Originally Posted by dougdirt
A k rate that high with no power to speak of, that isn't good.
Basically though, what I am saying is that Hamilton isn't really showing off some kind of contact rate that we haven't seen from him before. He was better, albeit by an insanely small amount, in Billings, than he has been at any other level.
If you lower the threshold to 300 PA's this year, 18% would rank you 114th in baseball.
He has made improvements by being able to keep the same K rate as his second year in rookie ball. How about that? Isn't A+ and AA better than Rookie ball? If you keep the same or better stats as you move up in the minors, isn't he getting better?
A 18% K rate is not bad. It is better than average. How does more power make a high K rate better? Just because a guy hits for more power it doesn't mean a non power hitter should go up just trying to make contact. The name of the game is hitting line drives, and that is exactly what Hamilton should be learning in the minors. Hitting the ball hard on a line. Not just making contact. Sure, he has speed but if you teach him just to make contact then MLB infields will kill him. It's fine to slip in a bunt or a contact swing here and there, yet he needs to know how to hit the ball hard even if it doesn't go over the wall.
Finally, strikeout rate is a pretty useless stat anyway. It's been proven over and over again that it's nothing more than a periphery stat for hitters. That is why it's not used in things like wOBA or WAR. The old way of thinking that a fast guy should simply try and put the ball in play is dead. He needs to learn to be a hitter, not a glorified bunter. Infields have to play in to respect his speed. Trying to get him to simply lower K rate would detrimental since he would be playing right into the defense. He need to hit the ball hard as often as he can (which can lower K rate as he gets better at it). Yet if that means a K rate at 18% so be it. Strikeout rate should never be a focus. Now, if he becomes a complete lost cause with the bat then coaches can think about teaching him simply to put the bat on the ball. Yet that is far from the case right now.