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Thread: Rocco and Billy

  1. #1
    It's showtime! RedEye's Avatar
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    Rocco and Billy

    Along the lines of several "sometimes you know" gut-instinct type threads I've seen lately, I'd like to post my own optimistic thoughts on two young players the Reds have at premium defensive positions. To put it simply, I'm excited about Mesoraco and Hamilton, who seem to me to both be brimming with potential for greatness.

    Yes, I know the case for naysayers. Rocco hasn't posted a .700+ OPS yet at the major league level. Billy is fast but can't get on base, and only barely crossed .300 OBP at AAA.

    But there is an optimistic case for both of these guys too -- a "they are still developing" case.

    Seems to me that Rocco has shown the pattern before in the minors, where it takes him a full year of at bats or so before he figures out the level. Since he was limited in usage prior to this year, I think that adaptation period may have been prolonged. Now he's healthy and raking, beginning to show what we all thought he could be -- a middle-of-the-order type catcher with good defensive chops.

    Seems to me that Billy had a lot to add to his game last year. He was learning CF and perfecting switch-hitting. And he, like Rocco, also takes some time to adjust, but he has proven to have a quick learning curve. And we've already seen what he can do when he does get on base. FanGraphs is already devoting posts to his potential for "wrecking" traditional baseball metrics.

    So yeah. I think one of the things many people are overlooking about the Reds and their young talent is that they still do have two very young guys on the major league roster who have a lot of upside. They just might be the key to this season. They are both exciting to watch. And I'm optimistic.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Boss-Hog (04-15-2014), Bumstead (04-15-2014), HokieRed (04-14-2014), Old school 1983 (04-14-2014), REDREAD (04-14-2014)

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    Re: Rocco and Billy

    Hamilton at times has shown good patience at the plate. He has also flailed at breaking balls in the dirt that he didn't recognize, but he has shown an ability to take pitches and get deep in counts. I have confidence he'll keep developing.

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    Old school 1983 (04-14-2014), RED VAN HOT (05-23-2014), RedEye (04-14-2014)

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    Re: Rocco and Billy

    Quote Originally Posted by UPRedsFan View Post
    Hamilton at times has shown good patience at the plate. He has also flailed at breaking balls in the dirt that he didn't recognize, but he has shown an ability to take pitches and get deep in counts. I have confidence he'll keep developing.
    Agreed. He does flail at times, but he doesn't look lost particularly. He has poise. And there are moments when he looks in control, too.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Old school 1983 (04-14-2014)

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    Re: Rocco and Billy

    I think Billy hit the Cards better the second time around. He may do better as the season goes on and he's seen more and more pitches from the NL starters.

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    RedEye (04-14-2014)

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    Re: Rocco and Billy

    Quote Originally Posted by mdccclxix View Post
    I think Billy hit the Cards better the second time around. He may do better as the season goes on and he's seen more and more pitches from the NL starters.
    Yeah, it looked that way to me, too. He seems to have a high baseball IQ in general.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    757690 (04-14-2014)

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    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Rocco and Billy

    I think Hamilton's biggest problem is he's hitting way too many lazy flyballs. I would like to think there's a pretty simple solution for that.
    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Let's face it, you mis-hit the bun with the mustard squirter, no one will really care.

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    Edd Roush (04-14-2014)

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    Re: Rocco and Billy

    Hamilton's woes can be found in two key stats this early on.

    He's hitting as many flyballs as ground balls, and has a .200 BABIP. his line drive rate is a bit low, but not low enough to justify that BABIP.

    His BABIP should rise, but it's up to Hamilton to improve his GB/FB rate.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    malingered here too long malcontent's Avatar
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    Re: Rocco and Billy

    I think the Reds should spell Hamilton (with a platoon of Bernadina and Heisey) occasionally.

    Given his slight frame, I'm concerned that he could wear down over the course of a season. Didn't he also play some winter ball?

    He could still be a factor as a PR/DR in the games he doesn't start.
    Everything is perfect, but there is a lot of room for improvement. --- Shunryu Suzuki-roshi

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    Re: Rocco and Billy

    Quote Originally Posted by malcontent View Post
    I think the Reds should spell Hamilton (with a platoon of Bernadina and Heisey) occasionally.

    Given his slight frame, I'm concerned that he could wear down over the course of a season. Didn't he also play some winter ball?

    He could still be a factor as a PR/DR in the games he doesn't start.
    I agree with this. I'm a big BHam fan, and while I believe he should be starting 75% of the time or more, he can still provide a game-changing spark off the bench in late innings. I don't want to see him shielded against every difficult pitcher we face, but I wouldn't protest if he were to be sat against somebody with an exceptional breaking ball every now and then.

    Devin looks like a stud. It's only three games, but he seems to have finally become comfortable at the plate. I was worried that by missing a few weeks, he'd come back to the team a bit cold at first--not so. I really hope this is the season he puts it all together and becomes a consistent threat at the plate.

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    Re: Rocco and Billy

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    I think Hamilton's biggest problem is he's hitting way too many lazy flyballs. I would like to think there's a pretty simple solution for that.
    The Reds could tell those lazy flyballs to hustle.

    I do like having Votto behind Hamilton. I think it may breed a greater mentoring and discussion of pitchers, etc. I thought I had seen the two talking a few times.

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    Hoosier Red (04-14-2014)

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    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: Rocco and Billy

    Am I the only one who immediately thought of Rocky and Bullwinkle when they read this thread title? Damn, I'm old.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

  20. #12
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    Re: Rocco and Billy

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    Am I the only one who immediately thought of Rocky and Bullwinkle when they read this thread title? Damn, I'm old.
    Ha! I thought of that when I posted it, and even considered titling it "Rocco and Billy-winkle" but then thought that would be reaching.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Re: Rocco and Billy

    Quote Originally Posted by mdccclxix View Post
    I think Billy hit the Cards better the second time around. He may do better as the season goes on and he's seen more and more pitches from the NL starters.
    It is kind of difficult after going 0-12 with 6 Ks to do worse.

  22. #14
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    Re: Rocco and Billy

    Quote Originally Posted by indyscott View Post
    It is kind of difficult after going 0-12 with 6 Ks to do worse.
    True. The outcomes were terrible in that first series. But I think the point is that, regardless of outcome, Billy looked more comfortable and even seemed to work the count at times.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Re: Rocco and Billy

    It's a long season. Mesoraco had a hot start, he does have power, but traditionally he struggles against RHP. It will take more than two weeks for me to agree that he has overcome that.

    Hamilton was given a tall task and it's way too soon to know if he will be successful. I do believe the Reds are heavily overusing him in the early going.

    I think neither is yet deserving of euphoria or despair. We'll see.

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    mth123 (05-23-2014)


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