Originally Posted by Scrap Irony
Hamilton's 2012 K rate is 18.4%. His career K rate is just over 20%.
Willie Wilson struck out around 20% of the time in his minor league career.
Mookie Wilson struck out around 15% of the time.
Ron LeFlore struck out around 20% of his ABs over the course of his career.
Devon White struck out 21.2% of his minor league ABs.
Marquis Grissom struck out only 12% of his minor league ABs.
Lou Brock struck out 15.4% of his major league ABs. (His minor league K numbers have been lost in the ether of baseball statistics.)
Roberto Kelly struck out around 16% of his minor league ABs.
Vince Coleman struck out around 17% of the time he stepped to the minor league plate.
Omar Moreno topped the 20% mark in minor league K rate as well.
Al Bumbry topped 18% in his minor league numbers.
Everyone's different. Hamilton's learned how to switch hit, he started at a much younger age, and he's had a long, long way to go. The progress he's made has been substantial. None of that seems to gain much weight, though, in favor of an assumption (pitchers will suddently throw him strikes at higher levels) that's both impossible to prove and has proven largely wrong over the history of the game.
For the most part, the BB rate a minor league guy has will be close to his major league BB rate.
For the most part, the K rate a minor league guy has will be close to his major league K rate.
More credence and emphasis should be given to higher level numbers.
All of these trend positively for Hamilton.
Whether that's blind-eyed optimism or not, I suppose I'll let the others decide. I don't particularly care what they think of my opinion anyway. Ultimately, someone will be proven right and someone else wrong.
FTR, I may be full of hot air in thinking Hamilton is indeed a legitimate upper level prospect. That, at his ceiling, he's a game-changer. That, in his most likely iteration, he's a leadoff hitter that will provide above average obp and speed-adjusted wRC+.
Ultimately, we'll all see one way or another.
All of that because I said that Butler struck out half as often as Hamilton does?
Look, I get that Hamilton learned to switch hit as a pro (or really close to it) and that he started out as a pro much younger, but he isn't going to literally cut his strikeout rate in half. People just don't do that. He can absolutely be successful without doing it. But Brett Butler is not a good comp for him.