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Thread: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

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    Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    Not sure if he's going to pick it up at AAA, or what.

    But so far he's hitting .204, .274 OBP, O HR, .291 Slugging in a 113 plate appearances.

    Granted, there's time for him to improve since he's only 22.

    But there are some constants, like his power numbers for instance, which he has only 7 HR in his 7 years of minor league baseball experience.

    That said, is there any fear that Hamilton will be nothing more than a really speedy guy that will be better suited as a situation pinch hitter/runner, than an actual lead off hitter that can hit with a .300 Batting Avg, a .350+ OBP?

    For some reason I have my doubts, and more reason why we should resign Choo for the years to come.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    I've had that concern all along. Stealing bases is a secondary skill. Getting on base and hitting for power are still the primary offensive skills. Some guys can acquire bases by stealing to somewhat make up for the power they don't have, but it doesn't really help them get on base in the first place.

    I'm pretty skeptical where a player's best attribute doesn't involve either getting on base a lot or hitting with power. I think it makes a guys odds a lot longer when he has to go to other skills to compensate and its why speed guys aren't really my cup of tea. Too many end up being Curtis Goodwin.

    Hamilton has shown some skill getting on base in the lower levels. If he can carry that to the major leagues, he'll be a successful player. IF he can't, all the speed in the world won't make him a good player. I'm optimistic that he might be able to, but I think he's over-rated based on his success at a secondary skill when it's his success at a primary skill that is going to make or break him.
    Last edited by mth123; 05-06-2013 at 06:11 AM.
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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I've had that concern all along. Stealing bases is a secondary skill. Getting on base and hitting for power are still the primary offensive skills. Some guys can acquire bases by stealing to somewhat make up for the power they don't have, but it doesn't really help them get on base in the first place.

    I'm pretty skeptical where a player's best attribute doesn't involve either getting on base a lot or hitting with power. I think it makes a guys odds a lot longer when he has to go to other skills to compensate and its why speed guys aren't really my cup of tea. Too many end up being Curtis Goodwin.

    Hamilton has shown some skill getting on base in the lower levels. If he can carry that to the major leagues, he'll be a successful player. IF he can't, all the speed in the world won't make him a good player. I'm optimistic that he might be able to, but I think he's over-rated based on his success at a secondary skill when it's his success at a primary skill that is going to make or break him.
    Great post. The OBP is going to determine how Billy's career goes. Jose Reyes is basically Dee Gordon with 100 pts of extra OBP. Just look at the difference in the 2 players value.

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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    He's very young for the league, and many top prospects have struggled their first time in AAA, especially when they were his age.

    For reference, both Oscar Taveras and Wil Myers are off to slow starts in their first year in AAA as well, although not as slow as Hamilton's. Shelby Miller got rocked at the beginning of AAA last year, and he's looking pretty good so far in the bigs.

    One thing I've noticed about Hamilton so far this season, thanks to MILB.com, is that he's bunting an awful lot, and isn't very good at it yet. I have a feeling he's either going to get better at bunting and his production will improve, or he will start bunting less.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    It's only one month but I've thought all along that there's a significant chance that he ends up being the next Brian Hunter. Some of the hypothetical trade proposals that people here were unwilling to make with him as the primary bait included Dexter Fowler and Chase Headley. I've often wondered if the former of these was more than a hypothetical, as Fowler was actively shopped this off-season.

    To answer the question posed by RedTruck, yes I'm concerned. No, I'm not panicked.

    Gee, I wonder if this guy can play shortstop?
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post

    Gee, I wonder if this guy can play shortstop?
    If he could, he would never have been moved off of there.

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    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    If he could, he would never have been moved off of there.
    Actually, Walt said that the Reds thought he could be an good SS, but then Walt added that the Reds though he'd be an outstanding CF.

    I think the trade of Stubbs (and the retention of Cozart) were big factors in the move of Billy to CF.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    It is most definitely a realistic concern. But not based on the first month of this season.

    Hamilton is never going to be a power threat, so it is going to be imperative that he at least hits for average and gets on base at a good clip.

    I think a better question is, will Hamilton be ready for the Show in 2014? I think there is a decent chance he won't be. Not the end of the world, but if Choo isn't resigned, it certainly will leave a big question mark for the position.

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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    Quote Originally Posted by fearofpopvol1 View Post
    It is most definitely a realistic concern. But not based on the first month of this season.

    Hamilton is never going to be a power threat, so it is going to be imperative that he at least hits for average and gets on base at a good clip.

    I think a better question is, will Hamilton be ready for the Show in 2014? I think there is a decent chance he won't be. Not the end of the world, but if Choo isn't resigned, it certainly will leave a big question mark for the position.
    Lots of Redzoners and it seems the Reds FO are relying on this for 2014. If he's not ready things are going to be VERY interesting and possibly VERY expensive this coming off-season.

    Still a lot of time to see what happens, though.
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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    (1) He's 22.
    (1) Small sample size.
    (3) Marathon/not a sprint.
    (4) Blah, blah, lather, rinse repeat.

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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    PuffyPig - I don't pretend to be more qualified than the Reds brass at evaluating a 19-year old's development curve as a shortstop. It may have been the right decision, but I don't agree that "if he could [play shortstop] he never would have moved." Organizations, even good ones, make wrong decisions like these all the time. Who's to say that the Yankees would have been wrong to move Derek Jeter from shortstop after his second year in the minors when he made 56 errors in 126 games and showed limited range in the process? Also, who's to say that right now Hamilton's struggles at the plate aren't related to his trying to focus on learning a new position.

    All I'm saying is that if Hamilton turns out to be a sub .320 OBP/zero power hitter in the major leagues - a proposition which is looking increasingly likely - then I'd rather he be a decent defensive shortstop than a plus-defensive centerfielder.
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    PuffyPig - I don't pretend to be more qualified than the Reds brass at evaluating a 19-year old's development curve as a shortstop. It may have been the right decision, but I don't agree that "if he could [play shortstop] he never would have moved." Organizations, even good ones, make wrong decisions like these all the time. Who's to say that the Yankees would have been wrong to move Derek Jeter from shortstop after his second year in the minors when he made 56 errors in 126 games and showed limited range in the process? Also, who's to say that right now Hamilton's struggles at the plate aren't related to his trying to focus on learning a new position.

    All I'm saying is that if Hamilton turns out to be a sub .320 OBP/zero power hitter in the major leagues - a proposition which is looking increasingly likely - then I'd rather he be a decent defensive shortstop than a plus-defensive centerfielder.
    It was unlikely that Hamilton could stay at SS since when he as drafted. It's actually surprising he stayed there that long.

    And you are suggesting that it's looking "increasingly likely" he'll be a sub .320 OBA guy based on one month of a 22 year old at AAA? Unbelievable.

    I hope his struggles are based on learning a new position. That problem will be solved soon enough.

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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    And you are suggesting that it's looking "increasingly likely" he'll be a sub .320 OBA guy based on one month of a 22 year old at AAA?
    No. Like you say, it's a bad month. It's cause for concern not panic
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    I really do fear that BH's only tool is his speed. I would greatly prefer to use him as trade bait and land a key addition to this team at the deadline.

    -Matt


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