I'd never take a guy off short until he forced me to. That said, I just had a very sad thought of who Hamilton reminds me of -- Tony Womack.
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.
Cozart is 26. His game is mature. He is not going to fall off a cliff.Little early on that one given that Hamilton is still 2 years away. Guys have started out hotter and fallen quickly than Cozart who were much more highly touted. Not that I expect it to happen, but Cozart has what, 100 at bats in his MLB career?
The best argument for keeping Hamilton and Didi at SS is build trade value. It could very well be the best way to go.
However, SS is not a position of need -- it's the opposite. CF, on the other hand, is looking weaker by the day. Lotta toolsy players who, with the exception of Phipps, have never shown a level of performance that matches the tools. Hamilton would instantly become the top prospect at the spot with no apparent roadblocks, IMO.
"Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini
I think Tony Womack is the absolute floor when it comes to comps for Billy Hamilton. We can only pray that if all goes right he turns into Rickey Henderson...
This being said, I don't think Billy can ever be Rickey, but I certainly think there is a greater than 70% chance that he has a better major league career than Tony Womack.
I agree with some of the others that I'd wait to move him off SS until next year or this offseason at the earliest. That gives us this year to figure out:
Whether Cozart is the long-term answer at SS
Whether Stubbs is the long-term answer at CF
Whether LaMarre has a big league future
...and let's Hamilton hopefully continue to rake this year while not worrying about how to learn a new position.
Assuming Cozart continues to impress, and LaMarre doesn't find any power to speak of, I'd probably move Hamilton to CF in Pensacola next year (or this offseason).
He could be the next Michael Bourn, or Juan Pierre with a better OBP.
Last edited by Benihana; 04-18-2012 at 12:39 PM.
This seems like a really tough call. I think Hamilton could make an incredible center fielder (I keep hearkening back to that catch he made last year near the left-field warning track, from shortstop) and would love to see a replacement for Stubbs in the pipeline.
On the other hand, I can understand not moving a top prospect from shortstop as long as he shows the potential to play the position. The way I see it, he is now a consideration at two positions: SS and CF (actually three, counting second base). But if you move him to CF, I think SS gets eliminated from the equation. It seems unlikely that a player would be returned to SS from CF.
I guess I'd rather hold on to the highest possible number of options. Which means he sticks at SS until things clear up.
That said, I think he should be getting some preliminary work in CF. But that's also complicated, because he's still learning to hit and switch-hit, and you don't want to distract him too much.
All in all, a delicate situation.
If he's still in the organization come Spring Training, and the other conditions apply (Cozart looks good, Stubbs/LaMarre do not), I'd probably consider switching him to CF.
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I just wanted to provide what I believe could be Billy's ceiling if he adds some power to his game.
I just think that Billy Hamilton can have a much better career than Tony Womack did. Billy is a world-class athlete. Even if he fully developed, it would be very difficult for Billy to have a Rickey Henderson-like career.