Originally Posted by 757690
Again, you are fixated on OPS+ and not overall value.
Otis Nixon was an league average CF from 1989-1993, and had a streak of nine straight seasons of an OBP over .330, 7 of which were .348 or higher. That's the value of speed. You can still be very valuable even if you don't put up a godd OPS.
I would be very happy if Hamilton put together a career like that as a Red. The Reds would win many division titles if he did.
Nixon was 30 years old and with his 3rd team by the time 1989 rolled around and still only had 293 PAs that season (have to wonder about Nixon's late career rise from fringe AAAA guy to regular table setter in his seasons that normally are declining years). If this was a thread about becoming a decent 5th OF in 2020, I might agree. Nixon didn't put up his first decent season with somewhat regular PT until 1991 at the age of 32 when he had a OPS+ of 94 with an OBP of .371 in 460 PAs. You may argue that he was a useful bench player before that, he only had one year with more than 300 PAs (305 in 1988 as a 29 YO). That might prove to be a useful role player, but the question is whether this player can be the starting CF in 2014 (at age 23).
The answer, if Nixon is the comp, is clearly no and I think Billy would come close to reaching his max if he could become the 30 something Otis Nixon (his absolute max is still probably Willie Wilson IMO and that would be great if he could become that). Curtis Goodwin is the name that keeps coming to mind as a more likely outcome. Most players don't reach their max. Maybe Hamilton will be better than that (hope so), but probably not in 2014. His .308 AAA OBP says he probably needs another year in AAA. If he's ready sooner, great, but if the Reds plan
on him as the starting CF in 2014 that is akin to punting the 2014 season IMO.
BTW, Nixon had a .403 OBP as a minor leaguer. That is about 50 points higher than Hamilton's career OBP in the minors and Nixon's first AAA season was more than 100 OBP points higher than Billy's .308 this year. It still took Nixon 6 seasons or so before that translated to a decent OBP/starting role in the big leagues.