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

  1. #1
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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.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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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?
    ". . . acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect. I do it in a second . . . The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter . . . trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer." - Paul Daugherty, Feb. 8, 2008

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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?

    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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    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.
    ". . . acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect. I do it in a second . . . The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter . . . trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer." - Paul Daugherty, Feb. 8, 2008

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

    You can't steal first base.
    "I can't take this homerism anymore." - 10xWSChamps, August 11, 2010. A Cardinals fan having a problem with all the homerism on Redszone. Classic.

    "Man do I miss the days where were didn't need a calculator and an encyclopedia of baseball metrics to enjoy a baseball game ... - MikeS21" - 8/2/12 game thread

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

    honestly, the Reds don't care about his HR numbers. they want him to get on base and utilize his speed both on the base paths and on defense.

  18. #12
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    I saw him play in Indianapolis a couple of weeks ago. He is as fast as advertised, but he looked very bad at the plate. Overmatched. It was only one game and he may have just had a bad day. Got on once, via bunt. Stole second and it wasn't close. Looked OK in centerfield but only had a couple of lazy fly balls hit to him. Hope he picks it up with the stick. Lot of people putting their hope in this kid.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
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  19. #13
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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.

  20. #14
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    Re: Any concern that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than a MLB utility player?

    I think it's worth remembering that Hamilton only had 175 AB's at Pensacola last year. He's being pushed pretty fast.

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

    I still lock up Choo for 2 more years. Hamilton hasn't proven anything at AAA that makes me confident he can hit at this level yet.


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