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View Poll Results: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

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  • RHP Brad Boxberger

    10 10.75%
  • RHP Dan Corcino

    13 13.98%
  • SS Zack Cozart

    23 24.73%
  • UT Todd Frazier

    0 0%
  • SS Billy Hamilton

    32 34.41%
  • RHP Kyle Lotzkar

    0 0%
  • OF Yorman Rodriguez

    1 1.08%
  • OF Dave Sappelt

    0 0%
  • 1B Neftali Soto

    4 4.30%
  • RHP Robert Stephenson

    8 8.60%
  • 2B Ron Torreyes

    1 1.08%
  • other (please list below)

    1 1.08%
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Thread: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

  1. #31
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    Nothing makes a guy overvalued more than surpassing some gaudy round counting stat figure. When the stat is something as marginally valuable as Stolen Bases, then even moreso. If other teams are salivating over Hamilton because he stole 100 bases in low A ball, the Reds should pull the trigger and get something back that can help in 2012.

    I doubt that anyone is viewing Hamilton as a "must have." I'd like to know more about his defense. Athleticism converts to strong defense better in the OF than it does at SS. Picking up ground balls and making a good throw requires more skill than simply running real fast and getting to the ball before it hits the ground. Hamilton's speed give him the fall back of moving to CF and maybe being able to contribute that way if SS doesn't work out, so that keeps him in the top 10 for me. I have him at 8 or 9 clearly behind guys who seem like better baseball players like Mes, Cozart, Alonso, Sappelt, Grandal, Torreyes and Boxberger. The choice for me is between the huge question mark with huge Potential of Hamilton and the sight unseen number 1 draft pick. The baseball skills start to show, I'll move him up.
    "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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  3. #32
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I'd like to know more about his defense.
    This is just my opinion....

    He still needs to work on "the routine" plays, but he makes enough of them that I don't worry that he won't continue to get better at making them with consistency. The key is the spectacular plays that he makes, that I have been describing for a while as "he gets to baseballs that really good shortstops can only dream of touching". He certainly needs some work (most 20 year old shortstops do), but he does have some special things working for him that other guys simply will never be able to do anything to match, where as his weaknesses (defensively) are things that he probably can improve quite a bit with time and work.

  4. #33
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    This is just my opinion....

    He still needs to work on "the routine" plays, but he makes enough of them that I don't worry that he won't continue to get better at making them with consistency. The key is the spectacular plays that he makes, that I have been describing for a while as "he gets to baseballs that really good shortstops can only dream of touching". He certainly needs some work (most 20 year old shortstops do), but he does have some special things working for him that other guys simply will never be able to do anything to match, where as his weaknesses (defensively) are things that he probably can improve quite a bit with time and work.
    Nearly every analyst I've seen suggests that he's a future 2B. Is that being driven by his error rate without a closer look at his talent?
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  5. #34
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Nearly every analyst I've seen suggests that he's a future 2B. Is that being driven by his error rate without a closer look at his talent?
    A lot of young SS make a lot of errors. I don't dismiss the idea that he can stick there, but if his issue is fielding ground balls cleanly, 2B won't be a better option. I'd guess if the errors persist, CF is his likely landing spot.

    Most SS who get moved to 2B don't move there because they make errors. Its usually because they are slow to the ball and don't have the time to throw the runner out that they would have with the short throw from 2B. If hands are an issue, then 2B might actually be a worse spot for him.

    Right now I just can't rate somebody who has questions about both his bat and his glove just because he stole 100 bases. Until he answers some of those questions, he's in the second tier for me.
    "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

  6. #35
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    If hands are an issue, then 2B might actually be a worse spot for him.
    On the minor league board, redsof72 has noted that Hamilton's hands are a bit hard. (72 sees all Dayton games.) This is likely why speculation exists that Hamilton might be moved to CF eventually.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  7. #36
    Member Superdude's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Right now I just can't rate somebody who has questions about both his bat and his glove just because he stole 100 bases. Until he answers some of those questions, he's in the second tier for me.
    I don't agree with the hype either. His bat lacks any positive attributes outside of beating out infield hits against low-A infielders. He could be a spectacular shortstop, but even that is questionable at this point. Way too much risk, and to be honest, I don't see the upside being all that impressive as far as statistical production goes.

  8. #37
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    When it comes to picking between Cozart and Hamilton as the better prospect, I think the ceilings of their offensive potential is negligible when you consider the baserunning aspect of it. Hamilton would probably get on base more, and Cozart would probably slug more. All things being equal, they'd have a similar OPS with Hamilton slightly lower but able to add a ton of stolen bases and runs. The determining factor for me would be defense. Hamilton is rough around the edges, but he has the potential for elite range. Cozart, however, looks like he'll be an average-to-good shortstop--not that there's anything wrong with it. Right now, I'd have to pick Cozart over Hamilton, but if we see drastic improvement in Hamilton's defense, he's the easy pick for better prospect provided his offensive production continues.

  9. #38
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    A lot of young SS make a lot of errors. I don't dismiss the idea that he can stick there, but if his issue is fielding ground balls cleanly, 2B won't be a better option. I'd guess if the errors persist, CF is his likely landing spot.
    I understand all of this, hence my confusion.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  10. #39
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Nearly every analyst I've seen suggests that he's a future 2B. Is that being driven by his error rate without a closer look at his talent?
    Have you read anything more recent than last years stuff? I wonder because last year he played second base in Billings, so perhaps that is where that is coming from. I just can't seem to grasp why someone would suggest he is a second baseman. His arm is plenty strong. His range is great. Any issues beyond those two would be present at both spots.

  11. #40
    Member redsfandan's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    No chance. Or at least I don't believe this to be the case.

    I can only think of one team that would make a deal for Cozart over Hamilton (Tampa Bay).

    And that's extremely arguable.

    Don't let Cozart's great major league hitting color your perceptions-- it's under 40 ABs. Look at his minor league numbers-- good power, good defense, low obp-- he looks to be an average-ish starter at SS, perhaps a bit more if the Reds are lucky. And that has some value, especially to a team that's in win-now mode. Think a 1.0 - 3.0 WAR guy with a ceiling of 4.0.

    Hamilton (assuming his defense works out) will grade out better than that based only on his speed and range. Think a 3.0 - 5.0 WAR with an outside shot at 8.0. That's the type of deal I make eight days a week if I'm a GM, as I can always find a SS of the free agent market or undervalued by another team while waiting on my SS of the future to blossom. (And the more SS I have in the system, the more likely I don't have to deal for anyone for a decade or two.)

    Last season, for example, Baseball America graded Hamilton as a Top 50-ish prospect in baseball. Cozart didn't make the list. While I often question BA and their fascination with some tools, this one passes the smell test. At least for me.

    Don't get me wrong: I like what Cozart brings to the table for 2012 and want him to take the majority of the starts for the Reds at SS. But when faced with a choice, it's a fairly easy one to make.
    I'm curious, what do you think Hamilton's floor is?

    Also, how much would you like him if he was only able to steal 30 bases in the majors?

    edit: One more, what do you think is the ceiling/floor for his obp?
    Last edited by redsfandan; 10-24-2011 at 04:23 AM.
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  12. #41
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    I went Soto. The type of power he displayed in a partial season was outstanding. If he had a full 600 PAs he would have conceivably hit 40+ hrs in the southern league.
    "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"

  13. #42
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfandan View Post
    I'm curious, what do you think Hamilton's floor is?

    Also, how much would you like him if he was only able to steal 30 bases in the majors?

    edit: One more, what do you think is the ceiling/floor for his obp?
    His floor would be as a high minors flame out. Assuming the worst, he won't get any stronger or learn despite being a "hard worker". His glove never gets beyond the amazing-one-play and error-the-next spot it's in now.

    He's already exhibited the ability to hit in low A, so he's passed two tests. (That of Rookie League and low A.) His pedigree will give him a bump he may not deserve, as would his 80 speed tool. So, even if he struggles hitting in Bakersfield and above, he'll get bumped at least one spot above that. (That's AA.)

    Bakersfield is an extreme hitter's league and he has a very, very good team around him, which will likely inflate rather than expose those numbers so I feel comfortable in believing he'll pass High A. That and the aforementioned pedigree and tools would attract any number of teams (if he should flame out in Cincinnati) looking for cheap production via alternative sources. As a minor league free agent, he'd have little trouble glomming on at AAA and likely even make the majors as a pinch runner/ base stealer (Billy Bates, paging Billy Bates) in a September call-up.

    His major league floor is a Paul Janish type-- 240/300/300 with a ton of steals (50+) and above average defense, assuming he plays every day. (This assumes a modicum of improvement with the bat, no extra power, no leg injuries, and the career defensive arc of talented and erratic defense-first shortstops.

    His most likely career path will follow Dee Gordon from the Dodgers. Tons of speed, high BA, much better BB rates, a bit more speed on the basepaths and at the plate. An obp over league average, but no slugging at all beyond the speed doubles and triples and an occasional home run he'll run into.

    As to the stolen bases, they are an attraction (and, IMO, are extremely underrated by this board in general). He's an elite speed guy. That's seen not only in his stolen bases (an 80+% rate at close to triple digits would add an extra win or two to whichever major league team uses him in that manner just in WAR), but in his aggressive base-running as well. In just that department, Hamilton is likely to earn 3.0 WAR. (I fully understand that statement, and, no, I don't believe it to be hyperbole. Gordon's speed rating was just under 2.0 in a third of the season and Hamilton has another step on him, if you can dig it.)

    In short, I look at Hamilton and see a player that has 3.0 WAR in his back pocket. His glove would have to stay exactly as it is for him to have negative value at the spot, as his range and athleticism will give him a zone rating out of this world. Too, the typical minor league SS gets much better the more he plays. Hamilton has only had one year of minor league SS play. He profiles to get much, much better. I feel pretty comfortable saying his defense won't be that negative, all things considered, by the time he gets to the majors.

    So, offensively, he'd have to be a -3.0 WAR player. With his speed and patience, that's just not likely to happen.

    At his ceiling, he's a game-changer, a la Tim Raines. That's HOF level.
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  14. #43
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    Dee Gordon struck out significantly less than Hamilton has shown so far in full season ball. Gordon was a little bit older, but was also a lot more raw. He didn't even play organized baseball until he was in high school.

    As for the Tim Raines comparison.... no way. Tim Raines had 10 120 OPS+ seasons. That is essentially what Jay Bruce has done the last two seasons. Billy Hamilton isn't going to ever be that kind of hitter.

  15. #44
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbachunk View Post
    I went Soto. The type of power he displayed in a partial season was outstanding. If he had a full 600 PAs he would have conceivably hit 40+ hrs in the southern league.
    He should be coming up fairly soon on the list. He'd always been one of those players with great raw power who was young for his level and hadn't "figured it out" yet (think Juan Duran). The fact that he's less of an all-around hitter than Alonso and plays 1B has held him down so far, but that kind of power explosion can't be ignored. He should go in the 6-10 range.

    Also, is there a chance that we could say that Billy Hamilton's upside is... erm... Billy Hamilton?

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...amilbi01.shtml

  16. #45
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #4 prospect?

    Around here baserunning is deemed unimportant. That may be true for 98 percent of the players in the game.

    Over the years, I have seen some baserunners dismantle the opposition by applying constant pressure. Yes, the player has to get on base. But top baserunning skill can be a very serious weapon.

    It's rare. Hamilton may have it. I don't think we should overlook that.

    As for Soto, I'm not calling him a top prospect yet. He had a good year offensively, but it's one year. And now that he's a first baseman, he needs to have top notch offensive ability to stand out.

    Had Soto remained at third base, he would be higher on my list. Now, I'm cautious with him.


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