Originally Posted by dougdirt
I feel they will wind up with similar average/OBP if Hamilton keeps developing his plate discipline to come close to that of LaMarre's plate discipline. His SLG isn't going to match that of LaMarre. There is hardly any room for growth in his slugging. LaMarre has plenty of room for growth in his. Stubbs and Heisey both have significant contact problems. LaMarre might have that, but there isn't really any signs that he will. Not a high contact guy by any stretch, but I don't think anyone should be ready to claim he is going to strike out 28% or more at the MLB level like those guys are doing.
Age matters a lot more when it concerns the player growing into their body, but Hamilton's body is just about tapped out. He isn't going to be getting bigger/stronger. His game is going to be made up of the same stuff it is made up now.... contact and speed. Age for him isn't the same as it is for a guy who is going to be growing into his body. Hamilton will have problems being a plus-plus defender with his arm in center. Perhaps a plus defender because of his speed, but that is just a little above where LaMarre is. Marginal difference.
In the end, I can see Hamilton having small advantages offensively and small advantages defensively, adding up to an overall advantage if things go right for both players. I just don't equate that to the gap you seem to be placing between the two players.
LaMarre strikes out less than Stubbs did but also walks less. Also, with less power to punish pitchers, advanced pitchers are going to challenge him more, making his plate discipline less of a factor. If he develops power, his plate discipline matters more, but if he continues to hit 6 HR/season, his plate discipline isn't going to be such a difference-maker.
And (in Hamilton's case) age does matter when a player has only been switch-hitting and concentrating exclusively on baseball for less than three years.
Put it this way, if the Reds put both players on the market or offered both up in a trade for major league help, I think there would be a sizeable gap in other team's reactions. As I said before, perceived trade value and prospect rankings have a pretty strong correlation in my eyes.