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

  1. #286
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Hamilton's bunt and infield hit success rate is the highest in the minor leagues. By a mile. You may scream random noise or poor field conditions or poor defenders, but others in the minors have the same limitations. (Or you may simply write the negative as your opinion without backing it up.

    Too, Hamilton would be bunting for sacrifices, not base hits. I'd rather have Hamilton up there with a real chance at beating it out than I would Arroyo, Bailey, or another pitcher.

    He's stealing bases at an 83% clip-- which is exceptional and has value as to scoring runs. You also seem to undervalue his speed and how it impacts the defense (which, I believe, is a regular refran here on Redszone). To whit, from early April's BP article:

    •Pitchers have committed three balks while Billy Hamilton was on base.
    •Billy Hamilton has scored from third when the catcher threw to first to complete another batter’s strikeout.
    •And Billy Hamilton scored the walk-off run on April 20 on a sacrifice fly. To the second baseman.
    Hamilton-- on the bases-- in a difference-maker right now. In a playoff series in which the 24th and 25th men play a much lesser role and individual runs mean much much more, using Hamilton as a pinch runner makes all sorts of sense.

    As to the step, it's commonly known among track guys.

    If a 100m runner with a best time of 10.20 can reduce ground contact for each of the 45 steps of their race by one hundredth of a second, they can improve their time to 9.75, good enough to challenge for an Olympic medal.
    As an example, Usain Bolt ran a 9.69, while Richard Thompson ran a 9.89 in the 2008 Olympics. That's two-tenths of a second. Bolt takes two steps after finishing the race before Thompson even crosses the line. (That's approximately six feet.) Since it takes 45 steps to run a 100 m race, you can do the math fairly easily. Tenths and hundredths of a second mean a bunch in short distances.
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  3. #287
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    apples/oranges.

    I think most people know Billy isn't ready to swing a bat in the majors this season, nor next season. I think most people recognize that Billy may struggle like many young major leaguers and need to be sent down a time or two to regain his confidence. However, the 2012 Reds are not (at least we all hope) the 1982 or 1983 Reds. The 1982 Reds were the only Reds team to have lost over 100 games in a single season. The '83 Reds weren't a ton better finishing in last place both seasons, nowhere close to sniffing the playoffs. Calling up Eric Davis on those teams would have served neither team much good in the big picture.

    If Billy is called up at seasons end and the playoffs, there is the risk that you mention, that I think all recognize, but the reward side is that it gives the Reds a weapon off the bench for the playoffs that nobody else in the majors possesses (assuming you believe him to be the fastest player in all of baseball like I've seen written at different times). If they called him up this season, it won't be until 2016 that they'd have to worry about Billy not having options left. Yes there's the risk you'd like to have that option left in 2016, but there is also the potential that Billy could make the difference as a pinch runner b/w winning a postseason game and thus series and not winning that game, heck he could make a difference in just getting to the postseason or not by being the key factor in winning a game down the stretch.

    Sure he's limited at this time in how he can help the big league club, but I'm not going to worry a ton about 2016 if I can see my Reds make a run at another World Series Title in 2012. Just because Erice Davis had to be sent back down after he arrived, doesn't mean Billy ever will. Bruce has managed to hold his own despite some terrible stretches in the majors despite never getting sent back down once he made it. For all we know, Billy could blow out his knee in the off season, killing a huge portion of his difference making speed and never become a regular in the majors at any point in his life. Make use of the skills you have, when you think those skills can make a difference b/w winning now, there are no garuntees those skills will be there down the road.

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

    I have videos of Hamilton and Bowe both on infield groundballs running full out. I started them (going frame by frame) on the moment of contact. I then overlayed them in a video editing program and set the top one to 50% opacity. Hamilton reached first base quicker. Here is where Bowe was at at the moment Hamilton touched first base:



    Hamiton ran a 3.80, Bowe a 3.85 on the respective plays.

    I should note that both players were hitting left handed in their respective clips.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I have videos of Hamilton and Bowe both on infield groundballs running full out. I started them (going frame by frame) on the moment of contact. I then overlayed them in a video editing program and set the top one to 50% opacity. Hamilton reached first base quicker. Here is where Bowe was at at the moment Hamilton touched first base:



    Hamiton ran a 3.80, Bowe a 3.85 on the respective plays.

    I should note that both players were hitting left handed in their respective clips.
    Great stuff. Thanks

    Baseball is a game of inches. Maybe you've heard that before

    That seems like a meaningful difference to me.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    Great stuff. Thanks

    Baseball is a game of inches. Maybe you've heard that before

    That seems like a meaningful difference to me.
    Yes, baseball is a game of inches. I just don't see 3 inches making a difference in 99.9% of plays.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Yes, baseball is a game of inches. I just don't see 3 inches making a difference in 99.9% of plays.
    I think that difference you showed in that pic means at least 10 more hits a year for Hamilton than Bowe. That's huge, especially when you consider how many more infield hits Bowe would get over an average runner.

    Honestly, how often have we seen Stubbs just miss an infield hit by that much? it seems like twice a month at least.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    I think that difference you showed in that pic means at least 10 more hits a year for Hamilton than Bowe. That's huge, especially when you consider how many more infield hits Bowe would get over an average runner.

    Honestly, how often have we seen Stubbs just miss an infield hit by that much? it seems like twice a month at least.
    I don't know if it would be 10 hits. I don't know that it wouldn't be. I don't really even want to get into that right now.

    What my point was, is that in the playoffs, as a bunter/pinch runner, there is almost a 100% chance that the matter of 3 inches on a runner is not going to make a difference. 3 inches over 90 feet is not worth using an option on Billy Hamilton IMO.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I don't know if it would be 10 hits. I don't know that it wouldn't be. I don't really even want to get into that right now.

    What my point was, is that in the playoffs, as a bunter/pinch runner, there is almost a 100% chance that the matter of 3 inches on a runner is not going to make a difference. 3 inches over 90 feet is not worth using an option on Billy Hamilton IMO.
    Completely agree on the last point. Really hope that the Reds don't bring up Hamilton this September. Not even close to being worth it.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I don't know if it would be 10 hits. I don't know that it wouldn't be. I don't really even want to get into that right now.

    What my point was, is that in the playoffs, as a bunter/pinch runner, there is almost a 100% chance that the matter of 3 inches on a runner is not going to make a difference. 3 inches over 90 feet is not worth using an option on Billy Hamilton IMO.
    Except in the situations where you'd use Billy, its not 3 inches over 90 feet, its something significantly greater. You wouldn't pinch run Billy for Theo Bowe, you'd pinch run him for Hannigan or Devin, or Rolen or Frasier or Cairo, or Ludwick, etc... You use him where its not a 3" difference over 90', but might be several feet over 90', in a situation where he can score from 1st on a double, even one that didn't reach the wall, where he could score from 2nd on any basehit to the outfield, where he could score from 3rd on a pop up to the 2nd baseman, etc... We're not talking 3" of difference here, we're talking something significantly greater than that.

    Now if they wanted to call up Bowe as a pinch runner for september/playoffs and reserve Billy's options that would be fine by me, in either case they'd offer something to the bench the Reds don't currently have, something that could make more of a difference in a 7 game set than what Willie Harris or Sam LeCure offer them right now.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by medford View Post
    Except in the situations where you'd use Billy, its not 3 inches over 90 feet, its something significantly greater. You wouldn't pinch run Billy for Theo Bowe, you'd pinch run him for Hannigan or Devin, or Rolen or Frasier or Cairo, or Ludwick, etc... You use him where its not a 3" difference over 90', but might be several feet over 90', in a situation where he can score from 1st on a double, even one that didn't reach the wall, where he could score from 2nd on any basehit to the outfield, where he could score from 3rd on a pop up to the 2nd baseman, etc... We're not talking 3" of difference here, we're talking something significantly greater than that.

    Now if they wanted to call up Bowe as a pinch runner for september/playoffs and reserve Billy's options that would be fine by me, in either case they'd offer something to the bench the Reds don't currently have, something that could make more of a difference in a 7 game set than what Willie Harris or Sam LeCure offer them right now.
    The point was that you should call up someone like Bowe instead of Hamilton because you don't have to worry as much with passing him back through waivers after the season, where as with Hamilton you would burn up that option and couldn't pass him through waivers back to the minors after the season.

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

    So you agree that it's a good idea to have a pinch runner, but think the Reds should choose the slower runner with less stolen base and small ball success on the outside chance that it may affect Hamilton's advancement three years from now?

    On a related question: if Hamilton uses an option in 2013 (sending him down at the beginning of the year to AA), but isn't brought up again that year or the next, how many options would he have used?
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    So you agree that it's a good idea to have a pinch runner, but think the Reds should choose the slower runner with less stolen base and small ball success on the outside chance that it may affect Hamilton's advancement three years from now?

    On a related question: if Hamilton uses an option in 2013 (sending him down at the beginning of the year to AA), but isn't brought up again that year or the next, how many options would he have used?
    Yes, I think the Reds should choose the slower runner because the faster runner is someone they may actually need on their big league team at some point in the future as more than a pinch runner and the 'slower runner' is still probably one of the fastest 10 guys in all of professional baseball.

    To answer the other question, he would have used two options in that scenario because he would technically be called up for spring training, then sent down when he went to the minors.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    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.
    On a completely different tangent. I remember reading in Posnanski's book about Ken Griffey Sr. being somewhat wistful about losing stolen base opportunities for the good of the team.

    Why do I get the feeling he's taking out any bitterness on opposing defenses now that he's managing? Do the runners even have to check in with a 3rd base coach? Or is it just assumed that as soon as they get to 1st base they're running?

    202 SB attempts in a half season? That's more than double every team but one in the league. Similarly, Lake Elsinore runs like they're being chased off of 1st base and are slightly more successful(127/163 compared to Bakersfield's 152/202.)
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    Re: Billy Hamilton: #1 on the BA Hot Sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Yes, I think the Reds should choose the slower runner because the faster runner is someone they may actually need on their big league team at some point in the future as more than a pinch runner and the 'slower runner' is still probably one of the fastest 10 guys in all of professional baseball.

    To answer the other question, he would have used two options in that scenario because he would technically be called up for spring training, then sent down when he went to the minors.
    What 2 years would his two options have been used in. 2013 of course, but what other year?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Red View Post
    On a completely different tangent. I remember reading in Posnanski's book about Ken Griffey Sr. being somewhat wistful about losing stolen base opportunities for the good of the team.

    Why do I get the feeling he's taking out any bitterness on opposing defenses now that he's managing? Do the runners even have to check in with a 3rd base coach? Or is it just assumed that as soon as they get to 1st base they're running?

    202 SB attempts in a half season? That's more than double every team but one in the league. Similarly, Lake Elsinore runs like they're being chased off of 1st base and are slightly more successful(127/163 compared to Bakersfield's 152/202.)
    I do think that Griffey lets his guys go more freely than others do, but to be fair, Billy Hamilton has more steals on his own that over 90 minor league teams do.


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