Originally Posted by Steve4192
I am as big a Billy Hamilton fan as anyone, but counting on him to be a contributor to the major league team in 2013 is a recipe for disaster, for a number of reasons.
1. He only has 50 games of experience in the high minors and almost no experience at his expected MLB defensive position.
2. Even the best prospects flop sometimes.
3. Even if they don't flop, prospects often take time to find success in the majors.
The Reds need a real plan to ensure they get some production out of CF in 2013, and 'wait for Billy' is not a real plan. If the Reds put all their eggs in the Billy basket, what do they do if Billy can't replicate his 2012 minor league success? Or what if puts up good numbers in the minors and then turns into Willy Taveras once he reaches the majors? 'Wait for Billy' is not a plan, it's operating without a net.
The Reds need to address their leadoff/CF issues with guys are legit major league contributors right now, not a kid who might be a contributor some day down the line. If Billy forces his way to majors and into the lineup, the Reds will have a pleasant problem to deal with (too many quality OF), but they need to cover their bases just in case he doesn't.
In a perfect world, I would agree with you 100%.
But baseball is still driven by attendance and money, and the PR value on Billy Hamilton is too great to pass up. If Hamilton shows ANY ability during Spring Training and April/May, the Reds are going to bring the cash cow to Cincinnati. Winning might put a few fans in the seats, but seeing Billy Hamilton will draw even more fans-just as fans come out to see the circus of Aroldis Chapman and his 100 mph fastball.
Fowler is a stop gap player-admittedly somewhat of an upgrade over Stubbs-who will lose trade value once he becomes Hamilton's back-up, and the rest of baseball sees him as a player the Reds HAVE to unload. The smart play is to fix LF, keep Phillips at leadoff, and stick with Stubbs in CF until Hamilton is ready.
I agree Hamilton has a LONG way to go before he should be promoted, and should not sniff the majors until he proves he can cut his K rate. I just have little confidence the Reds will exercise the proper patience to allow him to develop - especially in mid-summer when the DL gets populated, and the team needs a shot in the arm in order to keep up attendance.