hitting is more fearsome than Hamilton watching.

I really don't understand how pitchers throwing Hamilton meatballs over the middle of the plate is a BAD thing. If they want to do that .... awesome. Even a mediocre major league hitter can hit pitches down the middle of the plate. Billy just might win a batting title if they consistently feed him meatballs because they are scared of walking him.

IslandRed
11-26-2012, 08:56 PM
Yeah. Hamilton may not have any power but he doesn't have a slap-hitter's plate approach for the most part. He's got some patience, and working deep into counts is going to lead to both walks and strikeouts, as others have pointed out. If pitchers aggressively pound the zone on him and he adjusts, the walks will go down but so too should the strikeouts, if he's getting more hittable pitches and not getting to two strikes as often.

Which is a long-winded way of saying "danged if I know how it's going to turn out."