Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats
Billy Hamilton did NOT start switch hitting in Dayton last year. He started it in the GCL or maybe even high school. He claims he started as a pro, but in his draft video he is absolutely bunting from the left side of the plate (natural right hander), so I don't know exactly when it started even though Hamilton himself claims it was as a pro.
I think people tend to forget about the California League because we haven't been in it that long. Everyone hits in the California League who is a prospect of any sort (sans being incredibly young/pushed way too quickly). Last year Didi Gregorius his .303 with a .457 SLG in Bakersfield. This year, he is still hitting for a solid average, but his slugging has gone to .365, where his IsoP is essentially cut in half. The ball flies in that league. Not every ballpark of course, but there are several absolute launching pads in that league. Hamilton's "better power" may or may not be "better power". We don't really know yet because he hasn't left the league yet.
The good things though are the vastly improved plate discipline. That is about as good of a sign as you could possibly see. I could care less about his steals at this point because they don't matter nearly as much as what he can do at the plate. If he can't get on base at a reasonable clip, all the steals in the world wouldn't matter much. His improved contact rate as well as his ability to lay off of some pitches are fantastic to see and bode well for him in the future. I still think there is a lot of work to be done with him and I think he is still further away than a lot of people realize because there are some questions about his swing. He still doesn't have much balance at the plate from the left side and seems to 'flail' at the ball in an effort to make contact at times, which won't work so much in the Majors. But overall, he has really improved what he is doing at the plate.