Originally Posted by mth123
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.
1. You can't hold the fact that Nixon couldn't beat out Brett Butler for CF against him. Nixon was putting up decent numbers as a fourth outfielder, he just wasn't as good as Butler at that time. It's like holding it against Mesoraco that he hasn't won the full time catching job yet. The point is that he had the talent to be a productive MLB player, with speed and no power. It doesn't matter when teams noticed that.
2. Curtis Goodwin was never good. Never in the minors, never in the majors. There is nothing that Goodwin did that Hamilton isn't already better at.
But regardless, the point is that there are a plethora of players who have been successful major leaguers with speed as their main weapons and very little power. There have been more with that skillset who didn't amount to much, but that's true of every player with specific skillsets, even the so called "five tool players."
You're right that the key is that Hamilton needs to be able to get on base. But that's the key to every prospect position player. If Hamilton can't get on base at a decent rate, he will never be a solid MLB starter. Duh! Take away Miguel Cabrera's ability to get on base, and he's probably not even making a major league roster. Pointing out that Hamilton needs to have a decent OBP to succeed is like pointing out that ice cream needs to be cold. It's true, but a waste of time.