Originally Posted by Vottomatic
I used to feel the same way about Hamilton, and was willing to trade him in the right deal. I thought he was a switchhitting slaphitter, who was a novelty basestealer.
But his progression through the minors this year has changed my mind, including articles I've read where his coaches applaud his tighter swing and line drive/ground ball hitting tendencies where he can take advantage of his speed.
They've also applauded his work ethic, athleticism, willingness to learn and adjust. He seems like a guy who is doing all the right things to get better, not to mention his natural God-given ability.
I've come around on him and really hope he makes it to the Bigs and can be a Jose Reyes type player. No pressure intended.
Besides, the Reds have very few remaining parts they need, so trading isn't a pressing issue. And of the parts they do need, Hamilton's abilities fit the bill if he can translate them to the big league.
Obviously Hamilton's minor league OBP is extremely impressive. My concern is just that he's not going to be able to draw walks in the majors. It's pretty rare for guys with such little power to be able to draw walks in the majors, with Brett Gardner amongst others being exceptions. Obviously if he keeps an OBP of .350 or greater, he is going to have a significant impact, and probably a pretty awesome career. I just have concerns about whether he can do that. The Dee Gordon comp isn't perfect because Gordon didn't really walk that much in the minors, but his lack of success has me very gun shy.
By my comp Billy's walk rate is about 14-15% for the year. Does anyone think he can do that in the majors?