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Thread: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

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    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    Everyone knows about the steals, but check this out:

    In 550 at-bats in 2011 at low-A Dayton, Hamilton had 103 stolen bases, 18 doubles and 9 triples.

    In 331 ABs in 2012 at high-A Bakersfield, Hamilton has 103 steals, 18 doubles and 9 triples.

    So, in 219 LESS at-bats, Hamilton has already reached his impressive steals, doubles and triples numbers from last year.

    The big difference this year? Obviously Hamilton's on-base percentage. In 2011, it was .340, which was very solid, especially for someone with Hamilton's blazing speed. However, this year, his OBP is up to a robust .415.

    Gonna be real interesting to see how high he's ranked by Baseball America and other publications/websites entering next season. He's going to break Vince Coleman's all-time minor league record of 145 steals this year. Add that to his high batting average and I bet he'll be a consensus top-20 prospect in all of baseball (maybe higher).

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    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    Also, he's already walked 49 times this season. Last year? 52 walks. So, not only is he a switch-hitter who continues to improve his hitting every year, he's vastly improving in terms of taking walks.

    I've kind of had reserved excitement as it pertains to Hamilton the last couple years. I'm quickly removing the "kind of" and "reserved" part. Kid might be the ideal leadoff hitter the Reds have been looking for. He's looking more and more like the "real deal."

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    Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    Not to pile on you, but do we really need 5 Billy Hamilton threads on the 1st page??

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    Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    he's an untouchable IMO, for years fans have complained about a lack of leadoff hitters in the Reds organization, well here he is

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    Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    he's an untouchable IMO, for years fans have complained about a lack of leadoff hitters in the Reds organization, well here he is
    Agreed. Even if the Hamilton bubble ultimately bursts, they have to play it out with him. He is, as you say, what the doctor has ordered.
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    Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    Quote Originally Posted by fearofpopvol1 View Post
    Not to pile on you, but do we really need 5 Billy Hamilton threads on the 1st page??
    I guess we'll know in a couple of years if we really needed all 5 of these Billy Hamilton threads (2 of which are ranking lists that are more about who's on the list (and perhaps who's not) of which Billy Hamilton makes an appearance)

    As far as the 3 threads, one title points to his defense, another to his basestealing, and this one to his hitting abilities. While they could all be combined into one, all 3 topics are worthy of discussion, and perhaps seperating your belief in his fielding ability from your belief in his hitting ability and his base stealing ability makes each of these 3 threads more readable.

    That said, its amazing how much progress he's made in hitting. throw in learning to switch hit starting last year and the kid's made a ton of progress.

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    Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    Take it from the beginning. When he first showed up after being drafted he was so raw I think some people wondered if he knew which end of the bat was the knob. A bit of hyperbole but you get the idea. That was 3 short years ago. All he really had was this wiry skinny amazingly fast agile body and very, very raw tools. That summer after signing it looked like the Reds might have made a mistake taking Billy so high. Would this kid ever hit?
    His line at GCL was .205/.235/.277 and he fanned 47 times in 43 games with 14 steals. The speed was there but he looked so overmatched at that level where he faced other HSer picks, International players and some college players just starting out. Hey - it was worth a gamble, high ceiling but the kid was obviously a long long term project.

    Next year 2010 at Billings it seemed someone else showed up in Montana. A .318/.383/.456 line w/13 2Bs, 10 3Bs, and 2 HRs. Plus, he stole 48 bases, struck out 56 times, down to just 3 in 5 games!

    2011 He jumped up the improvement another notch, getting better in almost every aspect of his game including impressive plate discipline. His line in Dayton? .278/.340/.360
    with 18 2Bs and 9 3Bs and 103 steals. Seems a dip in BA and OBP and SP but Billings is a hit happy league while Dayton is neutral and a big step up in levels, plus its a players first exposure to the rigors of full season pro baseball playing day in and day out without many breaks. Lots of guys wear down. Billy revved up.

    Now this year. Again in a hitters league his numbers have jumped as one should expect but they have dramatically improved across the line - essentially putting up the same counting numbers in roughly 65% of the PAs as he did last season. Who knows what kind of numbers he'll end up with.

    It is this season by season progress that excites me. When I hear some say sell him while the hype is high, I wonder if they aren't selling this kid short. Look at the improving discipline. The bat skills, the base running , the defensive improvements, the LEAPS he's made in his game in a very, very short time, look at the linear progression and the line is straight up.

    I'm believing in Billy until that progression bogs down. Something tells me that may be awhile.

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    Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    Take it from the beginning. When he first showed up after being drafted he was so raw I think some people wondered if he knew which end of the bat was the knob. A bit of hyperbole but you get the idea. That was 3 short years ago. All he really had was this wiry skinny amazingly fast agile body and very, very raw tools. That summer after signing it looked like the Reds might have made a mistake taking Billy so high. Would this kid ever hit?
    His line at GCL was .205/.235/.277 and he fanned 47 times in 43 games with 14 steals. The speed was there but he looked so overmatched at that level where he faced other HSer picks, International players and some college players just starting out. Hey - it was worth a gamble, high ceiling but the kid was obviously a long long term project.

    Next year 2010 at Billings it seemed someone else showed up in Montana. A .318/.383/.456 line w/13 2Bs, 10 3Bs, and 2 HRs. Plus, he stole 48 bases, struck out 56 times, down to just 3 in 5 games!

    2011 He jumped up the improvement another notch, getting better in almost every aspect of his game including impressive plate discipline. His line in Dayton? .278/.340/.360
    with 18 2Bs and 9 3Bs and 103 steals. Seems a dip in BA and OBP and SP but Billings is a hit happy league while Dayton is neutral and a big step up in levels, plus its a players first exposure to the rigors of full season pro baseball playing day in and day out without many breaks. Lots of guys wear down. Billy revved up.

    Now this year. Again in a hitters league his numbers have jumped as one should expect but they have dramatically improved across the line - essentially putting up the same counting numbers in roughly 65% of the PAs as he did last season. Who knows what kind of numbers he'll end up with.

    It is this season by season progress that excites me. When I hear some say sell him while the hype is high, I wonder if they aren't selling this kid short. Look at the improving discipline. The bat skills, the base running , the defensive improvements, the LEAPS he's made in his game in a very, very short time, look at the linear progression and the line is straight up.

    I'm believing in Billy until that progression bogs down. Something tells me that may be awhile.
    This is a good summation. The only type of deal I'd like to see him in is for a Latos type player that helps the next 4 years starting right now.

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    Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Agreed. Even if the Hamilton bubble ultimately bursts, they have to play it out with him. He is, as you say, what the doctor has ordered.
    This is the right call, IMO. You need to keep as many potential difference-makers-- 80 tool guys with super-high ceilings-- as you can.

    doug railed against Hamilton, in part, because of his isolated slugging. The kid apparently listened. He's now at 118 for the year and 102 for his career-- not great, certainly, but better than similar hitters such as Elvis Andrus, Darwin Barney, Denard Span, Howie Kendrick, David DeJesus, and the same as Jose Reyes.

    True, he's done his against minor league competition, but his recent power output suggest a guy learning how to drive the ball better. Not surprising, considering his recent conversion to switch hitting and that he's starting to fill out a bit and find strength (as literally 99% of all males do in their early 20s).

    Hopefully, he adds 15-20 lbs. of muscle that doesn't detract from his speed but does enhance what little power he possesses. If Hamilton can slug 425 or better gong forward, he's a weapon at the top of the order and may keep pitchers honest enough to allow him to approach his 14% BB rate as he goes forward.
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    Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    RedlegJake,

    Was Dayton where Billy started switch hitting? I want to say yes, but could be wrong. The reason I bring that up, in respect to his overall slash line, he started out very, very slowly in Dayton last year with the stick (and glove) but his 2nd half improvement was amazing.

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    Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    Quote Originally Posted by medford View Post
    RedlegJake,

    Was Dayton where Billy started switch hitting? I want to say yes, but could be wrong. The reason I bring that up, in respect to his overall slash line, he started out very, very slowly in Dayton last year with the stick (and glove) but his 2nd half improvement was amazing.
    Yes, it was last year in Dayton.

    I'm curious if anyone knows how much baseball Hamilton played before getting drafted. He was a 3-sport athlete in high school so that right there limits how much he was able to work on his baseball skillset for four years. When we see projections for Hamilton they are in part formed from comparisons to other 21-year olds in High-A. But I am taking an educated guess that Hamilton has literally hundreds fewer at bats and hundreds less hours of practice than most other 21-year olds in pro ball who played year round starting at a young age. A guy like Bryce Harper at age 19 probably has had significantly more reps at his craft than Hamilton at 21.

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    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverRat13 View Post
    Yes, it was last year in Dayton.

    I'm curious if anyone knows how much baseball Hamilton played before getting drafted. He was a 3-sport athlete in high school so that right there limits how much he was able to work on his baseball skillset for four years. When we see projections for Hamilton they are in part formed from comparisons to other 21-year olds in High-A. But I am taking an educated guess that Hamilton has literally hundreds fewer at bats and hundreds less hours of practice than most other 21-year olds in pro ball who played year round starting at a young age. A guy like Bryce Harper at age 19 probably has had significantly more reps at his craft than Hamilton at 21.
    Since he's a poor kid from rural Georgia and was mostly touted in track in football with baseball and basketball mentioned in the next sentence I'd say you're probably right but I'm not positive. Most underprivileged kids don;t get the reps in baseball at a real young age that middle class kids get. Baseball actually does a fairly poor job of reaching underprivileged kids at a young age. I think they do a better job of it in Latin America than they do right here at home.

    Anyway I think you may be quite right about Billy and the number of reps he had when drafted. Every description at the time was of his very, very raw tools and skills.

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    Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    Quote Originally Posted by fearofpopvol1 View Post
    Not to pile on you, but do we really need 5 Billy Hamilton threads on the 1st page??
    Every thread should be a Billy Hamilton thread.
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    Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    Billy Hamilton did NOT start switch hitting in Dayton last year. He started it in the GCL or maybe even high school. He claims he started as a pro, but in his draft video he is absolutely bunting from the left side of the plate (natural right hander), so I don't know exactly when it started even though Hamilton himself claims it was as a pro.

    I think people tend to forget about the California League because we haven't been in it that long. Everyone hits in the California League who is a prospect of any sort (sans being incredibly young/pushed way too quickly). Last year Didi Gregorius his .303 with a .457 SLG in Bakersfield. This year, he is still hitting for a solid average, but his slugging has gone to .365, where his IsoP is essentially cut in half. The ball flies in that league. Not every ballpark of course, but there are several absolute launching pads in that league. Hamilton's "better power" may or may not be "better power". We don't really know yet because he hasn't left the league yet.

    The good things though are the vastly improved plate discipline. That is about as good of a sign as you could possibly see. I could care less about his steals at this point because they don't matter nearly as much as what he can do at the plate. If he can't get on base at a reasonable clip, all the steals in the world wouldn't matter much. His improved contact rate as well as his ability to lay off of some pitches are fantastic to see and bode well for him in the future. I still think there is a lot of work to be done with him and I think he is still further away than a lot of people realize because there are some questions about his swing. He still doesn't have much balance at the plate from the left side and seems to 'flail' at the ball in an effort to make contact at times, which won't work so much in the Majors. But overall, he has really improved what he is doing at the plate.

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    Re: Interesting Billy Hamilton stats

    Pretty fair points Doug. I'd take any fluctuations in power as an aberration in this league. They really don't matter in the end, because they're not part of his skillset and they won't be part of what he's asked to do as a leadoff hitter.

    At this point, as big of a deal as people make of his steals, the numbers don't even matter. He's walked, singled, or doubled 147 times this year, with 124 stealing attempts. Counting for occasions where the basepaths were blocked or at bats occurred too quickly, he's essentially attempting to steal at every opportunity. That's just a part of who he is; his steals will only be limited by his opportunities, and that only comes with plate discipline, which he's certainly done wonders with this year.


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