Willie Wilson is a great comparison. In his age 23 to 27 seasons (when he started seeing starting playing time, he was up a couple years earlier with minimal ABs), he averaged 4.4 WAR. I'd be ecstatic if Billy can do that (and I think he's capable). Billy's WAR last year for the Reds was 0.6 without barely even playing, so I think it's safe to assume he will at the very least be positive this year (but I bet he's close to 2.5).
Of course there will be some growing pains, but there are way worse options to have, in my opinion. Speed doesn't have a long shelf life. Let's use this once in a lifetime weapon while we can.
Billy Hamilton will be 23 this season. There is plenty of time to take advantage of his speed before his 6 years of control is up. No need to rush him before he is ready. All that speed is a poor substitute for being able to hit and get on base. He didn't show the ability to do either of those things against AAA competition, what makes anyone think he'll be successful as a major leaguer at this point? Lots of AA All Stars don't do much at the big league level. Since Billy pretty much stunk at AAA, why in the world do we want him getting 600+ PAs at the top of the order at the big league level? His speed is amazing, but what you saw last year in September was him doing his thing on the bases after another player did the heavy lifting by getting on base in the first place. I'll be surprised if he gets on base at a .275 clip., Throw in some times picked-off and times caught stealing and he's going to make a lot of outs over 162 games at the top of the order. He needs to repeat AAA and show he can get on with regularity. Until he does, the team is giving a spot to a player who isn't likely to produce much.
"All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH
Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS
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