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Thread: Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

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    Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

    Junior Arias, SS, Cincinnati Reds (Rookie-level Arizona League Reds):

    An 18-year-old Dominican who received a six-figure bonus in 2008, Arias has blown away scouts with his tools and athleticism in the Arizona complex league. The problem is, he's got some significant holes in his game as well. He's long-limbed and graceful and his current line is .311/.356/.520. That's good. The bad? He'll swing at anything in his zip code and he's a messy defender (21 errors through 31 games at short). With a position switch, he might be more special.


    Billy Hamilton, 2B, Cincinnati Reds (Rookie-level Billings):

    It's no surprise to see Hamilton leading all short-season players with 26 stolen bases in 44 games— he's a superb athlete and one of the fastest guys in the 2009 MLB draft—but what is shocking is how good he's been at the plate, utilizing a short, quick swing to hit .335/.395/.470 with plenty of speed-based doubles and triples. He's already drawing some comparisons to 13-year big league vet Delino DeShields as a future second baseman with on-base skills and impact speed.

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    Re: Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

    Why would Hamilton move to second base? He's got the tools to be a plus defensive shortstop.

    Great to hear that Arias is impressing scouts with his play. The Reds have a ton of young, high upside talent in the lower minors: Yorman Rodriguez, Junior Arias, Juan Duran, Billy Hamilton, Ismael Guillon, Jonathan Correa, Ronald Torreyes...
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

    I wouldnt look too far into the position of Hamilton right now. Goldstein probably just saw thats where hes playing and went with it.

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    Re: Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    Why would Hamilton move to second base? He's got the tools to be a plus defensive shortstop.

    Great to hear that Arias is impressing scouts with his play. The Reds have a ton of young, high upside talent in the lower minors: Yorman Rodriguez, Junior Arias, Juan Duran, Billy Hamilton, Ismael Guillon, Jonathan Correa, Ronald Torreyes...
    Clearly the move to second is not for lack of speed or athleticism. Speed and athleticism play equally well at 2B in getting to balls. At that point arm strength seems to be relatively more important at SS. Is it possible that the Reds don't feel he has enough arm for the throw from the hole?

    Your second points prompts an observation of the farm system in general. The chief distinction I see in the Reds farm system over the last three years is the emphasis on quality Latin American players. Five of the six you mentioned fall into that category. A second distinction is the practice of selectively drafting high ceiling HS players with college commitments and signing them over slot. Both of these practices have given the Reds a leg up on the competition in building a solid competitive player pipeline without taking the kind of financial risks that can destroy small market teams when free agent signings go south. The next decade will be good to be a Reds fan.

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    Re: Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

    Signing the Latin ball players was a huge step in the right direction. The next biggest step is younger Latin players that are future signers, seeing them have sucess, get press and move along through the system.

    I've said it for a while now. Arias will be moved to 3B before it's over with.

    Torreyes
    Diaz
    Lohman
    Hamilton
    Gregorius
    Greene
    Rojas
    Negron
    Cozart

    To many bodies.

    Arias's frame is a good fit for 3B.
    If you can't be a good example... then you'll just have to be a horrible warning...

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    Re: Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

    Hamilton has a cannon, doesn't he? IIRC, that was one of his major tools.
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    Re: Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Hamilton has a cannon, doesn't he? IIRC, that was one of his major tools.
    Indeed he does. My guess on Hamilton is that they want him to concentrate on his offensive game right now so playing 2B is probably a bit easier and of course I think it's less demanding. I could be wrong but what else makes sense?
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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    Re: Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario-Rijo View Post
    Indeed he does. My guess on Hamilton is that they want him to concentrate on his offensive game right now so playing 2B is probably a bit easier and of course I think it's less demanding. I could be wrong but what else makes sense?
    My guess has been that the Reds see Lohman moving quicker and he needs the reps today at SS more than Hamilton, who will have more time to get them, so he gets priority at SS.

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    My guess has been that the Reds see Lohman moving quicker and he needs the reps today at SS more than Hamilton, who will have more time to get them, so he gets priority at SS.
    Yeah that makes sense. Of course does Lohman have the talent to be a legit major league SS? I don't recall his scouting report.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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    Re: Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario-Rijo View Post
    Yeah that makes sense. Of course does Lohman have the talent to be a legit major league SS? I don't recall his scouting report.
    Not from what I read.... but that doesn't mean the Reds agree with that assessment. He sounds more like a 2B guy to me.

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    Re: Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

    My guess on Hamilton is that they want him to concentrate on his offensive game right now so playing 2B is probably a bit easier and of course I think it's less demanding. I could be wrong but what else makes sense?
    It could be they like Gregorius as a SS better than Hamilton. That's my guess.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

    Do we really need to worry about Yorman or Arias's plate discipline as 17/18 year olds? Are you pretty much once a hacker, always a hacker or are there plenty of examples of guys that young improving their approach?

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    Re: Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

    Depends on what you mean by hacker, River Rat. Players almost always improve their BB rate as they move into the prime of their careers, then see another slight bump as they enter the twilight.

    But those are the players that already have enough plate discipline to make it to 15- and 20-year professional baseball careers. Many, many others flame out early because they cannot tell the difference between sliders and cut fastballs and can't lay off either.

    I wouldn't get overly concerned with either BB rate right now, though both are in the danger zone. Still, it's relatively early in both their training level and the short seasons of rookie ball. Two or three weeks of selectivity could see a major imrovement.

    Both, IMO, will always be hackers relative to guys like Adam Dunn or Kevin Youklis. Then again, anybody would. If they can get their BB rate around 5-6 percent, they should be okay, relatively speaking. (Though, obviously, you'd want to see it higher.)
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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    Re: Kevin Goldstein on Hamilton and Arias

    Why is Hamilton playing second base right now?


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