Originally Posted by Brisco
I just watched through all of this and compared it with what i got at the games here. i was wondering about your thoughts on the following:
1. Speed out of the box. I noticed two things. Billy is much faster out of the box when bunting rather than swinging. When he swings, Billy has a hitch after contact where he allows his head to briefly track the ball... most hitters have this, but when Billy does it, it causes the weight shift for his first step to be messed up. Joe Morgan always said that speed comes from your second step. He called it the power step. On leaving the box following swings, Billy never seems to get that power step. The hitch from following the ball causes his first 2 steps to be... i dont know how to describe it... but they are a bit off. The hitch is not there when he bunts or when he steals. I would train this out of him by making him take at least three steps on every foul ball. Those first steps following a swing need to get to be as instinctual as his first steps on a steal.
2. Pre-swing motion. At first glance, Billy seems all over the place pre swing, but then when i slowed down the vid and watched, he does an excellent job of getting set right before the ball arrives. Watch every swing and superimpose the vids on each other. he has an IDENTICAL freeze point. His swing is incredibly quick and flat and he hits the ball hard and where it is pitched. I found this to be more encouraging than even his speed.
3. The walks. How does a guy that no pitcher wants on the bases and without any power walk so much? At first glance i though it was just he has a great eye. I now believe that his consitent, level, and very quick swing gives him control over the entire middle of the zone and that pitchers are forced to nibble to get strikes. He seems to have a good eye for changing speeds, but be off guard from changes in location. Thus they are always looking to paint the black.
just my truly amateur thoughts from observing him. Interested in your thoughts.
Love his swing, especially that he's willing to sacrifice power for contact. He's willingly implementing his speed as a primary weapon by using a short, quick stroke to the ball. It's a two-strike approach at all times, pretty much.
IMO, his patience/ eye is for real. He reminds me a great deal of mid-career Dave Collins, actually. Their minor league numbers are similar, though Hamilton's speed numbers are much, much better. I'd gladly take that from SS and Hamilton for a decade or so.