Originally Posted by powersackers
Hamilton not in the same class? In terms of contribution to the team I disagree. Bruce year 1 -0.3 WAR, not hard to keep up with that class. Year 2 0.8 WAR, again doesn't take much to whoop that class. Year 3 4.6 WAR - now we're talking. Year 4 whoops a 1.2 WAR.
Hamilton's first 4 years won't beat that? I guess we'll see.
Fangraphs WAR >>>> BRef WAR.
But I am more talking about the hitting side of things. Billy Hamilton is never going to be in the same class as Bruce or Votto. When Bruce was Hamilton's age he was tearing apart AAA. Absolutely obliterating it and that was after absolutely obliterating A+/AA/AAA the year before too. Votto wasn't quite as fast to the scene as Bruce was, but he too was on a different level offensively. Of course both played positions where they needed to be. But taking that aside, both had an offensive game that translated much better because their entire offensive game didn't rely on not striking out. Hamilton's will because he isn't going to hit you 5 home runs in a season. Right now, Hamilton still strikes out too much for someone with his type of offensive gameplan. He is making some strides in his plate discipline, which is good and helpful. But he still was showing pitch recognition and balance problems when I saw him earlier this month. The same kind of things he showed last year. To be honest, if Hamilton is ever able to post a .750 OPS in the Majors, I would be surprised. Not that he can't be a very valuable player if that is all he can do, because he can be a very good one with a limited bat like that. But it is much more difficult to be a very valuable player when your bat is limited like that. Something that Bruce or Votto never have had a limitation on when it comes to their game and value.
Here is what I envision an ideal line for Hamilton when he is near his offensive peak. You can tweak the numbers a little bit if you want to, but I think it paints a fairly good idea of what he can become
PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB K HBP SH SF AVG OBP SLG BABIP
600 534 150 30 10 3 54 102 5 5 2 .281 .351 .391 .341
I went with a 9% walk rate and a 15% strikeout rate.
There is nothing wrong with that kind of offense from someone that will play the positions he will play. But, if his BABIP falls down into the .320 range, we are looking at a .700 OPS hitter rather than a .740 OPS hitter. If it falls down to a .300 BABIP, then you are looking at a .680 OPS hitter.
Of course the high steal rate along with a lot of steals make his offensive value a little more than his OPS line by itself would indicate, but my point remains that he needs to still significantly cut his strikeout rate down if he is going to be some kind of 'sure thing' from an offensive perspective. So far, outside of his year in the GCL, he has been at 17.7%, 21.8% and this year at 17.3%.