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View Full Version : Hamilton to start in AAA....



_Sir_Charles_
01-24-2013, 10:09 AM
http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2013/01/24/hamilton-to-start-year-in-triple-a/

Not exactly unexpected, but news nonetheless.

mdccclxix
01-24-2013, 10:13 AM
Ugh, comment got deleted after showing as a doublepost.


What's this mean for the AAA OF? Is Lamarre in RF then or back to AA?

mdccclxix
01-24-2013, 10:15 AM
Can't wait to see the Bats in LOU and/or IND.

mdccclxix
01-24-2013, 10:33 AM
“He’ll be playing center field and working on his offense and his overall game,” Jocketty said. “He’s going to probably end up bunting a lot, with his speed. Bunting and running are his two key tools.”

What are the possibilities that he can be effective bunting over the long haul while also keeping a mid .300's OBP? I think of Ichiro's ability to run out infield hits, but he's a generational talent with the bat. Can Hamilton really "steal first" for a long time against MLB competition? How does he compare with Campana in Chicago?

Steve4192
01-24-2013, 11:48 AM
What's this mean for the AAA OF? Is Lamarre in RF then or back to AA?

I don't think it would hurt Lamarre to have him learn the corner OF positions. His future is probably as a reserve OF anyway. Having experience playing all three positions will only bolster his chances of sticking on a MLB roster some day.

Steve4192
01-24-2013, 11:54 AM
What are the possibilities that he can be effective bunting over the long haul while also keeping a mid .300's OBP? I think of Ichiro's ability to run out infield hits, but he's a generational talent with the bat. Can Hamilton really "steal first" for a long time against MLB competition? How does he compare with Campana in Chicago?

I don't think you need to be a generational talent to be effective bunting for base hits. The best I ever saw at that particular skill, better than Ichiro even, was Brett Butler, and I don't consider him anywhere near a generational talent. Billy just needs to judiciously pick his spots.

Anytime he catches the infield napping by not adjusting their depth when he comes to the plate, he can drop a bunt. Anytime he is facing a pitcher who is notorious for pounding the strikezone with fastballs to get ahead in the count, he can drop the bunt. Anytime he is a facing a team that has a lead glove or a suspect arm playing in the infield, he can drop the bunt. That is what Butler did and was a big part of why he was so successful with it.

mdccclxix
01-24-2013, 12:39 PM
Butler had a very nice career indeed. Out of 9545 PA's he had a 5% bunt rate and batted .462 on those attempts. This is a lofty goal for Hamilton, but he could reach it. Perhaps it would be the right path to have him bunt.

mdccclxix
01-24-2013, 12:44 PM
Ichiro isn't the bunter I thought. Nor is he the infield hitter. Bunts 1.7% of the time for a .621 average. Bats .151 on infield balls. I think Butler batted .212 when I looked on infield balls, I'm sure due to the larger volume of excellent bunting.

mdccclxix
01-24-2013, 12:55 PM
here's a neat break down on bunting with nobody on base:

http://uzrillusion2.blogspot.com/2012/03/bunting-for-hit.html


There's even a Juan Pierre discussion. And Willie T shows up for his 3 for 22 performance bunting in 2009!

Steve4192
01-24-2013, 01:09 PM
here's a neat break down on bunting with nobody on base:

http://uzrillusion2.blogspot.com/2012/03/bunting-for-hit.html


There's even a Juan Pierre discussion. And Willie T shows up for his 3 for 22 performance bunting in 2009!

It's awesome seeing the Commerce Comet in the all-time top ten. I wish more of the speedy sluggers in the game today would do the same when they come up with the bases empty. If nothing else, it would force infields to play them farther in and open up more opportunities base hits when they don't bunt.

JaxRed
01-24-2013, 01:40 PM
Ugh, comment got deleted after showing as a doublepost.


What's this mean for the AAA OF? Is Lamarre in RF then or back to AA?

I'd be surprised if Lamarre didn't start in AA

MikeS21
01-24-2013, 01:44 PM
Billy Hamilton's success will hinge on learning the Jedi mind tricks that good runners use on pitchers and defenders.

On simple ground balls, if Billy runs them out, even the best defenders will want to rush throws to first base. That will lead to fielding and/or throwing errors, and perhaps a few infield hits. And once Billy gets on first base, he can learn to dance around and distract the pitcher into committing balks and making mistakes to the hitters. Defenses will tend to play in and fielders will cheat toward the second and third base bags, which will create holes in the infield.

I want to see Hamilton work on the mental part of the game, where just the threat of him running can disrupt the pitching and defense. That part of his game won't show up in box scores, but it ought to be sweet for the 2-3-4 hitters in the line-up.

RedsManRick
01-24-2013, 01:51 PM
Here's to hoping Hamilton actually is the player Dusty desperately (and stubbornly) wanted Stubbs to be.

Scrap Irony
01-24-2013, 02:00 PM
Hamilton's speed, if times can be believed, means an extra half-step over the course of 90 feet over fast runners and a quarter step over the fastest runners in mlb. (He's a quarter-step to a half-step faster than Mike Trout, for example, and a little more than that over Drew Stubbs, if you can dig it.) In short, he doesn't have to bunt remarkably well in order to be successful at it. He does, however, need to be better than anyone the Reds have had as a bunter since Norris Hopper.

Stubbs and Heisey are both technically abysmal bunters. Hamilton's already better than either of them.

He still needs to get better, though. And should. Guys that really focus on bunting tend to get better at it. (Butler's a prime example, as is Hopper, for that matter.) If Hamilton can learn the drag bunt to the 2B area and drop near-perfect bunts down both lines, he'll end up with a career batting average around .300. This ability should also affect his obp, as pitchers will nibble more often for fear of allowing that bunt. This could lead to more walks. (As his patience at the plate is already apparent.)

mdccclxix
01-24-2013, 02:26 PM
It's awesome seeing the Commerce Comet in the all-time top ten. I wish more of the speedy sluggers in the game today would do the same when they come up with the bases empty. If nothing else, it would force infields to play them farther in and open up more opportunities base hits when they don't bunt.

I remember Griffey doing some of that to the 3b side, likewise recently with Bruce, but nowhere near the amount of Mantle. Pretty cool.

mdccclxix
01-24-2013, 02:36 PM
What does anyone think about a Kenny Lofton comp for Billy? that would be a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Billy's already got similar minors (perhaps better) numbers to him, except more steals and more k's.

medford
01-24-2013, 02:36 PM
So lets say Hamilton is facing a lefty, is he techincally allowed to drag bunt to the 3rd base line? I mean are you allowed to start that way, then cut across the plate towards 1b? I'll assume the answer is no, but then again there's never been a player fast enough to execute that manuver, so its not like it would matter if its legal or not. If legal, is Billy fast enough to do so? I don't know if a drag bunt is any easier than a "normal" bunt; just something that crossed my mind as a potential "hamilton legend" like the time he picked off a flyball on the warning track in left-center.

mdccclxix
01-24-2013, 02:37 PM
Here's to hoping Hamilton actually is the player Dusty desperately (and stubbornly) wanted Stubbs to be.

And Willie T.


If it works we'll finally see the plan come together for Dusty.

medford
01-24-2013, 02:41 PM
Billy Hamilton's success will hinge on learning the Jedi mind tricks that good runners use on pitchers and defenders.

On simple ground balls, if Billy runs them out, even the best defenders will want to rush throws to first base. That will lead to fielding and/or throwing errors, and perhaps a few infield hits. And once Billy gets on first base, he can learn to dance around and distract the pitcher into committing balks and making mistakes to the hitters. Defenses will tend to play in and fielders will cheat toward the second and third base bags, which will create holes in the infield.

I want to see Hamilton work on the mental part of the game, where just the threat of him running can disrupt the pitching and defense. That part of his game won't show up in box scores, but it ought to be sweet for the 2-3-4 hitters in the line-up.

I like that thinking. I haven't seen him play since he was in Dayton, but I've got assume at this point he never just "assumes" any grounder is an "easy out" and he's hustling to 1st on just about every grounder b/c he knows there's a chance he gets there safe w/ just the slightest hesitation or bobble.

dougdirt
01-24-2013, 02:42 PM
What does anyone think about a Kenny Lofton comp for Billy? that would be a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Billy's already got similar minors (perhaps better) numbers to him, except more steals and more k's.

They were different ages at different levels in the minors, so it isn't an easy comparison, but Lofton made a decent amount of more contact than Hamilton has in the minors. Hamilton struck out 19% of the time he stepped to the plate last year and is at 20.4% for his career. Lofton, in the minors, was at 16.4% for his career (that is roughly 20% better than Hamilton has been thus far) and in the Majors was at just 11%. If Hamilton could get his K rate down below 15%, I would be thrilled. If it got to 11%, we may all be dancing in the streets. I just don't know that he has that kind of change in him. We will see, but for now, I don't know that the comp to Lofton works.

mdccclxix
01-24-2013, 03:10 PM
They were different ages at different levels in the minors, so it isn't an easy comparison, but Lofton made a decent amount of more contact than Hamilton has in the minors. Hamilton struck out 19% of the time he stepped to the plate last year and is at 20.4% for his career. Lofton, in the minors, was at 16.4% for his career (that is roughly 20% better than Hamilton has been thus far) and in the Majors was at just 11%. If Hamilton could get his K rate down below 15%, I would be thrilled. If it got to 11%, we may all be dancing in the streets. I just don't know that he has that kind of change in him. We will see, but for now, I don't know that the comp to Lofton works.

Good point. I think his K rate may be the most important number to look at in AAA this year.

RedsManRick
01-24-2013, 03:13 PM
And Willie T.


If it works we'll finally see the plan come together for Dusty.

Be careful with that comp. Hamilton's skill set isn't all that different from Taveras'. He's got better plate discipline, but I'm not sure we can expect him to show the 10-15 HR power than Lofton. Given that pitcher's will be very wary to walk him, if he doesn't show he can handle hard stuff in the zone, his actual walk rate in the majors may not reflect his willingness to take a walk.

mdccclxix
01-24-2013, 04:01 PM
I don't think it's possible to bunt your way out of a slump, is it? Yeah, Billy will need to show some fight at the plate for sure. What I love is that he's shown how savvy he is.

_Sir_Charles_
01-25-2013, 09:45 AM
here's a neat break down on bunting with nobody on base:

http://uzrillusion2.blogspot.com/2012/03/bunting-for-hit.html


There's even a Juan Pierre discussion. And Willie T shows up for his 3 for 22 performance bunting in 2009!

I'm absolutely STUNNED to see Mickey Mantle on that list. Just blown away.

RiverRat13
01-25-2013, 01:40 PM
I would love to see Hamilton become a proficient bunter before becoming a Red so that:

A) He gets on base more.

B) I don't have to hear about how he needs to become a proficient bunter.

MikeS21
01-25-2013, 04:15 PM
I like that thinking. I haven't seen him play since he was in Dayton, but I've got assume at this point he never just "assumes" any grounder is an "easy out" and he's hustling to 1st on just about every grounder b/c he knows there's a chance he gets there safe w/ just the slightest hesitation or bobble.
Joe Morgan was fast, but he wasn't "Billy Hamilton" fast. But I remember some of those pre-game interviews between Joe Nuxhall and Sparky Anderson, where Sparky waxed eloquent about the advantages Joe Morgan created for the next few hitters in the line-up when Morgan was standing at first base. Between distracting the pitchers, and causing the defending infielders to play out of position in order cut down possible steal attempts, Morgan created a lot of havoc on the basepaths.

Foster, Bench, and Perez hammered a LOT of mistake pitches from distracted pitchers. And they got a few cheap hits through holes created by out of position, and drawn in defenders.

Deion Sanders was fast, but he did not have the baseball instincts, nor the mind games that truly great baserunners have. If Hamilton can learn the mind games, and learn some good baseball smarts, he will be a lot of fun to watch.

mth123
01-25-2013, 05:23 PM
I'm absolutely STUNNED to see Mickey Mantle on that list. Just blown away.

When Mantle broke into the majors, he was considerred the quickest player from home to first in the game, maybe ever to that point.

thatcoolguy_22
01-29-2013, 02:58 PM
A lot of people say that Hamilton's speed will force extra errors by defenders. Not to be contrary, because it makes a lot of sense, but does anyone have stats to support this?

dougdirt
01-29-2013, 03:34 PM
A lot of people say that Hamilton's speed will force extra errors by defenders. Not to be contrary, because it makes a lot of sense, but does anyone have stats to support this?

I don't know that it would really be possible to prove. By nature, errors are mistakes made. You can't just say "oh, that was because they rushed". Maybe they did and maybe that is what happened. But maybe the ball just had funny spin. Maybe they just held onto the ball a tad too much and the throw went in the dirt. Maybe they didn't hold onto the ball enough and it sailed. Maybe the foot slipped. I just don't know where you could prove it, without asking the guys exactly what happened on every error, and attribute it to the guy running. It is just something we assume because guys "rush" things when a fast guy is running versus a catcher.

HokieRed
01-29-2013, 06:11 PM
When Mantle broke into the majors, he was considerred the quickest player from home to first in the game, maybe ever to that point.

Yes, the only comparable one was Pinson.

camisadelgolf
01-29-2013, 07:46 PM
I'm absolutely STUNNED to see Mickey Mantle on that list. Just blown away.

He was the original mike trout.

thatcoolguy_22
01-30-2013, 10:41 AM
I don't know that it would really be possible to prove. By nature, errors are mistakes made. You can't just say "oh, that was because they rushed". Maybe they did and maybe that is what happened. But maybe the ball just had funny spin. Maybe they just held onto the ball a tad too much and the throw went in the dirt. Maybe they didn't hold onto the ball enough and it sailed. Maybe the foot slipped. I just don't know where you could prove it, without asking the guys exactly what happened on every error, and attribute it to the guy running. It is just something we assume because guys "rush" things when a fast guy is running versus a catcher.

Random fluxations aside. Typical major leaguer reaches base on average 10 times a season because of an error (making up numbers). If the speed causes an increase (for whatever reason) a guy like Rickey Henderson would have been averaged 15 or more times a year. I'm just making up numbers, but with a career by career comparison we should see some movement from the mean.

I think it would be worth someone that is more involved in the world of SABR to come up with some numbers. How often a player A is involved in a play that an error occurs vs player B. The error could be attributed to anything, I just want to see some raw numbers. The whole his speed causes this and that makes sense, but there has to be some way to give it an actual weight.

texasdave
01-31-2013, 01:22 PM
Random fluxations aside. Typical major leaguer reaches base on average 10 times a season because of an error (making up numbers). If the speed causes an increase (for whatever reason) a guy like Rickey Henderson would have been averaged 15 or more times a year. I'm just making up numbers, but with a career by career comparison we should see some movement from the mean.

I think it would be worth someone that is more involved in the world of SABR to come up with some numbers. How often a player A is involved in a play that an error occurs vs player B. The error could be attributed to anything, I just want to see some raw numbers. The whole his speed causes this and that makes sense, but there has to be some way to give it an actual weight.

I don't think you can look at a raw number and come to any sort of conclusion. The reason I say this is because there is a big discrepancy in how many balls each batter puts into play each year due to walks, strikeouts and home runs.
However, I did look at a statistic that could shed some light on this. It is the percentage of times a player reaches base when he hits a ground ball. Over the past five years in the National League there were 155,407 grounders hit. 3,916 runners reached base on error during those ground balls. This works out to 2.52 runners reaching for every 100 balls hit on the ground. This does include pitchers. I would say if you could somehow just get the stats on position players, the number would be a little higher.

Next, I looked at a number of Cincinnati Reds from the year 2000 onward. Here is that chart:


PLAYER GB ROE ROE/100

Heisey 210 9 4.29
Edwin 975 37 3.79
Stubbs 556 19 3.42
Ludwick 749 25 3.34
Freel 768 24 3.13
LaRue 837 25 2.99
Brandon 1870 54 2.89
Rolen 2140 61 2.85
Hanigan 502 13 2.59
Votto 844 21 2.49
Casey 2087 47 2.25
Bruce 684 15 2.19
Dunn 1331 23 1.73


TOT-F 13553 373 2.75


1) The average for these players is 2.75 ROE per 100 ground balls. This is probably close to what you would have if you just looked at position players.
2) Chris Heisey can probably be ignored due to sample size.
3) Some of the faster players are near the top and some of the slower players are near the bottom. It is not definitive by any means.
4) There is not a huge range. Most players hit around 150 grounders a year. The difference between the top and bottom is about 2 grounders per 100. That would extrapolate out to about 3 more times the highest (not fastest) reach base on an error in the course of a season than the lowest.
5) I was looking at the list and wondering why Hanigan would be higher than Votto and Bruce. Dunn and Casey at the bottom of the list, okay. But, surely, Bruce and Votto are faster runners than Ryan Hanigan. And then it struck me that all four of the lefties are at the bottom of the list. This makes sense if you think about it. Lefties are more likely to hit to the right side of the infield. And because it is a shorter throw, fielders have more time to make up for bobbling the baseball. Whereas, if a shortstop or third baseman bobbles the ball they had better react quickly to still record the out. So, maybe, handedness is a more important factor than speed.

Obviously, this is a small sample size to look at. If I get time later I may take 10 random players from each side of the plate and see how that works out.

mdccclxix
01-31-2013, 01:51 PM
Thanks texasdave.

If you add this to the thought that Billy will be drag bunting from the left side of the plate to the left side of the infield, he could find an uncommon amount of success at this. His ROE numbers may be higher, or they may be the same as players will just give up on the play too.

UCBrownsfan
01-31-2013, 02:53 PM
I don't know that it would really be possible to prove. By nature, errors are mistakes made. You can't just say "oh, that was because they rushed". Maybe they did and maybe that is what happened. But maybe the ball just had funny spin. Maybe they just held onto the ball a tad too much and the throw went in the dirt. Maybe they didn't hold onto the ball enough and it sailed. Maybe the foot slipped. I just don't know where you could prove it, without asking the guys exactly what happened on every error, and attribute it to the guy running. It is just something we assume because guys "rush" things when a fast guy is running versus a catcher.

You'd almost have to break this into 2 categories... new errors, and capitalizing on errors that have already occurred. It goes without saying that speed forces errors, because it capitalizes on them, I can picture quite a few times where a shortstop bobbles or drops a ball hit by Bo Diaz...only to then pick it up and throw him out anyway, it's only an error if the runner gains something from it. Just like a player would get more infield hits due to speed, he'd get more infield errors, without having a "new" error exist.

TRF
02-01-2013, 04:27 PM
It seems we have a comp for Hamilton... Vince Coleman. it was their age 21 seasons in which each set the SB record, so there is the age comp, though Hamilton set his at higher levels. Hamilton K'd more, but he also BB'd more. He also played about 20 more games, so the rates probably even out quite a bit. Were the parks Hamilton playing in more conducive to triples, or was/is he more willing to take that third base than Coleman was?

Hamilton's K rate improved from 2011 to 2012.. and his OBP at two levels last year was incredibly consistent. If he manages to knock another 15 K's off his total in 2013 while continuing to post near .400 OBP's, i'll say we have to start believing he just might be the real deal.

Pony Boy
02-05-2013, 11:02 AM
It seems we have a comp for Hamilton... Vince Coleman. it was their age 21 seasons in which each set the SB record, so there is the age comp, though Hamilton set his at higher levels. Hamilton K'd more, but he also BB'd more. He also played about 20 more games, so the rates probably even out quite a bit. Were the parks Hamilton playing in more conducive to triples, or was/is he more willing to take that third base than Coleman was?

Hamilton's K rate improved from 2011 to 2012.. and his OBP at two levels last year was incredibly consistent. If he manages to knock another 15 K's off his total in 2013 while continuing to post near .400 OBP's, i'll say we have to start believing he just might be the real deal.

Vince Coleman is one of those players that is hard to imagine being an All Star when you go back and look at his numbers. He stole a lot of bases, yes; but his success rate was bad enough to be counterproductive in a lot of years.

His OBP was just okay in most years and he had very little power. In hindsight, he just doesn't look like a very good player.

Scrap Irony
02-05-2013, 12:06 PM
The Coleman comp is interesting. Coleman had one eally great minor league season-- his age 21 season in high A. Beyond that, he was merely decent, but had a ton of speed.

Perhaps Hamilton does the same. If he hits next season in AAA, however, like he hit last season in AA and High A, he's proven himself better than Coleman.

I do think Vincent Van Go is his floor, at this point. Though I also believe Hamilton already has the better power and hit tools, and he should play much better defense if he continues as Red scouts believe he will.

Steve4192
02-05-2013, 02:32 PM
The Coleman comp is interesting. Coleman had one eally great minor league season-- his age 21 season in high A. Beyond that, he was merely decent, but had a ton of speed.

Perhaps Hamilton does the same. If he hits next season in AAA, however, like he hit last season in AA and High A, he's proven himself better than Coleman.

I do think Vincent Van Go is his floor, at this point. Though I also believe Hamilton already has the better power and hit tools, and he should play much better defense if he continues as Red scouts believe he will.

I love me some Billy Hamilton, but Coleman is not his floor. Vince had a 13 year career, won rookie of the year, made two all star games, and is one of only six men in the history of baseball to steal 750 bases. That is one hell of a floor.

Hamilton's floor is that he turns into Joey Gathright and flops completely. Even the best prospects flop sometimes, and speedy guys with no power have less margin for error than most. I don't think it is likely that Billy will be THAT bad, but saying Coleman is his floor is ludicrous.

osuceltic
02-05-2013, 04:12 PM
I'm absolutely STUNNED to see Mickey Mantle on that list. Just blown away.

He used to love to bunt with two strikes. Wrote about it in his autobiography.