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Thread: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

  1. #271
    Member medford's Avatar
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    I'll assume the thought of calling up Hamilton as a late season weapon for the bench has crossed Walt's mind. If he's at all entertaining the idea, I would think he'd promote him to AA until August 31st prior to calling him up. I realize he likely wouldn't bat much in september/playoffs, but I would think you'd at least want to give him some experience against the more polished pitchers in AA.

    As far as if I would do it, absolutely. Like Doug said, I'd make sure he was with the team on Aug 31st so that he'd be eligible for the playoffs (would be a good time for a 15 day DL stint for Rolen to rest his shoulder if the Reds had a decent sized lead in the division). Imagine what kind of havoc his speed could play in a key situation in the 7th, 8th or 9th inning of a tight game. If he doesn't burn an option this season, that gives him '12, '13 & '14 to continue to develop in the minors which would make him 24 (?) when he "had" to be on the ML roster full time. If he's not ready to be a regular by then, even by way of the bench, then odds are that he'll never be much more than filler on a ML roster going forward. That would still give him 2 full seasons in AA & AAA, plus 1 season repeating one or the other if needed.

    Sure it would be nice to have him under control a little longer when he'd likely give you something more than just speed off the bench for a late season call up or injury replacement down the road, but if you can call up a player now that might make the difference b/w winning a postseason or playoff race game or 2 this year, vs having the option to send him back to the minors when he's 24 or 25, I'll take the chance that he can help push this team a little further this season and worry about the '14 & '15 season when we get to it.

    If they promote him to AA, the only downside is the risk that you take some polish off his prospect status in a trade should he struggle. His speed will still play as a pinch runner in the majors. They could always promote him to AA and decide down the road that a late season call up isn't worth burning the option.

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  3. #272
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Bates also hit .293 in AA/AAA that year with more walks than strikeouts. He was at least arguably ready to face MLB pitching.
    The only hitting he'd do is bunt, doug. And that only is specific situations-- when a sacrifice is called for and you want to put pressure on the opposing team late. He's the best bunter in the minor league system right now.

    Don't like the Billy Bates call? How about Dave Roberts? The Sox don't win the World Series without his legs. Heck, they're not even in the World Series without his legs.

    Think of it this way: Tie game, 8th inning. Hanigan walks. If Hamilton is on your team, you can pinch run for the slow-footed catcher instead of sacrificing him over. Put Hamilton on first base with Frazier as a pinch hitter. Without him, you first likely sacrifice a pinch running pitcher to 2B with Valdez, then hope Cozart and either Heisey or Stubbs can get the job done with a single. A Hamilton stolen base puts him in a position to score immediately, puts pressure on the defense (who has to cheat at least one step closer to the hitter for the force attempt), and allows two medium to shallow fly balls to also bring him in.

    The run expectancy of the stolen base in that instance, not to mention to extraneous pressure, doubles the chance that the Reds score a run.

    In a playoff game, it's worth it.
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  4. #273
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Again, you are trying to compare guys who had success at much higher levels than Hamilton did. It isn't comparable. Hamilton is not considered a good base stealer right now. He is just incredibly fast and minor league pitchers and catchers can't do much about it. Between not being good at holding runners on and slow pop times, he can pretty much go at will. It won't be that way in the Majors, at least right now, because he doesn't read pitchers well at all.

    I still say if you want a 'fast runner', then you go get one elsewhere. Hamilton is not the fastest guy around by some large amount. As I have said before, I have timed a guy like Theo Bowe within 0.05-0.1 seconds of Hamilton on a consistent basis. If you want someone that is fast, those guys are out there. I wouldn't risk someone like Hamilton when you could just grab another guy, who is half a step slower, and not potentially mess up the development of Hamilton.

  5. #274
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Again, you are trying to compare guys who had success at much higher levels than Hamilton did. It isn't comparable. Hamilton is not considered a good base stealer right now. He is just incredibly fast and minor league pitchers and catchers can't do much about it. Between not being good at holding runners on and slow pop times, he can pretty much go at will. It won't be that way in the Majors, at least right now, because he doesn't read pitchers well at all.

    I still say if you want a 'fast runner', then you go get one elsewhere. Hamilton is not the fastest guy around by some large amount. As I have said before, I have timed a guy like Theo Bowe within 0.05-0.1 seconds of Hamilton on a consistent basis. If you want someone that is fast, those guys are out there. I wouldn't risk someone like Hamilton when you could just grab another guy, who is half a step slower, and not potentially mess up the development of Hamilton.
    You contradicted yourself between the 1st paragraph and the 2nd paragraph. So is Hamilton "incredibly fast" as you say in the 1st paragraph or is he "not the fastest guy around by some large amount" as you say in the 2nd?

    If Theo Bowe is almost as fast as Hamilton, why does he only have 88 stolen bags in his CAREER when Hamilton almost has that many this SEASON?

  6. #275
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by OesterPoster View Post
    You contradicted yourself between the 1st paragraph and the 2nd paragraph. So is Hamilton "incredibly fast" as you say in the 1st paragraph or is he "not the fastest guy around by some large amount" as you say in the 2nd?

    If Theo Bowe is almost as fast as Hamilton, why does he only have 88 stolen bags in his CAREER when Hamilton almost has that many this SEASON?
    It isn't contradictory at all. More than one guy can be incredibly fast.

    As for Bowe, for starters, he probably hasn't been given the same chances. He has never even topped 275 at bats in a single season, so he hasn't been playing every day until lately in Bakersfield when he has been on fire.

    Bowe, in Bakersfield, has a whole lot more steals than he had in Dayton in similar time. He is being given more free reign and he is getting on base a whole lot more.

    People seem to forget that the year that Hamilton was drafted, Baseball America named Theo Bowe the fastest player in the Reds system, not Billy Hamilton. Hamilton played a full short season that year too, so he didn't sneak up on anyone with his speed in instructional league because no one had seen him. They did. Bowe was named the faster guy that season. As I have said in the past, Theo Bowe is probably one of the 10 fastest guys in all of baseball.

    Bowe has 88 steals in less than 2 full seasons worth of PA's in his career (802 career at bats), that is 11 steals per 100 at bats. That is pretty darn good. Hamilton is clearly better at it.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Again, you are trying to compare guys who had success at much higher levels than Hamilton did. It isn't comparable. Hamilton is not considered a good base stealer right now. He is just incredibly fast and minor league pitchers and catchers can't do much about it. Between not being good at holding runners on and slow pop times, he can pretty much go at will. It won't be that way in the Majors, at least right now, because he doesn't read pitchers well at all.

    I still say if you want a 'fast runner', then you go get one elsewhere. Hamilton is not the fastest guy around by some large amount. As I have said before, I have timed a guy like Theo Bowe within 0.05-0.1 seconds of Hamilton on a consistent basis. If you want someone that is fast, those guys are out there. I wouldn't risk someone like Hamilton when you could just grab another guy, who is half a step slower, and not potentially mess up the development of Hamilton.
    Not to mention, burning an option of Hamilton. I see no reason to bring him up this year.
    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

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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    Not to mention, burning an option of Hamilton. I see no reason to bring him up this year.
    Just to be clear--and Doug talked about this earlier iIrc--calling up Hamilton would not necessarily use an option this year unless they were to send him back down to the minors. However, he would probably be optioned next year, which would result in him burning an option one year earlier than he would have otherwise.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Again, you are trying to compare guys who had success at much higher levels than Hamilton did. It isn't comparable. Hamilton is not considered a good base stealer right now. He is just incredibly fast and minor league pitchers and catchers can't do much about it. Between not being good at holding runners on and slow pop times, he can pretty much go at will. It won't be that way in the Majors, at least right now, because he doesn't read pitchers well at all.

    I still say if you want a 'fast runner', then you go get one elsewhere. Hamilton is not the fastest guy around by some large amount. As I have said before, I have timed a guy like Theo Bowe within 0.05-0.1 seconds of Hamilton on a consistent basis. If you want someone that is fast, those guys are out there. I wouldn't risk someone like Hamilton when you could just grab another guy, who is half a step slower, and not potentially mess up the development of Hamilton.
    1) Again, success offensively doesn't matter at all if he's not going to be used as a hitter. He'd bunt-- which he's incredibly good at-- and be a pinch runner. That's it.

    2) Hamilton doesn't have good form on his stolen base attempts, but he's an excellent base stealer because he has 80 speed. 80 speed plays anywhere, no matter the supposed slow pop times and supposed inability to keep runners honest in the minor leagues. Vince Coleman was supposedly a remarkably poor base stealer his rookie season. How many steals did he put up?

    3) What risk? Hamilton will be either a major leaguer by the end of 2014, or he will be jettisoned for somebody else.

    4) The difference between Bowe (or any other player the Reds could call up) and Hamilton is, if you're talking about five one-hundrenths of a second, a full step. That step has real value.

    5) How in God's green earth would bringing Hamilton to the majors mess up his development? He'd miss, at most, a week of minor league games and be put with major league coaches and players in a playoff environment. As for burning an option, it's not going to matter much-- he'll hit or he won't. And you'll know well before 2014 whether he needs to be protected or not.

    The only substantive argument against Hamilton coming up would be the risk of injury. But the kid's been so durable so far, despite the worries that running wild on the bases would tire him out.
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  10. #279
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    Just to be clear--and Doug talked about this earlier iIrc--calling up Hamilton would not necessarily use an option this year unless they were to send him back down to the minors. However, he would probably be optioned next year, which would result in him burning an option one year earlier than he would have otherwise.
    I'm not up in arms over anything but it sounds a wee bit conserative to try to save his first option until 2014.

  11. #280
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    Just to be clear--and Doug talked about this earlier iIrc--calling up Hamilton would not necessarily use an option this year unless they were to send him back down to the minors. However, he would probably be optioned next year, which would result in him burning an option one year earlier than he would have otherwise.
    Yeah, I read that afterwards. I started on this latest page. Regardless, my opinion remains the same. He would undoubtedly use an option because there's no chance he's ready for the bigs this year or to start next year.
    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

  12. #281
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    I'm not up in arms over anything but it sounds a wee bit conserative to try to save his first option until 2014.
    When this topic comes up, I always like to remind people of how Homer Bailey was handled. Burning options before a guy is ready can easily come back to bite you later.
    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

  13. #282
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    When this topic comes up, I always like to remind people of how Homer Bailey was handled. Burning options before a guy is ready can easily come back to bite you later.
    Yeah, that's true but every situation is unique. Hamilton and Bailey have many differences which I'm not gonna get into, it is gametime.

    I would hope Hamilton is up to stay (not even considering options) starting in 2015. By using his first option in 2013, that would mean he is up to stay (according to options) in 2016 (assuming he uses options in 14/15, which is not a certainty).

    So, yes, using an option in 2013 takes 1 of his 3 away, but I still think there would be some wiggle room.

  14. #283
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    1) Again, success offensively doesn't matter at all if he's not going to be used as a hitter. He'd bunt-- which he's incredibly good at-- and be a pinch runner. That's it.
    No he isn't.

    2) Hamilton doesn't have good form on his stolen base attempts, but he's an excellent base stealer because he has 80 speed. 80 speed plays anywhere, no matter the supposed slow pop times and supposed inability to keep runners honest in the minor leagues. Vince Coleman was supposedly a remarkably poor base stealer his rookie season. How many steals did he put up?
    80 speed gets thrown out with bad jumps. That is why despite having better than '80 speed' against minor league pitchers and catchers Hamilton has been caught stealing nearly 1 out of 5 times.

    4) The difference between Bowe (or any other player the Reds could call up) and Hamilton is, if you're talking about five one-hundrenths of a second, a full step. That step has real value.
    I don't know where you got that number, but I am not sure I buy it.

    5) How in God's green earth would bringing Hamilton to the majors mess up his development? He'd miss, at most, a week of minor league games and be put with major league coaches and players in a playoff environment. As for burning an option, it's not going to matter much-- he'll hit or he won't. And you'll know well before 2014 whether he needs to be protected or not.
    Because what if he isn't ready until he is 24, then comes up, and he actually isn't ready? Then he has to stick anyways rather than go down and figure out how to do 'XYZ'. He will be out of options before guys like Frazier or Cozart ever made their debuts, but you assume he would be jettisoned for someone else by that age. Those guys weren't. Why would Hamilton be?

  15. #284
    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    I live out in Los Angeles, and I have seen Hamilton quite a few times since he plays just a few hours away in Bakersfield.

    I know he was considered to be still learning the art of base stealing last year in Dayton, but from what I've seen this year, he's learned a lot. At the very least, I'd say he's average at reading pitchers and getting a good jump, he is definitely not bad at it. I have relatives in Dayton, so I saw him year for a series, and definitely was not very good at getting jumps then.

    This year, he's succeeding at an 85% rate, which really is about as good as anyone in the history of the game. With pitchouts, stumbles, and great plays by the defense, no runner, no matter how fast, is going to steal at a much better rate than that.

    He also is a decent, if not very good bunter. He bunts a lot, especially with Griffey managing, as he, like Dusty, loves the bunt. I've actually never seen him make a bad bunt, although he always seems upset when asked to bunt. He likes to hit. Lol

    I appreciate the scouting reports that DougDirt gives, he's usually dead on, but I think he's a bit behind the curve on this one. Hamilton has made great improvements since last year.

    And one more note, Hamiton is one of the nicest and level headed players on the Blaze. After every game, he is always the last guy into the clubhouse, as he literally stays and signs every autograph request he gets, always with a smile. Seeing him in person it's clear why scouts like him so much.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post

    3) What risk? Hamilton will be either a major leaguer by the end of 2014, or he will be jettisoned for somebody else.
    I disagree.

    Lots of players struggle in their first (or second) exposure to the majors need to be sent back down to regain confidence and get consistent at bats. If you start Hamilton's option clock to have him pinch run in 2012, you aren't going to be able to send him down if/when he struggles with the bat in 2015.

    Look at a guy like Eric Davis, one of the greatest Reds of the post-BRM era. Eric the Red put up a solid year in A ball in 1982 and monster year in 1983 between AA and AAA. The Reds handed him the CF job in 1984 and he fell flat on his face before returning to the minors and destroying AAA pitching. Same thing happened in 1985. Now just imagine how Eric's career would have worked out of the Reds had called him up in 1982 as a pinch runner and burned through all his options. He wouldn't have had the opportunity to go back to AAA and work things out. He would have wound up rotting on the bench behind Eddie Milner and Gary Redus rather than going down to AAA and working on his game.

    IMO, there is absolutely no reason to call a guy up unless he is ready to hang in the major leagues. Save the options for dealing with any eventual bumps in the road on way to stardom.


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